ADEA takes part in the sixth JICA sub-regional workshop on decentralized education management

ADEA took part in the sub-regional exchange of experience workshop on decentralized education management (DEM), from 10 to 13 march 2015 in Niamey, organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with Niger’s Ministry of Education.

This was one of a series of workshops organized and supported by JICA since 2006.  Experts from a number of countries, including Burkina-Faso, the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Niger and Senegal took part. Institutional partners represented included ADEA, the World Bank, and UNESCO, as well as the Kenyatta University of Nairobi and the Hiroshima University of Tokyo and the different JICA offices.

The workshop gave rise to a valuable and pertinent exchange of experience on DEM, in particular on the issue of how to better involve the local communities in education management. The various communications and discussions highlighted the fact that although legal and regulatory provisions for DEM exist in most of the countries present, they are not always applied. The school management committees (SMC) are, on the other, functioning well in most cases. Three key factors were identified as essential to ensure that SMCs function well. These are (i) efficient organisation, (ii) broad and targeted communication, and (iii) the regular organisation of educational forums with clear and precise commitments.

To these three factors can be added effective literacy teaching for local communities, the method by which members of the SMC are nominated, which needs to be democratic, the agreement signed between the school and the local authorities, the presentation of accounts, and the existence of an arbitration authority to settle any disputes.

Another aspect that was highlighted during this workshop was the importance in the DEM process of school subsidies. It is important to remember here that there are several forms of school subsidies, and there is no standard formula for all countries. However, two decisive factors need to be taken into account to ensure a better optimisation of the subsidies granted. These are (i) the restriction of any intermediaries in the allocation of school subsidies to a minimum, and (ii) capacity-building of head teachers, school teacher, and SMC members concerning the use of subsidies.  It is also important to note that subsidies on their own are not enough to improve the quality of learning. A number of recommendations were made about how this type of meeting could be repeated and extended to other countries in the region. All the participants praised this excellent initiative of JICA and called for it to be continued.

For further information, please contact Mr Maiga Youssouf Ario (, Programme Officer at ADEA.