Ad Hoc Working Group on Policy Dialogue

(This Ad Hoc Working Group is closed since 2008)


African educational systems currently face major challenges concerning access, equity, quality, relevance, funding, and management. In order to meet the EFA goals by 2015, these issues must be solved. Unfortunately, most educational reforms provoke resistance which further impedes the development of education in many African countries.

Ministries of education must mobilize resources, build consensus for educational policies and reforms, and establish national and international partnerships which are needed for success. Policy dialogue is a crucial instrument for crafting, implementing, developing, and managing educational policy. The Ad Hoc Working Group on Policy Dialogue seeks to facilitate educational development through national and international policy dialogue. 

What is the Ad Hoc Working Group on Policy Dialogue?
The Ad Hoc Working Group on Policy Dialogue was created in 2003 to assist African countries in addressing the major issues, concerns, and reform challenges which face the ministries of education today. ADEA has joined with the International Bureau of Education (IBE) to create this Ad Hoc Working Group to support African educational policy dialogue.

There are many sources of conflicts among educational actors which interfere with the effective functioning of many education systems in Africa. These conflicts reduce available time for teaching and learning, affecting the development of the systems on both quantitative and qualitative levels. 

Nationally, factors such as democratic reforms, the emergence of civil society in educational sectors, the implementation of decentralization policies, and the necessity of promoting participative approaches and coordinating foreign assistance require a greater emphasis on strengthening policy dialogue. Many ministries of education are unequipped to respond to these emerging issues. 

What are the objectives of the Ad Hoc working group?
The main objectives of the working group are to help countries mobilize interest around the issues of educational policy and build a consensus that supports both policy and reform; and to help establish national and international partnerships that ensure the success of such policies. 

What are the main activities of the Ad Hoc working group?
The Ad Hoc Working Group on Policy Dialogue organizes training seminars to strengthen leadership capacity and skills for policy dialogue including negotiation and communication skills, and conflict prevention and resolution.
It is also developing modules and a tool kit which may serve as a basis for self-study activities or inter-group training at national levels. 

Expected Outcomes 
The working group seeks to create a reference guide for African ministries of education encompassing the many facets of policy dialogue . This document will focus on the definition and context of policy dialogue, objectives of policy dialogue in the educational sector, the framework and actors in policy dialogue, strategies to establish internal and external policy dialogue, the models and instruments of policy dialogue, and a reflection of lessons learned from African and international experiences with policy dialogue. 

A second expected outcome is the production of educational tools such as training kits to aid in self-learning for ministries of education. The training kits will contain materials such as PowerPoint presentations, national case studies, articles, films, books and bibliographies, etc. 

Achievements
Training Seminars and Workshops
The ADEA Ad Hoc Group on Policy Dialogue has organized several seminars and workshops. In 2003, three weeks of training were organized in Bamako and Dakar for Francophone countries (by IBE in partnership with ADEA). In 2004, a training seminar was organized in Luanda for Portuguese-speaking countries (by ADEA in partnership with IBE). The seminars used training modules addressing a variety of topics: communication, negotiation, sector analysis in support of policy dialogue, internal dialogue between ministries of education and ministries of finance, dialogue between ministries of education and teacher trade unions, as well as dialogue with external partners. Training seminars such as these provide opportunities to document experiences from different countries.
Two workshops were convened in Paris in October 2005 and May 2006, to review the modules used during the seminars in order to streamline the training kit on policy dialogue.

The seminars and workshops are listed below: 

Seminars
a)Policy Dialogue Seminar for francophone countries: 
1) Bamako, Mali, March 1-8, 2003 and
2) Dakar, Senegal, November 8-15, 2003 
Download PDF Report (In French Only)
b)Policy Dialogue Seminar for francophone countries (Dakar, Senegal, April 5-12, 2003) 
Download PDF Report (In French Only)
c)Policy Dialogue Seminar for Portuguese and Spanish-Speaking Countries (Luanda, Angola, November 29- December 4, 2004)

Workshops
First Workshop of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Educational Policy Dialogue (Paris, France, October 1-2, 2005) 
Second Workshop of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Educational Policy Dialogue (Paris, France, May 18-19, 2006)

How to contact the Ad Hoc Working Group on Policy Dialogue 

ADEA Secretariat
Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA)
African Development Bank (AfDB) 
Temporary Relocation Agency
13, avenue du Ghana
B.P. 323
1002 Tunis Belvedere
TUNISIA
Tel:   +216 71 10 39 86
Fax : +216 71 10 26 69
Email: adea@afdb.org