World Bank - Reaching All Children with Education 2 (RACE2)
Syria | Lebanon
Lead M&E Consultant(s)
Education in emergency programme. The Reaching All Children with Education 2 (RACE2) programme aims to provide a comprehensive response to the challenge of the sudden arrival in Lebanon of 1.5 million Syrian refugees, of whom around 600,000 are children of school age. This monumental and challenging task fell largely on the Ministry of Education, supported by multilateral and bilateral agencies (e.g., UNICEF, UNESCO, GIZ, and DFID) and a cluster of NGOs. M&E Expert Terry Allsop was Team Leader for a mid-term review undertaken by an international team contracted by UNICEF from Cambridge Education. The project was managed through a project management unit within the MoE, with large numbers of refugee children enrolled in government primary and secondary schools, often through the device of running a second, afternoon school shift.
Approaches & Outputs
The key methodological elements of the mid-term review included: extensive interviews with senior government/education officials, regional officers, and advisers to headteachers and teachers; school and classroom observations; and focus group discussions with participating NGOs. A round-table was held with the various implementing agencies, to disseminate the initial findings of the team. The evaluation report to all stakeholders addressed short-term issues pertaining to the remaining year of the project, while beginning the process of designing key elements of the necessary next phase, including adaptation of the log frame.
600,000 Syrian refugee school children; Lebanese Ministry of Education officials; NGOs and funding agencies. The team was also able to highlight issues relating to standards and school supervision in this context.
While the review found evidence of remarkable engagement at school and classroom level with the needs of the refugee children and young people, they also documented the challenges of funding and management of a programme of this size and scope. Findings related to ownership issues exposed tensions (i) between sections of the Lebanese MoE and the project implementation team; and (ii) between funding agencies (UN, bilaterals and NGOs) and the Lebanese government. Footnote: Since the completion of the mid-term review, Lebanon has been subjected to the COVID-19 pandemic with extreme disruption of educational facilities, and to severe political instability. These factors became important after the end of the review.
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