Inspectie Ontwikkelingssamenwerking en Beleidsevaluatie

Unfinished business: Making a difference in basic education. An evaluation of the impact of education policies in Zambia and the role of budget support

Datum van publicatie: 
The past 15 years have witnessed a shift in development cooperation from a project approach to a sector-wide approach and sector and general budget support. These new aid modalities were introduced in response to the perceived lack of efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of project aid, which was caused by fragmentation, and the lack of coordination and ownership.
Zambia is no exception in this paradigm shift. There, education was one of the first sectors where the sector-wide approach (SWAp) was introduced at the end of the 1990s. By then, the sector had deteriorated and enrolment was low as a result of many years of budget cuts, emanating from the economic problems facing the country. Sector cooperation has proved to be rather successful and despite the enormous challenges, the sector could point to impressive results. Increased resources contributed to a large increase in the number of pupils enrolled in basic education. The collaboration contributed to further harmonization and alignment with the introduction in 2007 of the Joint Assistance Strategy for Zambia and general budget support, called Poverty Reduction Budget Support (PRBS), which was aligned with Zambia’s Fifth National Development Plan for the period 2006–2010. The Netherlands and Ireland became lead donors for the education sector. The Netherlands also provided general budget support (GBS).

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