New partner: Greetings from Pro-RePEM
Consortium for the Accountability of Educational Policies in Benin
Evaluations of the education system over the last ten years have revealed enormous dysfunctions and weaknesses in the Beninese state's progress towards achieving Education for All (EFA).
This gloomy finding has led to a renewed commitment by civil society organizations (CSOs) to set up innovative citizen monitoring and control mechanisms. The idea behind the establishment of these citizen monitoring and control mechanisms is to bring the government and local authorities to better assume their responsibilities as duty bearers and to be accountable for the commitments made in terms of education rights. The Education Observatory (EO) is one of these mechanisms.
Established by the Beninese Coalition of Organizations for Education for All (CBO EFA), the Education Observatory is a civil society mechanism whose role is to observe, measure and record changes in the realization of the right to education in a sequential manner.
In order to strengthen this civil society mechanism and make it more operational, several projects have been initiated in the education sector, including the Strengthening Civil Society Organizations for Education Policy Accountability and Implementation (PRO-RePEM) project.
Initiated by the DEDRAS NGO Consortium and Social Watch Benin in partnership with WOORD AN DAAD, this project is funded by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) through the Education Out Loud (EOL) Fund, managed by Oxfam Denmark.
The overall objective is to contribute to strengthening the role of national civil society in promoting transparency and accountability of education system policies and their implementation in order to increase the provision of equitable, inclusive and emergency-resilient quality education. Specifically, the project aims to
- Mobilize CSOs and build their capacity to monitor the implementation of policies and finances related to education quality and gender equity
- Engage CSOs in the collection and interpretation of strategic data/evidence on education quality and gender to facilitate relevant policy changes and implementation; and
- Improve CSO participation and accountability in policy dialogue at the local, regional and national levels in the education sector using collected data.
Through this project, the three organizations, with the financial support of the Education Loud Fund, intend to accompany the observatory in setting up and strengthening the capacities of its branches at the communal and departmental levels. Since its inception in March 2022, the project has worked to set up sixty (60) Communal Education Observatories (OCE) and twelve (12) Departmental Education Observatories (ODE) in addition to the seventeen (17) Communal Observatories already set up by the consortium of NGOs, Aide et Action and Plan International Benin, with the financial support of the Swiss Cooperation in Benin
At the communal level, the observatories are composed of eleven (11) members, all from civil society organizations such as the representative of the artisans' collective, three (03) representatives of the unions (kindergarten, primary, secondary), two (02) representatives of two NGOs working in the education sector the representative of the Communal Coordination of Parents' Associations (CAPE), the Education Focal Point at the Town Hall, the representative of the Association of Disabled Persons, the representative of the women in the commune and the representative of the Youth Town Halls.
Each Communal Observatory is headed by a steering committee of three members, namely, (01) President, (01) Secretary and (01) Treasurer. At the departmental level, the Education Observatory is composed of the Presidents of the Communal Observatories and a steering committee of three members.
The installation of these different branches was attended, in some places, by Mayors, Deputy Mayors and Executive Secretaries, in addition to the project team and members of the National Education Observatory and the EFA CBO. These were simple moments, but with a lot of enthusiasm on the part of members of civil society organizations as well as local authorities, given the importance of the issue of improving the quality of education in Benin.