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Research For Development CCEP

CCEP Research For Development

Educational Planning and Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation

Timar Stephenson, EdD.

Educational planning continues to be a major area that policy makers across ministries, departments and agencies globally have been working towards strengthening further. To this effect, countries have invested significant human and financial resources in the development of education sector plans. The education sector plans are then used as the guiding documents for implementing, monitoring and evaluating the outputs in these plans. The major issue however has to do with the fact that the outputs are largely measured in direct terms as opposed to outcomes and impact. 

Education planners, therefore, need to ensure that the logical framework document goes beyond mere measuring of outputs, to looking beyond the actual results of the short-term indicators, to more long term gains, which are stated as outcomes and impacts. The development of a robust monitoring and evaluation framework within the context of results-based monitoring and evaluation should be adopted as a best practice. 

In concretizing the importance of having a robust results-based monitoring and evaluation system, Kusek and Rist (2004) posited that this tool (M&E) goes beyond the traditional route of measuring or focusing on inputs and outputs to those of outcomes and impacts. Whilst the development of a result-based monitoring and evaluation system will not determine the actual success of an education sector plan, it however, serves as a pivotal tool in measuring the actual results of the stated outcomes and potential impacts. 


Kusek, J.Z. & Rist, R. C. (2004). Ten Steps to a Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation 

System: A Handbook for Development Practitioners. Washington, DC: World Bank. Available at

Planning for Education for Sustainable Development

Therese Ferguson-Murray, PhD

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is critical for Caribbean countries given various social, governance, environmental, and economic development issues which pose challenges to sustainable development (SD). The two-tiered focus of the current Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD – the integration of SD into education and the integration of education into SD (UNESCO, 2014) – underscores education’s role. Firstly, enhancing sustainability awareness, values, attitudes, skills, and actions through formal and non-formal education at all levels is critical for a sustainable future (UN, 1992). Secondly, equitable, inclusive, lifelong education needs to be at the forefront of global and national agendas since education itself underpins SD. Indeed, education has been prioritised as one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG4 specifically) but also recognised as a driver for all SDGs (Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action, 2016). Educational planning, characterised by Güçlü (1995) as an intentional process of “designing and effecting change in the structure, program or impact of educational systems and organizations” (p. 137), is thus needed to bring about the large-scale systemic changes for both ESD tiers. 

Regionally, plans such as Jamaica’s National Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development (1998-2010) offers a useful planning framework for the first tier of ESD with its focus on: teacher professional development, curriculum development, public awareness, community learning, and resources and practices (NEEC, 1998), while the country’s National Education Strategic Plan (2011-2020) speaks to issues surrounding the second tier. Globally, the GAP on ESD outlines five action areas for formal and non-formal ESD – policy, learning/training environments, capacity-building, youth, and communities (UNESCO, 2014). Further, given the targets under SDG4 – pertaining to areas such as access to education, gender equality, literacy and numeracy, early childhood care, and teacher training – planning is an imperative. 

What might planning for ESD look like then? Focusing on one facet – the transformation of learning and training environments – multiple elements would be involved. Curricula planning is necessary to infuse ESD issues, perspectives, values, and skills into curricula at all levels, and incorporate approaches such as project-based learning and community and service-based learning that forges school-community connections and enhances civic-mindedness and action orientations. Green building design and management of the physical facilities of educational institutions in a sustainable manner, and integration of ESD into the ethos and governance structure of these institutions is also involved (UNESCO, 2014). As an example, design elements such as the incorporation of school gardens and other green spaces that can foster connection with the natural environment, as well as serve as learning spaces for sustainability becomes important. From this facet alone, we can see that sound planning is key to ESD and involves an interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder process.


Down, L. (2010). Teaching and learning in, with and for community: Towards a pedagogy for education for sustainable development. Southern African Journal of Environmental Education, 27, 58-70.

Güçlü, N. (1995). Strategic planning in higher education, Hacettepe Universitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 11, 137-148. 

Incheon Declaration and Framework for Action for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4. Retrieved from documents/education-2030-incheon-framework-for- action-implementation-of-sdg4-2016-en_2.pdf

Ministry of Education. (2012). National education strategic plan: 2011–2020. Kingston, Jamaica: Ministry of Education.

National Environmental Education Committee (NEEC). 1998. The National Environmental Education Action Plan for Sustainable Development. Kingston, Jamaica: NEEC Secretariat. 

UN. (1992). Agenda 21: Programme of action for sustainable development. New York: United Nations. Retrieved from https://

UNESCO. (2014). UNESCO roadmap for implementing the global action programme on education for sustainable development. Paris: UNESCO.

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