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Lower Secondary Education for the Most Disadvantaged Regions Project: Project Completion Report

sector: Education, Health, Information and communication technology | country: Viet Nam, Socialist Republic of

Relevant project design. The project’s target identification methodology was relevant and sophisticated. Prior to this project, ADB support to disadvantaged provinces covered all parts of 22 provinces (determined by the government), which was nearly a third of the country. In contrast, the targeted support of the project resulted in focused investment on the poorest groups. Furthermore, a critical review and analysis of the (i) education sector, particularly within the context of lower secondary education (LSE) among the most disadvantaged regions; (ii) the potential investment opportunities available; and (iii) relevant facts and information, were key ingredients in formulating a project design that was highly relevant to the needs and conditions of beneficiaries, and aligned with the government’s broader national policy.

The design monitoring framework would have better tracked improvements in the quality of LSE in the target regions if it had measured the impact of the inputs, rather than only the inputs. For example, instead of counting the number of ethnic minority upper secondary education (USE) graduates who received a scholarship, the indicator could have measured the number who received scholarships and who returned to their own communities to work, which was the project’s original intention.

Participatory approach to project design and implementation. Extensive consultation with and participation by key stakeholders from project formulation through implementation resulted in higher ownership of the project among stakeholders. It also led to realistic and implementable project design, and allowed for an effective response to challenges encountered by the LSE subsector. It also promoted good coordination and communication, which was necessary for a timely resolution of issues.

Capacity building for sustainability of project outcome and outputs. Project design strengthened the planning and management capacity of education planners and managers. This investment for the future is necessary to ensure sustainability of the project outcome and outputs over the longer term. In addition, one sub-output of the project introduced the concept of continuing professional development, to provide opportunities and support for teachers to systematically improve their knowledge and skills throughout their teaching careers.

Internal LSE subsector cooperation and coordination. Some project activities required close cooperation among stakeholders. For example, campaigns promoting the importance of LSE among disadvantaged communities in remote areas, where young children contribute to the family income through employment, required committed engagement by Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), Department of Education and Training (DOET), Bureau of Education and Training (BOET), teachers, and others, to ensure that LSE awareness campaigns reached their target audience. Establishing good communication and coordination among project stakeholders was critical. It created a venue for guiding the project towards its priorities and for timely support in resolving concerns. These factors, together with the strong DOET and MOET project ownership, significantly contributed to the effective and efficient management of project activities which, in turn, boosted the project’s performance.

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