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Reviewing a Regional Education Strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean
Latin America
November 2001

South America MapAccess to quality education and the enhancement of human capacity are critical to fulfilling USAID’s mission of alleviating poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). In 1997, USAID revised its strategic plan placing increased emphasis on its goal to build human capacity through education and training. USAID has played a leading role in realizing the vision set forth by the World Declaration for All in 1990 and renewed through the April 2000 Dakar Forum. USAID’s education commitment enhanced its capacity to carry out the mandate of the Summit of the Americas, which highlighted education as arguably the most important vehicle to prosperity in the region.

Though USAID’s Education and Human Resources Unit of the Regional Sustainable Development Program achieved important progress in making education a priority in Latin America, the state of development in the region demonstrated that poverty and social and economic inequality, as well as poor educational quality, poor teacher training, and lack of educational relevance demanded a more flexible approach to supporting education. A strategic framework was required, guided by a development vision that moved beyond a policy-based focus.

The BEPS team was asked to conduct a thorough review of the performance and impact of the LAC Bureau’s current regional education strategy. It reviewed the state of education in the region, investigated best practices and lessons learned and identified priorities and options for designing future programming. The team examined the role of the LAC regional strategy and its current portfolios, taking into consideration the experience of in-country missions and partners, and the role of other donors meeting international and regional commitments to improve education.

The BEPS team used the review’s findings as the basis for advising USAID on potential new directions for a regional education strategy and in recommending options for a new five-year results framework.

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