The CapED Programme

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© UNESCO/M.Hofer

About the CapED programme

As part of its mandate to lead and coordinate global efforts for Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), UNESCO is tasked with capacity development with the CapED programme as one of its key operational responses to strengthen systems and assist countries to achieve national priorities in the context of SDG4. The programme focuses on three priority areas: sector-wide policy and planning, skills for life and work, and teachers.

Reinforcing education sector-wide policies, planning and reforms

Evidence-based policy dialogue and the implementation of solid education development plans are key to achieving nationally contextualized SDG4 targets. CapED supports the operationalization of SDG4 through a focused pilot component in selected countries, while maintaining its support to guide educational planning and shape reform agendas:

  • SDG4 Pilot: From commitment to action in 10 countries

The SDG4 pilot of the CapED Programme began in 2016 in ten selected countries to help operationalize SDG4 commitments at national level. Its objective is to review existing policies and plans in light of the SDG4 targets and improve national data collection and analysis systems to better monitor progress towards them. CapED works closely with UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics to implement the data component, the key output of which will be the development of a national strategy for the development of education statistics. See country examples.

  • National education reforms, plans and policies

In addition to the pilot, CapED continues to support selected countries to conduct systematic and evidence-based planning and management processes of education systems or carry out broader reforms, including curricula reform and decentralization of education management. See country examples.

Fostering skills for life and work

In line with SDG4 Targets highlighting the need for an inclusive approach to learning opportunities, this priority area focuses on policy development to create lifelong learning systems, and the effective delivery of relevant TVET and literacy and foundational skills programmes catering to disadvantaged groups, particularly girls and women. There are three priority intervention areas:

  • Policy development for TVET and literacy and Non Formal Education (NFE)

CapED supports educational reforms for the development and review of TVET, literacy and NFE policies to provide quality lifelong learning opportunities for people of all ages. It also works on developing statistical frameworks and databases and enhancing the National Education Management Information System framework for effective monitoring. See country examples.

  • Youth employment and entrepreneurship

CapED responds to youth unemployment by developing capacities to tighten coordination between TVET provision and the labour market. It supports the design and delivery of innovative programmes that cater to specific needs, especially girls and women and young people not in employment, education or training in disadvantaged areas. See country examples.

  • Literacy skills for girls’ and women’s empowerment

CapED provides a targeted investment for gender-focused literacy interventions within a lifelong learning perspective. It works with beneficiary countries to develop, implement and scale up good quality, relevant and innovative adult education programmes targeting girls and women. CapED’s support to NFE programmes in disadvantaged communities often focus on Community Learning Centres (CLCs),  which often serve girls and women with limited learning opportunities, such as out-of-school children, illiterate youth, and the elderly. See country examples.

Improving quality through teachers

As a driving force for the provision of good quality education, teachers constitute one of the key means to implement SDG4 (Target 4.c). They are thus at the centre of CapED’s focus through three priority intervention areas:

  • Teacher policy development

CapED engages stakeholders and supports countries to develop and implement comprehensive policies that provide continuous professional development to better attract, train, allocate, manage and retain teaching personnel. See country examples.

  • Training of teachers

CapED supports the strengthening of teacher-training institutions through the development of quality assessment frameworks and improvement plans, building capacities for pre- and in-service teacher training programmes, curricula development, pedagogical supervision for continuing support in the classroom, and the piloting and scaling-up of successful initiatives and teaching practices. See country examples.

  • Gender-sensitive approaches

CapED supports the review of programmes for the professional development of teachers from a gender-equality perspective. It seeks to equip teachers with gender training to enhance the chances of girls to learn effectively, with a focus on adolescent girls’ access to and progress through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. See country examples