Doing it Right – Advocacy for ECE in South Sudan

30 May 2023
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Credit: GPE/Jok Solomon

While quality early childhood education (ECE) significantly benefits children’s lifelong learning, access to it remains limited. ECE is often not integrated into national education systems and is inadequately reflected in education sector planning (ESP), implementation cycles, and budgets. The current project, Integrating Early Child Education in Sectoral Planning, led by UNICEF and in partnership with the World Bank and Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN), aims to support effective and strategic integration of the ECE/pre-primary subsector within education sector planning and implementation processes. By testing, strengthening, and adapting the ECE Accelerator Toolkit – a global set of software tools to support the inclusion and strengthening of Early Childhood Education (ECE) in the context of Education Sector Planning (ESP) – and the Better Early Learning and Development at Scale (BELDS) – an initiative that aims to help fill the knowledge and practice gaps to improve ECE in GPE partner countries – this project seeks to inform policy, planning, and practice to include ECE in GPE countries.  

Recognizing the importance of ECE at the country-level is key to solidifying its position in government education plans and budgets. In South Sudan, after using tools from the ECE Accelerator Toolkit at a workshop with the Ministry of Education, the Technical Working Group for ECE (TWF ECE) was able to successfully advocate for the mainstreaming of ECE in the new upcoming ESP. This resulted in the region dedicating a chapter of ESP to ECE subsector plans. This inclusion will sustainably ensure ECE’s representation in government action plans and budgets, ensuring ECE a seat as part of the general education sector.