"Strengthening Multi-Partner Cooperation to Support Teacher Policy and Improve Learning” (otherwise known as the “Norwegian Teachers’ Initiative)
- Host organizations
- Burkina Faso: EI members, FESEB, F-SYNTER, SNEAB and SNESS plus 11 other education sector unions; Ghana: TEWU, NAGRAT and GNAT; Malawi: TUM and PSEUM; and Uganda: UNATU.
- Cooperating organizations
- UNESCO, ILO, UNHCR, UNICEF, the GPE, World Bank
- Burkina Faso, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda
- Start date
- 1 April 2018
- End date
- 31 May 2019
- Social dialogue;
The project sought to enhance cooperation between international development partners, national governments and trade unions to improve teacher policies in the countries concerned.
The project aimed to contribute to achieving SDG 4.c by strenghtening national teacher policies that impact teaching and learning.
The workshops organised by EI aimed to: raise awareness of the current education sector plans; engage participants in a critical review of the existing plans, the strategies and activities foreseen; build participants’ capacity to carry out analysis of public policies and to write policy proposals; and promote debate and reflection on policy issues affecting teachers, focusing on access to the profession as well as retention.
EI’s role was to contribute to strengthening the capacity of unions to engage in policy dialogue and to advocate for improved mechanisms for social dialogue in the four participating countries. To do this EI conducted 11 capacity building workshops with the unions involved , developed an online platform for each country to share relevant documents, and organised a regional social and policy dialogue forum that brought together teacher unions and ministry representatives.
As a result of these workshops, participants gained an in-depth understand of their countries’ education sector plans (which prior to the workshops most had never seen). They used policy analysis techniques to reflect on the issues affecting the professional lives of teachers, defining problems for public policy purposes, determining their root causes, identifying the potential consequences of not taking any action to address these issues, and determining preliminary solutions and policy proposals. Individual unions realised the benefits of working together on shared policy goals and they continue to work together developing shared policy, thus reinforcing cooperation. In addition, the workshops succeeded in widening unions’ policy concerns. The exercises applied in the workshops allowed union representatives to discuss issues other than the so-called “bread and butter”, that is, salaries and incentives. The themes addressed ranged from access to the profession – pre-service training, recruitment processes, licensing and credentials, deployment, probation and induction – to the attractiveness of the profession – workload, career progression, pedagogical support, health and safety, academic freedom, social security and social dialogue. Participants realised that they have a role to play in the policy debate on issues such as in-service training, recruitment and teacher deployment. One of the words the project team heard the most was “empowerment”. Participants of the workshops now feel empowered to participate in the education sector policy debate. As one participant put it: I now feel I am a policy actor.
The regional policy and dialogue forum provided unions with the opportunity to reflect on the current state of social and policy dialogue in their countries together with ministry representatives and to jointly decide on an action plan to strengthen mechanisms for dialogue in the education sector. The forum enabled the participants to develop a shared understanding of effective models for social dialogue and their benefits and succeeded in building trust and goodwill between social partners.