Final Report: Appui de Developpement Assistance Internationale de Developpement de l’Education de Cote d’Ivoire (AIDE-CI)

The armed conflict in Côte d'Ivoire had serious consequences on the country’s education sector. The destruction of school infrastructure and classroom materials considerably compromised access to quality education. Although the fighting in Cote d’Ivoire has stopped and schools have re-opened, the toll the war took on communities was severe and will take years to reverse. This final report documents the process that the Appui de Developpement Assistance Internationale de Developpement de l’Education de Cote d’Ivoire (AIDE-CI) used to increase equitable access to education, especially for girls, in a post-conflict environment.

The AIDE-CI team produced lessons learned reports on each of these three components:

Systems Strengthening

  • Supporting district level education offices can be just as effective as support to the central ministry, and sometimes more welcome.
  • In Côte d’Ivoire, public-private partnerships are relatively new and can be complicated. Many Ivorian nationals working in the private sector are wary about working hand in hand with the government. Thus, building dialogue and understanding between the private sector and the public sector is a long-term endeavor that will be achieved only through small-scale, practical initiatives that demonstrate meaningful returns on the invested partnership.
  • Communities must articulate and prioritize their needs as well as demonstrate ownership of and accountability for investments made on their behalf.

School Construction

  • It is critical to have the right people with the right skills empowered to inform decision-making.
  • Having a set of agreed upon ground rules regarding how change orders occur is vital to a construction project.
  • Community engagement in protecting and maintaining the construction site was essential to building patterns for ongoing management of safe learning environments. Such community involvement at the beginning of construction creates ownership and community pride.

Community Engagement

  • It is imperative to have a sound understanding of key actors and interventions in a community prior to implementing a new project and engaging in community mobilization.
  • Ensuring safe learning spaces necessitated a strong partnership with both central- and regional-level education authorities.
  • Public trainings, when properly conducted, can be extremely effective ways in which to equip communities with useful tools and skills.