Shift in USAID Education Activities May Diminish Efforts To Alleviate Strains on Lebanese Public Schools

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In September 2014, USAID/Lebanon initiated the Quality Instruction Toward Access and Basic Education Improvement Project to improve the quality and overall state of Lebanon’s public school system including expanding equitable access, improving learning outcomes, and alleviating strains to the system caused by the continuing influx of Syrian refugee children. Around the same time, Lebanon’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education began implementing Reaching All Children with Education (RACE), a project supported by international pledges of more than $600 million. RACE altered the Ministry’s plan for integrating USAID/Lebanon project activities into its public school strategy. 

OIG sought to understand the project’s primary challenges and actions USAID/Lebanon took to overcome them, and determine whether the project would achieve its goal. The project's main challenge was starting without full Ministry endorsement of the planned activities and approach. Ultimately, the Ministry asked USAID to abandon two of the project’s flagship activities and instead requested procurement of buses and information and communications technology for resource rooms in selected schools. USAID/Lebanon was able to address this request. 

OIG made two recommendations aimed at helping USAID/Lebanon improve implementation of the project’s procurement initiative by aligning them with activity goals—namely, to maximize and sustain the benefits of the buses and technology for vulnerable students.