Pakistan has long struggled to provide a national education system that meets the needs of its citizens. Since 2005 USAID has obligated more than $840 million to help improve education in Pakistan and advance the U.S. Government’s broader national security interests in Southern Asia.
USAID/Pakistan’s education program aligned with the United States’ broader strategy for promoting a healthier and better educated population to encourage stability in the region, combat terrorism, and support a secure, economically vibrant, and stable Pakistani democracy. However, the mission did not fully use several key mechanisms that USAID policy calls for to oversee its education program, to help assess and adapt projects before they get off track. Specifically, we identified weaknesses in how USAID conducted site visits, used and followed through on the results of program reports, and measured program performance. Staffing gaps contributed to delays and further hindered USAID’s oversight of the four education projects we reviewed. In addition, the mission did not identify potential unallowable costs during its review of the independent cost estimate for school construction under one project we reviewed.
We made, and the Agency agreed with, five recommendations aimed at improving USAID’s oversight of its Pakistan education program going forward.