Assessment of USAID Afghanistan Education Programs
Analysis and Lessons Learned Study
This report provides an assessment of USAID's programs in education in Afghanistan implemented between 2003 and 2016. This review is performed in response to a recommendation issued by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) that called for a sector-wide assessment of progress on the basis of existing documentation, including previous independent evaluations of USAID's projects. This study has synthesized results from across all relevant programs and seeks to provide an assessment of USAID's progress in the education sector to date.This study consisted of a desk review of primary documentation related to the USAID programs, implemented from 2003 to 2016. This documentation was supplemented with other third-party data, a literature review, and key informant interviews.
Despite challenges in impact and outcome tracking for programs focused on improving access to education, the results were overwhelmingly positive in their scope and reach, and USAID's programs played a pivotal role in improving access to education for many thousands of children, youth and adults. USAID made headway in improving the quality of education, particularly in concentrating on teacher education, which helped enable some institutional changes to improve the delivery of education as well as serving as a catalyst for other international donors to intervene.
Quality is increasingly a focus for USAID moving forward, as represented in investments in learning assessment and early grade reading projects. A smaller proportion of projects focused on capacity building of education institutions, and these have improved capacity and contributed to improvements in educational policy in Afghanistan, primarily at the MoE level in Kabul, though less so in the provinces. However, most capacity-building-focused activities were not well-documented in terms of results achieved and structural level impacts have not been formally measured in a systematic way or methodically attributed to USAID.