As of February 2018, NORRAG hosts the backstopping team supporting the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) with a mandate aimed at strengthening the quality, effectiveness and implementation of SDC’s thematic work on education. The mandate specifically supports SDC’s Education Focal Point (EFP) and team for the implementation of SDC’s new Education Strategy launched in May 2017.
For the first time, this strategy covers both basic education and vocational skills development stressing their relevance and complementarity. It considers education a fundamental human right and a core enabler of sustainable development more broadly. Fostering individual, social and economic development as well as promoting values such as equality, respect, tolerance and dignity is a message that resonates with NORRAG’s own thematic areas and mandate.
The backstopping mandate specifically refers to assistance in the areas of analytical, methodological and thematic support for the EFP and team, communications and content support for the SDC’s Education Network, knowledge and information management, as well as supporting SDC in their policy dialogue with the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
Professor Gita Steiner-Khamsi serves as Chief Technical Advisor for the backstopping mandate, and two new staff members have joined the backstopping team: Barbara Zeus, formerly Education Specialist at UNHCR and with extensive experience in international education, is Team Leader and Coordinator. She is joined by Laetitia Houlmann as Communication and Outreach Coordinator. Laetitia is a former backstopper for SDC and former NORRAG communication officer and has wide-ranging international experience, most recently at UNESCO in Dakar, Senegal. The backstopping team will also draw on NORRAG’s network and existing pool of affiliated international experts to provide additional content-specific support as needed.
The backstopping mandate runs from February 2018 to the end of January 2021.
Photo credit: ©SDC