SUMMARY OF FINDINGS (Please Limit Text to This Page):
The Education for Development and Democracy Initiative (EDDI) is designed to improve the quality of and technology for African education to assist with Africa's integration into the world community of free-market democracies. The project will establish resource libraries, school-to-school partnerships, university partnerships, democracy partnerships, technology partnerships, young entrepreneurs training, and scholarships and mentoring programs for girls (Annex 1).
This Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) for SPo1 which houses the Education for Development and Democracy Initiative is developed in conformity with Africa Bureau environmental procedures. The program is exclusively technical assistance, monitoring and evaluation, and training programs. No construction, physical infrastructure or any other alteration of the environment will occur. This IEE will be amended if and when new activities are designed or funded through EDDI grants which do not fit fully within the current scope of this IEE. Therefore, the following environmental determination is recommended:
Based on the activity description given above and in Annex 1 and Annex 2, a Categorical Exclusion is recommended in for program supported technical assistance, capacity-building and performance monitoring activities pursuant to 22 CFR 216.2(c)(1)(i) and 216.2(c)(2)(i), (iii) and (v). In accordance with ADS 204, the EDDI team will evaluate future programs funded through EDDI grants and “actively monitor and evaluate … whether there are new or unforeseen environmental consequences arising during implementation … and initiate, modify or end activities as appropriate”.
APPROVAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION RECOMMENDED: (Type Name under Signature Line)
INITIAL OBLIGATION: FY 1999 ESTIMATED COMPLETION DATE: FY 2003
Summary: The purpose of the Education for Development and Democracy initiative is to catalyze major improvements in African education systems by linking them, through modern information technology, to the models, experiences and technologies that have served U.S. education so well.
Four decades of development experience have made it clear that one of the most important determinants of development success is the level of education or human resource development of a country. But African education systems have been unable to meet effectively the challenges created by a rapidly growing school-age population and quality has deteriorated. Universities suffer from uncertain funding and an archaic mission -- producing bureaucrats and functionaires. The challenge is to make universities more relevant, primary systems more equitable and efficient, and skills training more widely available. The direct beneficiaries of this activity will be primary and secondary schools and their attendant communities where resource centers will be developed, African institutions of higher education with improved management and curricula, and the broad array of individuals receiving training in various skills and disciplines..
Key Results: The Education for Democracy Initiative is just getting started. Over FY99 we will:
- establish programs to strengthen African Universities through partnerships with American institutions of higher learning;
- establish a program for providing scholarships and mentoring for girls
- develop a number of resource centers which will introduce schools and their communities to modern information technology;
- create the Ron Brown Institute, which will provide internships for young promising African businesspeople in U.S. firms in Africa
- provide training in economic and governance skills for a number of Africans through partnerships with U.S. organizations.
Performance and Prospects: Given the newness of the program it is too early too discuss performance, potential problems, and what we are learning through the implementation of the initiative.
Other Donors: This program will be working with ministries of education, African universities and other institutions of higher learning, and virtually all donors active in African education.
Principal Contractors, Grantees, and Agencies: This initiative is built around the active participation of a large number of U.S. partners including the Peace Corps, United States Information Agency, the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Defense, U.S. universities and community colleges, U.S. businesses (particularly computer manufacturers and information producers), U.S. foundations, non-governmental associations such as parent-teachers associations, and state and local governments. These will be partnership relations, not contractual ones, and each partner is expected to bring resources that match or exceed USAID resources.
Selected Performance Measures:
- At least five African universities becoming more financially independent, and at least ten reorienting their mandate to provide more services to the community.
- The quality of learning increased in at least 20,000 schools resulting in reduction of repeater rates of 10% or more.
- Twenty-five regional and national Educational Reform Networks strengthened, comprised of the leading educational policy-makers and practitioners in the United States and Africa.
- Twenty-five Democracy Networks strengthened, where journalists, NGOs, women's advocacy, parliamentarians and civic leaders can jointly
Annex 2. Description for Activity The Education for Development and Democracy Initiative (EDDI) is designed to improve the quality of and technology for African education to assist with Africa’s integration into the world economy of free-market democracies. This intergovernmental initiative is a result of President William Clinton’s March 1998 visit to Africa and reflects his commitment to strengthen educational systems and democratic principles, and to fortify and extend the vital developmental partnership between America and Africa.
EDDI, coordinated at the National Security Council level, is an organized effort among the Department of State, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Information Agency (USIA), and the Peace Corps as the major implementers, with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Defense (DOD), and Department of Labor (DoL), among others, having supporting roles.
The specific purpose of EDDI is to catalyze major improvements in African education systems by linking them, through modern information technology, to the models, experiences and technologies that have well served U. S. education. The overarching purpose is to promote the building of democracy by both government and civil society. This initiative will help alleviate the impact of African economic difficulties and rapid population growth which have increased the numbers of students in schools, diminished the quality of education, and hindered the development of democracy. Africa faces three major challenges in this regard: (1) providing quality basic education for the 50% of its population which is below the age of 15 years; (2) providing the skills required to post-secondary students so that Africa can participate effectively in the global economy; and (3) providing the skills and support for government and civil society to practice democracy.
Four decades of development experience have made it clear that one of the most important determinants of development success is the level of education or human resource development of a country. Unfortunately, the African education systems have largely been unable to meet effectively the challenges created by a rapidly growing school-age population and quality has deteriorated. Universities have suffered from uncertain funding. The challenge is to make universities more relevant, primary systems more efficient and equitable, and skills training more widely available. In doing so, Africa will be better placed to take advantage of future economic growth and trade opportunities.
EDDI will work to underscore democratic institutions, free and open markets, an informed and educated populace, a vibrant civil society, and a relationship between state and society that encourages pluralism, participation, and peaceful conflict resolution. There are four strategic objectives in the democracy sector: (a) rule of law and respect for human rights strengthened; (b) credible and competitive political processes encouraged; (c) development of a politically active civil society promoted; and (d) transparent and accountable government institutions encouraged. Progress in all four areas is necessary to achieve sustainable democracy. EDDI will work to encourage democracy based on intrinsic values that rest in the ideals of liberty, personal and civic freedom, and government of, for, and by the people.
Activities that will be funded by EDDI include: resources centers, school-to-school partnerships, university partnerships, democracy partnerships, technology partnerships, young entrepreneurs training, girls’ mentoring, and networks, and Ambassadors scholarships for girls.