The Pacific Community provided a platform to 15 participating countries and implementation agents to share their experiences and progress against the outcomes of the Pacific Regional Education Framework (PacREF).
The three-day PacREF MEL (Monitoring Evaluation and Learning) annual reflection workshop in October 2023 in Nadi, Fiji, allowed a participatory and flexible approach to evaluating PacREF interventions in countries and capturing a range of perspectives on the programme outcomes and impact.
“Key to the success of the MEL framework is a cohesive network with Implementing Agencies (IAs) and the country’s contact person to provide important feedback on activity implementations and important lessons gathered,” said SPC's Educational Quality and Assessment Programme Implementation Adviser, Seci Waqabaca.
PacREF is a regional policy formally endorsed by the Forum Education Ministers’ Meeting (FEdMM), which is designed to raise the quality of schooling and student outcomes across the Pacific equitably.
Waqabaca further explained that after two years and two months of PacREF implementation, “It will be important to draw on important observable changes noted in terms of progress of the 65 activities under the IRP and picking up qualitative evidence of changes and lessons learnt”.
Apart from providing a platform to the participating countries, the workshop also identifies and documents evidence of changes or outcomes and captures their perspectives on the PacREF implementation and its impact.
The workshop also identified unexpected or unintended outcomes, which provides valuable insights for programme improvement and innovation and provides the opportunity for participants to discuss the status of country activities and the form of support they require to support their roles.
Federated States of Micronesia Ministry of Education Assistant Secretary, Wayne Mendiola highlighted that the workshop was valuable to him personally, “I learnt to share with other people and listen to their stories so we can find common grounds for our collaborative work, and this was a very good way to learn what are the ways moving forward in making sure that we can implement the activities under PacREF within our government or nation”.
Mendiola further added the benefit of the workshop in charting the way forward, “learning the support and assistance that will be coming from the implementing agencies, it's very much going to be helpful in the work that we do in trying to chart our way forward in the next coming years.”
Waqabaca added that as part of the monitoring component, MEL will continue to work closely with IAs and participating countries to provide feedback regarding the implementation of PacREF activities and the immediate and longer-term impacts of their implementation.
SPC is involved in a continuous formative assessment of the qualitative aspect of the PacREF programme and sharing the lessons picked up during implementation for improvement measures.