URC Wins MCC Contract to Improve Guatemala's Education Sector

In anticipation of awarding a Threshold Program to the Government of Guatemala, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has chosen URC to conduct an analysis of Guatemala's education sector, to design future educational programming, and (as an option) to provide technical assistance to education programming over three years. Before entering into country Compacts, MCC focuses on specific, targeted issue areas to boost a country's eligibility for Compact award. Educational quality in Guatemala is among the weakest in Latin America, and so URC's new MCC-funded educational assessment and program design activities will allow us to extend our mission of addressing poverty and improving the quality of life in Guatemala, where we have managed development programming for more than 20 years.

Significantly, the educational assessment and design work comes through a new contract mechanism URC received in October 2013 focusing on health and education. MCC is making extensive use of this contracting mechanism to acquire services needed to accomplish its mission of helping the world's poorest countries reduce poverty through economic growth.

URC's five-person team will conduct a detailed, six-month assessment of Guatemala's education sector and share recommendations for targeted education policy reforms with MCC, the Ministry of Education, and other stakeholders. The team will then design educational programming based on these recommendations. The work will emphasize vocational/technical education, gender sensitive programming to ensure the needs of girls are adequately met as well as those of boys, cost-effectiveness, monitoring and evaluation, country ownership, and sustainability. MCC intends that these activities will inform Guatemala's broader educational policy agenda and the activities of other development partners operating in-country.

Dr. Felix Alvarado will lead URC's assessment team, which will also comprise three Guatemalan nationals and URC Guatemala Country Director Hernan Delgado, who will serve as in-country Senior Technical Advisor. The team will use key findings from Guatemala's Education Strategy and a separately contracted constraints analysis, which will identify barriers to economic growth. The URC team will assess the quality of and access to education; examine the interplay among health, nutrition, and educational programming; and explore vocational education and training opportunities.

A Guatemalan schoolgirl learns about nutrition and good health at a fair held by the USAID Nutri-Salud project. Photo by Lucia Mayorga, URC.
A Guatemalan schoolgirl learns about nutrition and good health at a fair held by the USAID Nutri-Salud project. Photo by Lucia Mayorga, URC.
Date 
November 26, 2013
Authors 
Douglas Kerr, Vice President of Opportunity Development and Communications, and Niambi Wilder, Communications Specialist
Regions/ Countries