‘The JFA is a pooled fund supporting the implementation of the Education Development Strategic Plan (EDSP 3). The JFA is supported by Belgium, Finland, Germany, Ireland and Norway – the Joint Financing Partners (JFPs). For the period 2010–2015, JFA spent a total amount of €64.1 million in support of the education sector plan; for 2016–2019 about €95 million will be available. Belgium joined JFA in 2013 with a total contribution of €12 million for the period 2013-2017.
JFA aims at supporting foundational reforms and new policies in education. Besides a financial contribution, also policy dialogue, strategic planning and good financial management are at the centre of the support to JFA. As such, JFA has been a key driver for structural improvements of the management of the education system (sector M&E, planning and budget, audit).
The JFA set-up facilitates harmonisation and coordination amongst development partners and reduces the transaction costs for the Ministry of Education. The latter ministry has full ownership of the activities supported by JFA as it is fully aligned to the Palestinian education plan.
Belgium actively monitors sector performance and participates in the policy dialogue. From the Belgian side, the dialogue is led by the Belgian Consulate-General. An Education Expert and a PFM Expert support the Consulate-General to effectively carry out its sector monitoring and policy dialogue. They also assist Belgium in their role as Co-chair of the Education Sector Working Group (ESWG), contribute to the work of the JFPs towards MOEHE, and more generally, to support MOEHE in the achievement of the EDSP goals.
Although the financial support to JFA is not earmarked to specific sub-sectors, the Belgian focus in the policy dialogue is on (i) quality of education, (ii) Technical and Vocational Education and Training (iii), Gaza, East-Jerusalem and Area C, and (iv) improvement of the management system (Public Finance Management, Monitoring & Evaluation …)’.