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*LAYERS

Institutional framework

On the other side of the world, a more recently formed system is emerging that reflects an intentional design process. ECCE in Seychelles, the archipelago nation off the east coast of the African continent, evolved from a tradition of fragmentation into a well-structured system of services. The success of the Seychelles model is based on the creation of a strong coordination entity, the Institute of Early Childhood Development (IECD). Following the 2020 issuance of the UNESCO Moscow Framework for Action and Cooperation, Seychelles adopted a national ECCE policy to protect and honor the rights and needs of children. At first, a national committee—what this System Prototype refers to as a System Design Committee, or SDC—was established representing different stakeholders in the country for the purposes of exchanging information and coordinating policies and practices. Over time, a coherent set of ECCE policies emerged and the level of quality of ECCE services was raised. The Seychelles case represents the process of elevating ECCE from fragmented to system status, eventually institutionalized through the establishment of the IECD.
Coordination does not imply the diminution but rather the strengthening of services, which remain provided by traditional ministries. IECD strengthens each ministry, in part through furnishing the coordinating action necessary for the system to work more efficiently. The IECD is overseen by a governance committee that comprises representatives from the public sector—Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Protection and Community Development, Ministry of Health (in charge of Nutrition issues as well)—civil society (mostly NGOs and CBOs), and the private sector (http://www.iecd.gov.sc/about-us/). The IECD coordinates all stakeholders to ensure services meet national and international goals. A centralized planning process (World Bank 2016, IECD 2017), consistent legislation, and the revision of plans every five years ensures an effective set of policies and their implementation. Responsibilities of the IECD include communication with the public in order to raise awareness and public literacy around childhood welfare issues.
Accordingly, Seychelles stands out as one example of how to bring planning and coordination to previously fragmented and underdeveloped ECCE services. Results include pre-primary enrollment rate that exceeds 95 percent1 and success in the implementation of other ECCE policies and services, including for those with special needs and disabilities. In addition, the IECD has been instrumental in integrating ECCE services into the country’s overall socio-economic development and poverty reduction strategy.
These two examples differ in the way they have conceptualized and built their ECCE systems, yet they nevertheless share telling commonalities. First, both have been very deliberate and considered about the design of their ECCE systems and have used ECCE as the pathway to success in wider societal issues. Second, they have developed strong practices of ongoing collaboration, coordination, and improvement among the different service providers and across governmental and non-governmental parties. Third, they have based their systems in strong legal guarantees for children. And, fourth, each has overcome ECCE fragmentation. In the Nordic case this has emerged from a strong cultural history of communitarian problem solving. In Seychelles, it has emerged from a purposeful design process that strengthened key elements of the system and led to the forming a central planning entity to coordinate and connect ECCE services.

*INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

Probes

Describe

Who are the organizational players relevant to ECCE—including traditional government organizations, supporting organizations, providers of services, or other stakeholder organizations—whether public, nonprofit, or private?

Asses

Have all appropriate organizations been included across and within each ECCE sector? Have regional and municipal government organizations been included? Have all appropriate non-profit organizations, international organizations, and private firms been included? Are there plans to validate this list of players with key experts and the stakeholders themselves?
Which of these organizations are currently involved, are involved tangentially but whose role may need to change, or are new to ECCE? How might their needs differ?
Which organizations are key to the success of the design of the system and must be involved in decision-making and which are interested parties who need to be consulted but not necessarily involved in design?
Which organizations are key to the success of the implementation of the system and must be involved in decision-making and which are interested parties who need to be consulted but not necessarily involved in implementation?
Are organizational players currently capable of carrying out new or enhanced responsibilities? What organizational capacities will need to be enhanced and who will undertake that capacity development? Do organizations have access to sufficient pools of skilled human resources to carry out the designed ECCE program?
What other (non-organizational) stakeholders groups (e.g., parents, professionals, researchers) should be involved in design and implementation and how will their views be represented?
What other (non-organizational) stakeholders groups (e.g., parents, professionals, researchers) should be involved in design and implementation and how will their views be represented?

Benchmark

What approaches for involving stakeholders exist within country or internationally that can be used as models?
What current inter-organizational arrangements/strengths within country or internationally seem to be successful and can be used as models? What arrangements seem to be not advisable in this context?

Plan and Design

What roles will each of the organizational players play? Are roles and responsibilities clear and well-defined?
Do players currently have authority to undertake their new responsibilities? Will changes (e.g., legal, policy, organizational) need to be made to provide necessary authority?
Are players currently capable of carrying out new or enhanced responsibilities? What new or revised operating/business practices will players be expected to adopt? What organizational capacities will need to be enhanced and who will undertake that capacity development? Do these organizations have access to sufficient pools of skilled human resources to carry out the designed ECCE program?
What new partnering arrangements, organizational structures, inter-organizational agreements, coordinating bodies, or connections/ties must be established across and within these players to ensure integration of services, proper coordination, and adequate communication? What existing strengths or preexisting models can be built upon?
How will oversight/regulation/accountability be achieved for involved organizations?
Where is institutional conflict and friction (e.g. principal-agent problems) likely to develop as a result of changed responsibilities and resources? Where are obstacles likely to be encountered?
Is this framework consistent with the contents of the other frameworks?
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