USAID-funded Jordan Technical Assistance Program to focus on institutional changes
May 12, 2021
A new U.S. government program to improve the Jordanian government’s ability to meet the burgeoning educational needs of the country’s school-age and youth populations has been awarded to Creative Associates International.
Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the five-year Jordan Technical Assistance Program seeks to transform the organizational culture and improve the abilities within the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth to ensure officials can implement much-needed reforms.
“The Royal Family and the government have made education and youth high priorities,” says Leland Kruvant, President and CEO of Creative. “With the support of USAID, our team and implementing partners are eager to support Jordan’s renewed commitment to develop and implement modern, results-driven education practices.”
Despite the government’s best intentions, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Youth continue to confront a myriad of internal challenges, particularly systemic barriers, resource limitations, poor coordination among agencies and reliable metrics, among others. Externally, the public education system is facing overcrowding in schools, an ongoing influx of Syrian refugees and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to the Jordan Technical Assistance Program, the government is undertaking numerous initiatives, including a push to achieve universal kindergarten, a new multi-sectoral National Youth Strategy 2019-2024, a target for building 600 schools in the next 10 years, and shifting from humanitarian to development assistance for Syrian refugees, among other things.
Eileen St. George, PhD., Vice President of Creative’s Education Division, says this new program builds on the extensive investments made to date by USAID, the Jordanian government and multilateral donors. The Jordan Technical Assistance Program seeks to transcend these entities and the talent that resides within them to achieve greater and sustained positive impact, she says.
“This new program offers an exciting opportunity to holistically view the institutions – their organizational culture, capacity and systems – and recognize that the civil servants who make up these institutions are the transformational agents to the change desired,” St. George says.
Creative will implement the program with two Jordanian-based organizations, EdviseMe and ConsultUS, and the Training Resources Group of Arlington, Virginia.
Together, they will provide technical assistance in the development, roll-out, and tracking of policies and procedures to incorporate international best practices for public education and youth programming. Among the many activities in the Jordan Technical Assistance Program, it will support curriculum development, promote inclusive learning techniques, improve the skills of teachers and school managers and other tangible activities that ultimately support changing the organizational culture within the two ministries and relevant agencies.
Externally, the new program will support Jordan’s outreach and behavioral change communications initiatives that are aimed at creating a culture of reading, the inclusion of vulnerable children, and increased youth engagement.
St. George remarks that the new program builds on Creative’s previous, successful programmatic work in the country.
“We are thrilled to be returning to lead the USAID–funded Jordan Technical Assistance Program,” St. George says. “Through our past projects, Creative is known for our collaborative, committed and effective partnership with the Ministry of Education in tackling their major reform priorities.”
Among the previous programs in Jordan, Creative implemented the Education Reform Support Program, Learning Environment Technical Support and the Rural Community Clusters Development Program.