Case Study

Examining Budget Credibility in Côte d’Ivoire’s Education Sector

In Côte d’Ivoire, since 2015, the Ministry of Planning and Development—the lead agency monitoring progress against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—has accommodated the 17 SDGs into its five-year plans (for the periods 2016-2020 and 2021-2025). Significant budgetary efforts have been made to implement those plans through the various Finance Acts. According to the Ministry of Budget and State Portfolio, the country’s total budgets have gradually increased from 6.4 billion CFA francs in 2017 to 9 billion CFA francs in 2021. The budget execution rates for the years 2017 to 2021, range from budget overspending of 104 percent in 2019, to an underspending of 94, 93, 90 and 96 percent for 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021, respectively.

One of the SDG goals accommodated into Cote d’Ivoire’s five-year plans is SDG 4 on quality education which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Since 2015, the Ivorian government has passed a compulsory schooling law with a view to making schooling mandatory. The law made school attendance compulsory for children aged six to 16, regardless of gender. The implementation of the law, which will require additional investment in terms of classroom construction and teacher recruitment, will entail budgetary efforts from the education sector.

As a result, even though budget reports for the years 2017 through 2019 disclosed that all but personnel-related recurrent expenditures, such as office supplies and maintenance, had been almost 100 percent executed by the education sector for the Ministry of National Education, Technical Education and Vocational Training, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the capital expenditures portion of the education sector’s budget had not been fully implemented from 2017 until 2021. Capital projects completion rates stood at 81 percent for secondary education and 88 percent for higher education in 2018, for example. Furthermore, according to the presentation report on the Ministry of Budget and State Portfolio’s budget execution law for 2020, the Ministry of National Education, Technical Education and Vocational Training implemented 64 percent of its projects per funding source while the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research achieved a 96 percent implementation rate under the same section.

Despite improvements in performance indicators, such as gross enrollment rate and primary completion rate for girls, there are still gaps in girls’ completion of general secondary education. In addition, in 2021, the overall SDG trend in Côte d’Ivoire pointed to SDG 4 being on track, but with performance equal to 50 out of 100. For example, the gross enrollment rate rose from 89 percent in 2011-2012 to 100 percent in 2018-2019, and the primary school completion rate rose from 59 percent in 2010-2011 to 82 percent in 2019-2020. However, the country still reported that only 44 percent of its students in general secondary schools were female as of 2018. This situation calls into question the achievement of the SDG 4 objectives.

This brief aims to understand the reasons for budget underspending in the education sector and to assess its impact on program delivery and SDG 4 on education from 2017 to 2021. Two data collection techniques were used; desk research and interviews with key informants in government entities. The desk research consisted in collecting indicators on the achievement of SDG 4 targets from the archives of the Ministry of National Education, Technical and Vocational Training, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research as well as the Ministry of Planning and Development. As for budgetary information, this included approved budgets and actual expenditures by the three technical ministries involved in education. Interviews were conducted with the Ministry of Budget and State Portfolio and the Ministry of National Education officials.

This publication is a part of Exploring the Connections between Budget Credibility and SDG Implementation.

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Examining Budget Credibility in Côte d’Ivoire’s Education Sector

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Crédibilité budgétaire dans le secteur de l’éducation en Côte-d’Ivoire

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