Skills Governance

Sector Wide Approach (SWAp)

Feature | Dhaka | 03 February 2020
The Concept of SWAp

A SWAp is a systematic approach allowing development partners (DPs) to work together in partnership with government by pooling resources into common basket to support sector/subsector-wide development in an integrated manner under the government’s common policy framework . Such arrangement can ease the burden on recipient governments of dealing separately with large number of donors .

SWAps are expected to help increase efficiency in implementation by (a) avoiding duplicative and piecemeal efforts, thus increasing synergies in achieving outcomes; (b) increasing harmonization of DP and government implementation procedures (e.g., procurement; accounting; reporting; and programme management integrated into the executing agency’s normal operations, rather than separate Program Implementation Units), thus reducing transaction costs on both sides; and (c) encouraging the government and DPs to coordinate closely through special mechanisms for policy dialogue and fiduciary risk management led by the government, thus by reducing monitoring costs.

Although there is variation in the interpretation of SWAps, the most accepted definition comprises the type of development cooperation in which:

• All significant public funding for the sector supports a single sector policy and expenditure programme;
• Under Government leadership;
• With common approaches adopted across the sector by all funding parties;
• A progression towards relying on Government procedures to disburse and account for all public expenditure, however funded.

Bangladesh’s Experience in SWAp

The Government of Bangladesh has considerable experience in designing and implementing large SWAps in the health and primary education sectors. A secondary education SWAp is also now operational, while a SWAp development process is initiated by BNFE on non-formal education.

The Government has now initiated a SWAp in Bangladesh TVET. The Technical and Madrasah Education Division (TMED) of the Ministry of Education has constituted a Steering Committee under the chairmanship of the Secretary, TMED to lead the process.
‘The Skills 21 – Empowering citizens for inclusive and sustainable growth’ project, funded by the EU and under implementation of the ILO, is assisting the Government in designing the elements and mechanisms of a TVET SWAp.
The TVET SWAp is at its design phase. It is time to learn from the experiences of other SWAps, the challenges they faced and the best practices to showcase. The Round Table today will serve as a platform for knowledge sharing to help put in place the architecture of an effective TVET SWAp.

Skills 21 has been done so far

• Developed the roadmap for TVET SWAp
• TVET situation analysis to identify priorities for SWAp 
• Reviewed Technical and Madrasah Education Division’s (TMED) Sustainable Development Goals action plan and TMED action plan
• Mapped and listed DPs’ priorities and future investment plan in different result areas in TVET

Skills 21 project is a joint initiative of the Government of Bangladesh and the International Labour Organization (ILO), funded by the European Union. The project seeks to increase productivity and employment opportunities through an environmentally conscious, inclusive, demand-driven, and interlinked skills development system responding to the needs of the labour market.