Sector-Wide Integrated Framework for TVET

Feature | Dhaka | 07 March 2021
What is SWIFT?

Sector-Wide Integrated Framework for TVET (SWIFT) is an integrated framework with agreed result areas of donors and the government to guide the investment for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The framework provides a mechanism to consolidate projects and programs of the government and the donors against mutually agreed national priorities for the TVET sector. SWIFT enables the Ministry of Education (MoE) to upgrade its governance, institutional capacity, financial mechanisms and monitoring systems to achieve desired results in terms of market responsive, skilled and productive workforce. In short, SWIFT is a coordination mechanism aimed at integrating all ongoing and upcoming activities into a harmonized framework.


Bangladesh has quite a long experience of implementing Sector Wide Approach (SWAp) in health and education sector. SWAp provides a platform for 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 . It also helps increase efficiency in implementation by avoiding redundancy and piecemeal efforts, thus increasing synergies in achieving outcomes and reducing transaction and monitoring costs through increased harmonization between government and Development Partners. Considering Bangladesh’s experience in implementing SWAp, the possibility of developing a SWAp covering the whole TVET sub-sector has been explored. The idea of TVET SWAp did not gain ground as an immediate expedient due to the diversified, largely incoherent and complex institutional arrangements for TVET/skills development in Bangladesh. It has also been recognised that transition to a genuinely synchronized TVET SWAp would need to be consensual and well-planned. Conceivably, the SWIFT may constitute a firm foundation for a future SWAp if well-designed, convincingly explained and effectively implemented.

SWIFT is envisioned to develop a system that is demand-driven and responsive to our current and anticipated skills requirements. It would be inclusive in terms of offering the same good opportunities to all across our nation irrespective of gender, ethnicity, disability, geography or other categories of advantage and disadvantage. SWIFT will promote environmentally sound ideas by creatively supporting and heralding Bangladesh’s bright green future. It will also guide to take the challenges and opportunities offered by contemporary technology (e.g. Artificial Intelligence) into consideration. Thus, SWIFT will complement and help integrating all government and development partners’ TVET and skills development investment initiatives. This will ultimately contribute to both Bangladesh’s national development and the professional aspirations and personal fulfilment of the TVET graduates. .

Elements of SWIFT and its Development Process

The Results Framework is the central focus of SWIFT, which includes four result areas: Efficiency, Access and Participation, Quality and Relevance, and Collaboration and Recognition. These result areas have 15 sub result areas, which have been drawn from the most prioritized need of sector. This framework includes intended results, indicators, current and planned interventions, areas of intervention and suggested activities for each of the sub-result areas. The targets and activities of the ongoing and planned projects can be incorporated into the Results Framework by TMED to make the Result Framework more comprehensive. The results framework was constructed through an extensive desk review of relevant plans and documents of the government (e.g. SDG, 7FYP, TVET action plan) and in consultation with the key stakeholders including government agencies and development partners. It was then shared with the development partners for their feedback and validated by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE).

Four pillars has been identified crucial to implement SWIFT in TVET- governance, finance, institutional capacity assessment and strengthening and sector performance monitoring mechanism. These four mechanisms has been explored and frameworks based on the SWIFT result areas have been developed to support the SWIFT conceptualisation and implementation.

Each of these studies have been conducted through extensive review of the existing system and consultation with key stakeholders of government and development partners.

The governance study is the assessment of the existing governance structure (overall structural, including staffing, and operational mechanisms for project governance, coordination and communication mechanism, monitoring and evaluation mechanism, staffing requirements, risks management etc.) of TMED, DTE and BTEB and their capacity to manage development and donor funded projects in relevance to their readiness to implement SWIFT.
Institutional capacity study on the other hand assessed the capacity of TMED and its entities’ capacity to implement the changes mentioned in SWIFT and formulated viable capacity development plan for the entities covering all aspects of sector performance monitoring, finance and governance mechanisms.

The study on financing mechanism examined the possibility of gradual transformation of budget processes towards a joint or integrated programming for TVET under TMED. It also recommended a comprehensive capacity building plan for TMED to address capacity gaps in analysing integrated sector-financing and its linkages with MTBF.

The sector performance monitoring study reviewed the existing mechanisms of TVET related data and information generation and collection, compilation and collation, reporting, monitoring and analysis; identified gaps, developed a monitoring framework, an operationalizing mechanism of Annual Sector Performance Report (ASPR) and an action plan for implementation of SPMF.All these studies have significantly contributed in making SWIFT a comprehensive framework for TVET. However, SWIFT is a living framework and can accommodate ongoing global and national changes in the sector.

How will SWIFT transform TVET?

Given the several but uncoordinated skills development activities initiated by both the government and the development partners in the country, there needs to convergence towards the national strategic plans (e.g. National Education Sector Plan, TVET Action Plan) and global commitments (e.g. SDGs). SWIFT will allow TMED, MoE to set a harmonised and coherent pattern for the development of TVET sub-sector.

Once adopted, SWIFT will –
- Help TMED identify its priority areas of intervention
- Make sure that all projects focus on the common key result areas instead of limited project-specific results
- Identify imperfections and capacity gaps in financial arrangements and governance structure and suggest workable financial management systems and institutional arrangements for a coordinated development of TVET under TMED leadership
- Provide a Sector Performance Monitoring Framework and sector performance reporting format in order to achieve integrated and effective monitoring across the sector, based upon the key indicators
- Contain some recommendations for the policy makers together with suggested short-term, medium-term and long-term actions

Way Forward with SWIFT implementation

Through a rigorous process of stakeholder consultation and review, the SWIFT results framework and the SWIFT concept has been finalised. ILO has been technically supporting TMED in the conceptualisation and development of the SWIFT report. With the guidance of TMED, SWIFT will be disseminated with a greater number of stakeholders to gain acceptance. ILO has proposed further support to TMED to produce guideline and to develop institutional capacity of TMED and relevant entities for implementing SWIFT under TMED’s leadership.