Partnerships and networking: harnessing cooperation for better policy

This month the ETF is focusing of the role of partnerships and networking in building better, smarter policies for skills and jobs as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and move into the green and digital transition.

“At the ETF, we believe that through networks and partnerships we can help countries benefit from impact-driven policies and coordinated financial investments” said ETF Director, Cesare Onestini. “We can spread the culture of cooperation nationally and internationally. And we can co-create knowledge, to drive innovation and excellence.”

Joined-up policy

Education and training systems have many moving parts. To be effective in serving the needs of individuals, society and the economy, education, training and skills policies need to synchronise with social, economic, industrial, innovation, environmental and employment policies. This requires cooperation and partnership between multiple government departments and agencies, between the public and private sectors, with social partners, communities and civil society, employers, teachers, parents and students to ensure joined up policy making that balances the needs and interests of multiple stakeholders. And in a fast-moving world, this needs to be a dynamic process.

“There are many policy areas that have a skills dimension” said Xavier Matheu de Cortada, Head of the ETF’s Knowledge Hub Department. “If we think about greening, migration, inclusion, we need to look beyond education and training.” For this reason, the ETF’s strategy 2027 places great emphasis on partnership. The ETF is cooperating, for example, with the International Organization for Migration or the OECD to bring the skills perspective into other fields of policy and to bring other policy perspectives into the debate on education, training and lifelong learning.

Building scale    

As a global knowledge hub and centre of expertise on vocational education and training policy in developing and transition contexts, the ETF works in partnership with organisations that have the financial muscle and presence on the ground to deliver change at scale. Our principal partner in this is the European Union. The ETF provides advice and support to the EU external assistance services in identifying, designing and implementing support actions in the education and training field. It also works in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD) and other major players, such as the ILO, the World Bank or the UNDP. For example, the ETF is involved in a wide range of projects of the ERBD in Turkey, Egypt and Jordan.  

Co-creating knowledge

The process of developing and implementing smart policies requires dialogue and sharing of information, knowledge and experience from different perspectives. “No one has all the answers” says Matheu de Cortdata. “We need to think not only about we can develop in the way of knowledge, but what we can co-create with others.” This means working together with the ETF’s partner countries and international organisations and bringing experts together from different disciplines.

The ETF is working actively on expanding its networks and developing relationships through projects, studies and evidence-based policy analysis to provide the best advance and support on developing and implementing  education and training policies that boost growth, competitiveness and jobs, and provide all people with opportunities to participate actively in society and the economy.

ETF networks

The ETF has established four networks in priority areas, namely vocational excellence, skills anticipation and matching, quality assurance in VET and innovation in teaching and learning.

The ETF is also plays an active role in networks led by others, for example the Inter-Agency Group on Technical and Vocational Education and Training, established by UNESCO.

We collaborate at every level, from public bodies and governments to NGOs, training centres, teachers and communities, because education - sustainable education - is and must continue to be a priority in tomorrow's world.

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