In response to this, the AGEPA initiative sought to build countries' institutional capacity on education management issues, through technical assistance and multi-country knowledge exchanges. More specifically, the program supported countries in the design, implementation, evaluation and scale up of concrete plans to address management challenges in their primary education systems. It focused on two areas: (i) a more efficient allocation of resources to schools, particularly of teachers; and (ii) more accountable and better managed schools, and ultimately achieve better student learning outcomes.
AGEPA was launched at an inaugural workshop in Madagascar in December 2003. Since then three more regional workshops have assembled the participating countries for experience exchanges and expert feedback, in Mauritania in 2004, in Senegal in 2006; and in Niger in 2009 respectively. Countries associated with the initiative are Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
Over the course of the initiative, several countries have fully or partially implemented and evaluated the management action plans developed. The AGEPA pilot program yielded useful insights about what it takes to strengthen teaching and learning processes at the school level and engaging communities; as well as information about the major constraints for better leadership of education systems. The initiative evolved considerably, in terms of countries, partners, knowledge assets created and international interest in education management issues. Country demand for technical assistance in the area of education and school management has been continuously growing.