2.2 Undertaking Joint Activities
40. There are many possible joint activities among countries in support of national efforts to implement action plans for basic education. Joint activities should be designed to exploit economies of scale and the comparative advantages of participating countries. Six areas where this form of regional collaboration seems particularly appropriate are: (i) training of key personnel, such as planners, managers, teacher educators, researchers, etc.; (ii) efforts to improve information collection and analysis; (iii) research; (iv) production of educational materials; (v) use of communication media to meet basic learning needs; and (vi) management and use of distance education services. Here, too, there are several existing mechanisms that could be utilized to foster such activities, including UNESCO's International Institute of Educational Planning and its networks of trainees and research as well as IBE's information network and the Unesco Institute for Education; the five networks for educational innovation operating under UNESCO's auspices; the research and review advisory groups (RRAGs) associated with the International Development Research Centre; the Commonwealth of Learning; the Asian Cultural Center for UNESCO; the participatory network established by the International Council for Adult Education; and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, which links major national research institutions in some 35 countries. Certain multilateral and bilateral development agencies that have accumulated valuable experience in one or more of these areas might be interested in participating in joint activities. The five United Nations regional commissions could provide further support to such regional collaboration, especially by mobilizing policymakers to take appropriate action.
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