Case Studies

Leveraging Regional Collaboration: A Case Study on the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for OOSC and Youth

This publication on ASEAN policy and programming is a mild departure from EAC's previous case studies, which have focussed primarily on identifying, enrolling and educating OOSC. While these factors are addressed in the EAC/UNESCO ASEAN project, an additional emphasis on policy development in a regional context is different from our latter efforts. EAC now offers a case study that provides insight into the policy development process across ten countries, resulting in a Declaration for reaching OOSC that was elaborated, signed and ratified by each country. Moreover, this case study provides details on the mitigation efforts in three ASEAN member countries to enrol over 50,000 OOSC and the associated education provision.

Leveraging Regional Collaboration: A Case Study on the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for OOSC and Youth

Though progress has been made in reducing the number of out of school children and youth (OOSCY) in Southeast Asia, millions of primary and secondary school-aged children remain out of school across the region. To address the different barriers facing out of school children (OOSC) therein, Educate A Child (EAC) and UNESCO Bangkok partnered to support enrolling and retaining OOSC in ten Southeast Asian countries through research, policy advocacy, capacity development and the scaling up of flexible-learning strategies.

With the aim of contributing to the body of global knowledge on OOSC, EAC worked with Results for Development (R4D) to conduct an in-depth case study to document and analyse ASEAN’s regional approach to addressing OOSC.

The key findings of the case study pointed to the importance of both catalytic action and partnerships. Catalytic support from EAC and UNESCO Bangkok as well as follow-on engagement from UNICEF greatly contributed to the development and impact of the Declaration, including results seen at the country level. This consolidated several key strengths that had been built over time:

  • An existing culture of collaboration and mutual respect within the region helped encourage ASEAN member states to develop and adopt the Declaration;
  • The influence and organisational structure of ASEAN was a key enabler to achieving government buy-in to the Declaration and subsequent regional activities; and
  • The ASEAN states were already aware of the OOSC problem in their region and this set of activities in the project provided a useful point from which to propel action.

The findings also pointed to the political sensitivity surrounding migrant children, noting that that could serve as an exclusionary factor and a barrier to enabling all OOSC to fulfil their right to a quality education.


Publication Date: 
October 11, 2020



EAC partnered with UNESCO to help realise Sustainable Development Goal 4 (ensure inclusive and quality education for all), as well as the former Millennium Development Goal 2 (achieve universal primary education). To that end, the two have joined in partnership to implement education interventions in 11 countries to reach OOSC in Asia and the Middle East.