About the sector – Education


General Information

About 20% of all financial projects supported by HORIZONT3000 belong to the Education sector and about 30% of the Development Workers/Technical Advisors in the Technical Assistance Programme are engaged in capacity-development activities in that sector.

Projects belonging to the sector education are serving the following countries:

  • South Sudan
  • Mozambique
  • Nicaragua
  • Papua New Guinea

Focus areas

Currently, the main thematic concerns of HORIZONT3000 in the sector are:

Educational institutions as development agents in rural and marginalized areas

Education is a human right and in order to be organised effectively in a specific country, the development of the sector has to be based on a programmatic approach under national responsibility and integrating major international stakeholders. HORIZONT3000’s partners are seeking support for geographical and thematic areas not served sufficiently by the national education system, or without proper support for political or cultural reasons (e.g. in in fragile states or indigenous areas).

Vocational education and skills training is a type of education, which is particularly relevant for the development of marginalised and rural areas, but which for many years has been neglected in some parts of the world, in spite of considerable lip-service paid by governments regarding its priority. In contrast, it has remained at the core of HORIZONT3000’s as well as of Austria’s public development cooperation in the education sector. If marginalized regions are to participate in national development and to maintain their cultural identity they have to avail of educational institutions that are building capacities for the local demand and of qualified personnel and leaders prepared to serve the region and its communities.

Universities as well as vocational institutions have an eminent role to play in regional development, which goes far beyond their classical pedagogical function. They are supposed to provide community services and contribute in developing local/regional infrastructure. They are also relevant stakeholders in shaping attitudes and implementing policies e.g. in the areas of gender justice, the prevention of HIV/AIDS, violence, drug abuse, or civic participation. HORIZONT3000 tries to support those functions, and to assist in developing capacities inside universities, vocational schools, agencies and in NGOs working with the Education sector. Most functions are not in the academic mainstream, but allow synergies with activities in other sectors relevant for regional development or even the HORIZONT3000 programme.

Within that main category of HORIZONT3000’s programme in the education sector, interventions are oriented towards the following contents:

  1. Life-skills and vocational training
  2. Formation for leaders and key persons for indigenous communities
  3. Development of vocational/technical schools as service providers for rural areas
  4. Development of tertiary institutions for indigenous and marginalized areas

Management and IT

Based on HORIZONT3000’s experience in its partner countries, those two related thematic areas have been defined as priorities or bottlenecks for our partners. Among other things, they are crucial with regard to access to funding and infrastructural support. HORIZONT3000 assists in the development and implementation of financial and general management procedures at agency, university and school level. Some processes involve establishment of ICT-systems and training of administrative and technical personnel and of management. At school and university level HORIZONT3000 assists in the establishment of procedures and training materials and provides training to management and teaching personnel.

Projects are implemented according to the following sub-categories:

  1. School management for primary, secondary and vocational schools
  2. IT and e-learning in formal education


The focus of HORIZONT3000 in that key sector for capacity development is the development of capacities of stakeholders at vocational and university education level, and on other levels like management, administration and teaching staff, in order to increase the quality of education in particular for the rural and marginalised population. Quality of education in that context also means that it is participative and closely linked to local development needs.

Partner Organisations

In general, HORIZONT3000 cooperates with the following groups of partner organisations:

  • Vocational Institutions
  • Universities
  • Church or government agencies running schools
  • NGOs working in capacity development for educational institutions and marginalized groups

Capacity Development & Knowledge Management

In education, the needs of partners often require development of individual as well as institutional capacities through training in the technical, pedagogical, and the administration and management area, as well as support in the development of structures and processes. In some instances HORIZONT3000 is also involved in the improvement of educational infrastructure.

At society level HORIZONT3000 also tries to enhance the networking of educational institutions with their peers and with regional stakeholders in the education sector.

In the area of knowledge management HORIZONT3000 tries to improve awareness at the partner level, to identify the potential for exchange of experiences and products of its partners and own personnel (e.g. processes and teaching) and experiences material) and to promote their exchange and wider use.

Cross-Cutting Issues

Cross-cutting issues are commonly defined as topics which, by their very nature, have a strong impact on all operations in a given field and, therefore, must receive special attention. For HORIZONT3000, engaged in the field of development cooperation, this means that the topics defined as cross-cutting issues – Gender and Environmental Protection – should be considered in all programmes and projects.


Schools and supporting agencies have an impact on the environment, by the way their processes are organised and their activities are implemented, e.g. by the way they construct, install and maintain their infrastructure; by the way they organise water supply, sanitation, energy and alimentation of the school population etc.

Schools should ideally provide examples of good practice for their communities or local regions. Courses and curricula should be sensitive to the cultural as well as to the physical environment and build competencies for sustainable production and life-styles.


Participation of women in formal education, in particular on secondary level, is not by happenstance one of the key parameters for development in general. It is instrumental for a number of other development indicators like birth-rates, maternal and family health, violence in families and society and in most contexts also for overall economic development.

Education can in as much be a decisive factor for closing the overall gender gap, as in many cases be a typical expression thereof. Schools offer an important access point for working on gender roles and on problem areas like women’s political/community participation, gender based violence, premature marriage and missing sexual and reproductive rights of women.


Elisabeth Moder, Sector coordinator for Education

with funding from