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Driving High Performance for the Egyptian Education Initiative  
Source: Accenture, 2007

January 01, 2007  

Background
In Egypt, education has been placed near the top of the government’s agenda as a driving force for economic growth and global competitiveness.

As with many developing nations, Egypt faces a monumental challenge in delivering quality education to its citizens. The key constraints are the absence of a collaborative and coordinated approach to education among the private and public sectors as well as limited resources. 

A new willingness on the part of political leaders, educators, policy makers and the public to consider innovative approaches has resulted in a new wave of reforms that is expected to dramatically impact Egypt’s economic growth and prosperity.

To support this reform effort, the Egyptian Education Initiative (EEI) was created. This initiative is a partnership between the Egyptian Government and the World Economic Forum and aims to maximize the potential for collaborative public-private partnerships to achieve educational goals.

The EEI’s primary objectives are to improve the development and delivery of education for Egypt’s citizens through the use of IT and advanced technologies, and assist the Egyptian government in achieving its vision of education as a driver for social and economic development.

The EEI initiative is centered on five focus areas, or “tracks”: pre-university education; lifelong learning; higher education; Egypt’s e-learning industry development; and regional e-learning development.

Business Challenge
Cisco, a global IT partner of the Egyptian Education Initiative and a worldwide leader in networking systems, is partnering with Egypt’s E-Learning Competence Center to drive the EEI’s lifelong learning track.

The government established the E-Learning Competence Center (ELCC) to accelerate Egypt’s economic growth by enhancing workforce performance through high-quality, state-of-the-art e-learning solutions.

A key component of the lifelong learning track is the Business Essentials course, a blended curriculum developed by Cisco and piloted in English in Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Poland.

This 52-hour curriculum consisting of Web-based and instructor-led training is designed to help the small and mid-sized business owner who represents 90 percent of all businesses in Egypt. The course focuses on how these businesses can leverage the Internet and other advanced technologies to be more competitive and innovative in their business strategies.

To launch this course in Egypt, Cisco and the ELCC determined that the curriculum needed to go through a series of enhancements, including localization of the content to make it more relevant to the Egyptian audience.

Specifically, Cisco and the ELCC wanted to translate the course into Arabic, make the course more interactive and incorporate local case studies into the curriculum.

Cisco and the ELCC turned to Accenture Development Partnerships as its partner in this initiative. Accenture Development Partnerships is a not-for-profit group within Accenture that provides high-quality consulting services to donors, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other non-profit entities working in developing countries.

To provide expert program management to the e-learning initiative, Accenture Development Partnerships leveraged the capabilities of Accenture Learning BPO Services, a service offering within Accenture that provides learning outsourcing solutions to clients globally. 

Accenture’s learning BPO professionals brought to the project their deep knowledge and expertise in e-learning, and proven execution capabilities which have helped clients around the world to achieve high performance.

How Accenture Helped
Accenture teamed with the ELCC and Cisco on a six-month project to manage the development and rollout of the Business Essentials curriculum in Egypt—including content design and development, course localization and translation, pilot and rollout, and knowledge transfer of e-learning skills to the ELCC.

The project comprised five key stages of work along with overall program management by Accenture:

 1. Project initiation and mobilization—focusing primarily on orientation,
    project planning and conducting initial interviews/workshops with key
    stakeholders.

 2. High level design—developing a high-level audience assessment, defining
    learning objectives and creating high-level design of the Business
    Essentials course.

 3. Detailed design, build and test—building templates, storyboards and
    course materials; developing the test plan; managing course
    localization and translation; and locating trainers for the
    train-the-trainer and pilot sessions.

 4. Pilot—supporting the delivery of the pilot to select non-governmental
    organizations and subject matter experts; developing a measurement
    framework for the pilot; analyzing pilot results; and recommending
    improvements based on feedback. 

 5. First phase implementation—managing the initial phase of the deployment
    plan; measuring the results from the initial rollout; and conducting
    knowledge transfer activities to the ELCC.

Accenture managed a team of ELCC content developers to enhance and localize the Business Essentials course for the Egyptian audience. A local translation company was engaged to translate the course into Arabic.

Local subject matter experts were leveraged to develop case studies focused on small- to mid-sized businesses in Egypt, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

A local, narrative back story was developed and weaved throughout the curriculum to make the content more relevant to the Egyptian audience.

Enhancements to the curriculum included a new content flow to enhance comprehension and more interactivity throughout the course. Additionally, the facilitator guide and student workbook were enhanced and better aligned to the course to help facilitate instructor delivery.

To help the ELCC manage future e-learning projects of this scope, Accenture worked with the ELCC team to transfer knowledge and skills—including Accenture’s program management process and methodologies, and templates used in e-learning development and deployment.

Additionally, Accenture managed the procurement, testing and implementation of both a new learning management system and a courseware authoring tool for the ELCC that would enable content development in the Arabic language.

This new learning infrastructure provides a critical platform for the ELCC to develop and deliver e-learning programs in support of Egypt’s education reform efforts.

High Performance Delivered
Through the teamwork between Accenture, Cisco and the ELCC, the Business Essentials course was successfully launched as part of the Egyptian Education Initiative.

The new course—localized and translated into Arabic, and enhanced to improve interactivity and comprehension–was developed and delivered in a six-month period, a much shorter timeframe than originally anticipated by key stakeholders.

The pilot, which included a group of small and mid-sized business owners and educators in Egypt, was completed in May 2007 and feedback has been outstanding. According to one participant, “I had planned to only attend the first couple of sessions but after seeing how much this course could improve my business, I attended all of the sessions.”

The Business Essentials curriculum has been released for full rollout and ultimately will be available at more than 1,000 IT centers throughout Egypt.

The curriculum is expected to reach an audience of more than 10,000 people in the next three years. Additionally, the new learning management system and courseware authoring tool has been successfully implemented at the ELCC, positioning the center to more effectively deliver e-learning programs in the future.

In addition to the swift and successful delivery of the Business Essentials course, the Accenture team worked closely with the ELCC to ensure knowledge transfer relating to all aspects of e-learning development and delivery.

According to Yasser Kazem, Director of the ELCC, “Accenture placed a strong emphasis on transferring their knowledge and skills in e-learning project delivery to the ELCC staff. This has been a tremendous benefit—our team is now prepared to manage e-learning initiatives of this scope in the future. This skills transfer will have a huge impact on our ability to drive the educational reforms of the Egyptian government.”

And from Caspar Herzberg, Director, IBSG Middle East and Africa, at Cisco, “Accenture did an extraordinary job with this project.

Their expertise in e-learning, their program management capabilities and speed to deliver, as well as their ability to successfully bridge cultures and create training that is relevant to an Egyptian audience—all were critical to the success of this project.

Accenture has made an outstanding contribution to this project and to the success of the Egyptian Education Initiative as a whole.”


About EEI
The Egyptian Education Initiative (EEI) was launched in May 2006 under the auspices of Egypt’s First Lady Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak and under the umbrella of the World Economic Forum’s Global Education Initiative as a progressive model for reforming Egypt’s education system through the utilization of ICTs. Since its launch, the EEI’s multi-stakeholder public-private partnerships has yielded a solid integrated platform and proven effective results. Now with its massive scale, the initiative has crossed boundaries to act as a replica model in different parts of the world. 

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.  Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.  With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance.



      

 

 


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