What is an Officially-mandated Program situation?

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An Officially-mandated Program situation is one in which a literacy program has been mandated or legislated by some official entity.


It is possible that you will encounter a situation in which the government, at some level, has mandated or legislated a literacy or education program for a given region of the country or segment of the population.


In many developing countries, this is commonly done, not so much to see a program carried out, but to communicate to people and to involved agencies what they ought to be doing. In such situations, external agencies feel a lot of pressure to develop some kind of a program, and it is usually in their best interests to do so.


In such circumstances, there is often a lack of clarity as to just what type of program is actually needed or mandated. It is not unusual that almost any type of program will be accepted that has any obvious relationship to the official edict.


This means there is usually room to negotiate the type of program your agency is willing to contribute.

Indicating conditions

Here are some indicators of an Officially-mandated Program situation:

  • An official law, decree, or declaration has been made that programs should be launched.
  • Official, but less-binding communications, such as departmental letters or newspaper articles are received or published stating the need for certain programs.
  • Official conversations with competent authorities are used to communicate an official interest in a certain type of program.


    These sorts of communications have to be treated very carefully. Usually, a request or mandate is not official unless it is in writing. However, a verbal communication may carry a lot of weight and have negative consequences if ignored.

  • Government agencies have launched into some sort of program in a concerted manner.

Here are some likely or possible implications of an Officially-mandated Program situation:

  • You or your agency may need to consider significant adjustments in program activities or priorities to respond to this kind of a situation.
  • Any program undertaken under this condition is also likely to be a large program.

  • You may need to put more time and energy into official networking and reporting.
  • There may be delicate policy issues to be worked through.
  • There may be external funding involved, with the purse strings being held by some government agency or international development agency.
  • You may be asked to fill a specialist role rather than an advisory role.
  • There may be a greater need to network and collaborate with other agencies
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Page content last modified: 27 July 1999

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