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EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED: Using Scenario Planning for Reopening Schools in Romania

October 22, 2020



    In a world impacted by COVID-19, making a single plan, on the assumption that the future will look like the past, is no longer sufficient. Instead, being able to use scenario planning to anticipate the different ways the future may play out to make a plan that is robust across different scenarios is emerging as one of the new key competencies of the decision-makers.  

    This session reflected on the experience of using scenario planning to help the Romanian Government get better prepared for reopening and operating schools in the COVID-19 context. The rapid 1.5-month long support that mobilized experts and disruptive thinkers across healthcare, education, ICT, school managers, teachers, parents and students to imagine the possible futures and how best to get prepared for them was a result of a successful Governance and Education cross-GP collaboration. The support is part of the RAS supporting the General Secretariat of the Government of Romania in setting up a Policy Lab, with scenario planning as one of its methods.

    Participants learned how to use scenario planning to help governments to develop robust strategies for immediate responses or mid-term recovery in times of deep uncertainty, and how Ministries of Education can effectively co-create solutions with stakeholders across the delivery chain, including frontline staff, students and parents to safely reopen and operate schools.


    Fadia Saadah, Regional Director, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank


    Roby Senderowitsch, Practice Manager, Governance Global Practice, Europe and Central Asia - West, World Bank 


    Harry Patrinos, Practice Manager, Education Global Practice, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank


    Alberto Leyton, Lead Public Sector Specialist, Governance Global Practice, World Bank

    Alina Sava, Education Specialist, Education Global Practice, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank


    Valentin Sorin Popescu, Director of the Public Policy Unit in the Ministry of Education and Research, Romania 

    Serban Cerkez, Coordinator of the Policy Lab Initiative

    Carmen Lica, Executive Director of the Step by Step Center for Education and Professional Development