Educational Assessment and Planning Assist Mission

The Education Capability Assessment and Planning (ECAP) Framework provides a process for developing countries to establish sustainable nuclear education including a framework for planning and assessing the potential of higher education’s contribution to the promotion and development of nuclear science and technology to meet development priorities.

Implementing nuclear science and technology and the requisite educational system, in developing countries is a delicate balance where factors such as social acceptance, resource mobilization, human capital, job opportunities, recruitment sustainability and nuclear contributions to socioeconomic development, need to be carefully considered in order to derive maximum benefits from nuclear education, science and technology. Some of the common challenges in this regard, include:

  • a shortage of qualified and experienced personnel in various fields of nuclear applications
  • mismatches and gaps exists between specialties of graduates and actual labor market requirements
  • a need for appropriate national policy development and a programme framework for establishing and realizing appropriate funding priorities
  • strengthening the alignment and coordination of the roles of key stakeholders such as different ministries, government departments and agencies for understanding and promoting the contribution of nuclear science and engineering towards sustainable socio-economic development

The ECAP Assist Missions covers both strategic and methodological aspects to establishing sustainable nuclear education as well as practical guidelines on how to facilitate the collaboration between key stakeholders from education, government and industry.

The result of the ECAP Process (cf. Section 2) can contribute towards the development of national strategies and action plans, as well as a national project proposal under the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme. Currently the approach is being piloted in developing countries as appropriate.


The overall objective of the ECAP Mission is to assist the Member States (MS) in arriving at programmes or strategies for nuclear education that will support the MS development strategies for sectors where nuclear techniques are applied, including their monitoring mechanisms. To this end, the ECAP Assist Mission provides a forum for exchanging experiences and information on the implementation of sustainable nuclear education programmes, including the presenting of lessons learned and good practices as well as to provide recommendations to enhance and continuously improve government-education-industry interaction and coordination necessary for achieving sustainable national nuclear education programmes.

Figure 1: Nuclear Education Sustainability Considerations

Specific objectives of the ECAP Assist mission include:

  • improve understanding of the strategic importance, shared responsibility, and specific challenges to establishing and sustaining the nuclear education needed for the promotion and development of nuclear science and technology— including planning and assessment of, sustainable national nuclear science and technology educational programmes
  • discuss common concerns, issues and challenges related to the institutional coordination for nuclear education, science and technology at national level to leverage resources and build capability
  • develop an indicator system, involving government, education and industry stakeholders, for the planning and monitoring of national nuclear education programmes, policies and strategic plans that provides information on their current status and future sustainability

The emphasis of the ECAP Assist Mission is on the following 6 nuclear education sustainability considerations as shown in Figure 1:

ECAP Process

The ECAP process takes place in four phases as shown in Figure 2 and can be done in a series of 4 separate missions with the assistance of the IAEA as part of the ECAP Assist Visit. The four phases can be completed within a span of 2-4 years depending on the maturity levels of the nuclear education and allied institutions from government and industry in the country.

The main phases of the ECAP Process are depicted below.

  • Phase I: Establish a baseline for nuclear education resources and capabilities
  • Phase II: Optimize collaboration between stakeholders.
  • Phase III: Develop strategy and implementation guidelines
  • Phase IV: Produce national benchmarks for monitoring and evaluating progress

Figure 2: Stepwise Process for Sustainable National Nuclear Education System

Target Organization/institution

  • statutory national nuclear stakeholders, such as Ministries, Commissions, NEPIOs, and related stakeholders and intuitions, looking to coordinate and/or network nuclear education programmes between several institutions nationally in order to develop human and organizational capacity
  • educational organisations, as well as national university commissions and accreditation bodies in nuclear and allied STEM fields
  • policy- and decision-makers involved with higher education (e.g. ministry of education, and policy makers concerned with science and technology) and training
  • other stakeholders, such as regulatory bodies, technical support organizations, research and development institutions and industries, that have a stake in nuclear competence and Human Resource Development (HRD)

How to Request

The ECAP Assist Visit can be requested directly through the letter addressed to the IAEA DDG for Nuclear Energy or through the official Technical Cooperation communication channel (National Liaison Officer). Duration of the Assist Visit on ECAP depends on the maturity and scope of the nuclear priorities in a Member State.

For more information please contact the Scientific Secretary K. Hanamitsu at: NKM-Contact