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Final Report of the Second Meeting, 2001

VI. Further issues raised by the Working Group

Some issue surfaced in discussion or were mentioned repeatedly which were not on the agenda or the subject of specific debate. They are listed here because they were noticeable and because they may need further debate in this or another forum.

Partnership

This was a constant theme, acknowledged where it is working and urged where it is not. It is also a central means of developing a comprehensive EFA strategy. In countries where mechanisms for dialogue among United Nations agencies and other actors exist, full use should be made of them to strengthen links between EFA and the broader development agenda. UNESCO’s role as coordinating agency in EFA still needs clarification – it is through the interaction of such
meetings as the Working Group that its role becomes clearer. The meeting demonstrated partnership in action and also underlined the need for all actors – national, regional and international – continually to strive to improve it.

Adult literacy and lifelong learning

This is a Dakar goal, but was hardly addressed in the meeting. It was raised by several participants, but did not figure as a central concern in the discussions. The size of the problem would merit not only further attention, but active development of plans – the envisaged United Nations literacy decade, fully integrated into EFA, should take this forward, in full inter-agency partnership.

Partnership with the private sector

This was mentioned several times in the hope of generating financial and other cooperation, and was proposed as a flagship programme, but no specific ideas, examples or approaches were mentioned.

Use of ICTs in EFA

Again, this was a concern repeated a number of times and was proposed as flagship programme. The theme merits greater discussion, particularly how to move from a concern for resource-poor environments to concerted efforts to understand better how ICTs will practically benefit learners, child and adult, in the poorest countries and in culturally and linguistically diverse contexts.

Governance issues

Issues such as decentralization, engagement with civil society, ministerial boundaries, community involvement and others underlay much of the discussion about the development, ownership and implementation of national action plans. How can these be better addressed, where effective EFA depends on changes in governance? Although the Director-General suggested governance as a further flagship programme, the meeting did not take this up in discussion.

Sub-national or local level

There were scattered references to this topic, in terms of governance, implementation of national plans and participatory processes. However, the topic needs further attention, perhaps as a component of national plans which should show how the EFA process will be carried out and eventually down to the level of the school.