|Global Co-ordination > Working Group on Education for All >|
|First meeting / Document 13|
Development Partner Co-operation in Support
was mandated at the World Education Forum in Dakar (April 2000)
to co-ordinate a global initiative aimed at formulating the
strategies and mobilizing the resources needed to provide effective
support to national efforts in the achievement of the goals
and targets of Education for All (EFA) by the years 2005 and
2015. According to the Framework for Action, the following elements
should be considered:
of Education for All: Rationale and Strategies
Paper © UNESCO not to be quoted
without the permission of
of work in progress
(1) increasing external finance for education,
in particular basic education;
(2) ensuring greater predictability
in the flow of external assistance;
(3) providing earlier, deeper
and broader debt relief and/or debt cancellation for poverty
reduction, with a strong commitment to basic education;
(4) facilitating more effective donor co-ordination;
sector-wide approaches; and
(6) undertaking more effective and
regular monitoring of progress towards the goals and targets
of Education for All, including periodic assessments (World
Education Forum, 2000, §11).
are understood in this paper to aim at both resource mobilization
and efficiency improvements. The paper is an abbreviated version
of a larger draft document which presents UNESCO's current thinking
in this connection. The document represents Work in Progress
and is being developed in an interactive process with UNESCO's
major partners. The discussion of this abbreviated version in
the meeting of the Working Group on Education for All during
22-24 November forms part of that process.
and human development
goals underline both the need to fulfil the right to free education
for all children and the downside of globalization, namely marginalization
and exclusion of population groups, countries and regions. According
to the Dakar Framework for Action, currently more than 113 million
children have no access to primary education, 880 million adults
are illiterate, gender discrimination continues to permeate
education systems, and the quality of learning and acquisition
of human values and skills fall far short of the aspirations
and needs of individuals and societies (World Education Forum,
2000). Furthermore, disruptive conditions related to, for example,
persistent civil wars and the HIV/AIDS pandemic call for radical
innovative rethinking of, or at least a much wider range of
approaches to, the teaching and learning process.
exists despite widespread official government support and relative
consistency in international thinking on the necessity and benefits
of education for development. Investment in human and social
capital are now widely accepted as means of creating sustainable
development, achieving poverty reduction and reducing inequalities
within and among nations. The relationships between education
and improved health, higher productivity, innovation, increased
political participation and empowerment are comparatively well
established, although many of the precise mechanisms still have
to be more clearly understood, particularly in light of differences
in outcomes in different contexts. Education is also central
in the attempt among development partners to establish a mutually
reinforcing relationship between macro-economic stability and
structural reform on one hand, and growth and reduction of poverty
and inequality on the other. It is reflected in the outcomes
of top-level meetings, such as those of the G8 countries in
Cologne in 1999 and of the G7 education ministers in Tokyo in
2000, at which investment in lifelong learning, education and
skills was placed at the core of the development of future knowledge-based
societies. The G8 leaders in Okinawa, according to their communiqué,
would ensure 'that additional resources are made available for
basic education [and] 'that no government seriously committed
to achieving Education for All will be thwarted in this achievement
by lack of resources'.
It is important
to underline, however, that not all EFA goals seem to carry
the same weight. The poverty reduction targets by 2015 and the
specific goals referred to by the G8 leaders in Okinawa concern
only universal primary education and gender equality. Similarly,
the funding gap of an additional $7-8 billion annually identified
in the Global Action Plan (Watkins, n.d.) relate to the achievement
of high-quality universal primary education. One of the challenges
for the global initiative is, therefore, to refocus attention
on the wider basic education concept.
context for resource mobilization
for resource mobilization and efficiency improvements must be
seen in the context of discouraging trends in Official Development
Assistance (ODA) during the 1990s. As a percentage of the combined
GNP of member countries of the Development Assistance Committee
(DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), ODA has fallen by more than one fifth in constant dollar
terms from 1992 to 1998, whereas real net ODA in constant dollar
terms dropped from a total of $60,524 million in 1992 to $50,832
million in 1998. Reductions have been largest for the largest
economies, and trends in both volumes and shares for the least
developed countries and for sub-Saharan Africa have been downward
in recent years. Of the multilateral assistance, non-concessional
net disbursements have increased, whereas concessional disbursements
have dropped. Furthermore, of the total net resource flows,
the proportional shares of Official Development Finance (which
includes ODA) and private flows have reversed during 1991-98,
private flows constituting two-thirds of the total at the end
of the decade against only one third at the beginning (OECD/DAC,
noteworthy, however, that education seems to have suffered relatively
less. Total DAC bilateral allocation for education constituted
10.6 per cent of the total in 1998 compared to 8.7 per cent
in 1991 and 11.5 per cent in 1989. In 1998, multilateral allocations
constituted 7.6 per cent of the total compared to 8.8 per cent
in 1991 and 4.6 per cent in 1989. The absolute value of bilateral
commitments to education increased from $3,288 million in 1990
to $3,553 million (constant prices) in 1997, while multilateral
funding increased from $1,748 million in 1990 to $2,789 (constant
prices) in 1997 (UNESCO, 2000, p. 120). Basic education constituted
one per cent of total bilateral ODA and 1.8 per cent of total
multilateral ODA in 1998. The total amount for basic education,
which was recently updated based on fresh information from DAC
member countries, is now estimated at $700 million (instead
of previously $400 million) (OECD/DAC, 2000b). This is not only
remarkably low in itself, but also underlines the huge distance
to the perceived funding gap of an additional $7-8 billion per
year for primary education alone.
of total flows highlights several of the challenges that have
to be addressed if the international community is to play a
truly supportive role in meeting the goals and targets of EFA.
First, the recent reverse in importance of private flows over
ODA seems to match the increased importance of establishing
supportive macro-economic environments as a precondition to
poverty reduction, social and educational development. In this
thinking private sector flows are considered to be catalytic
to national economic development. However, if a mutually reinforcing
relationship between macro-economic stability and structural
reform, on one hand, and growth and reduction of poverty and
inequality, on the other, is to be established, then the comparative
importance of ODA must be heightened and the underlying conditions
for private flows revisited. Second, while the relative proportion
of multilateral compared to bilateral assistance has remained
the same within overall ODA during the 1990s, multilateral non-concessional
resources now constitute the larger proportion of total multilateral
assistance. This highlights a potentially continuing or increased
financial burden on aid-receiving countries. Third, support
for education and for basic education is feeble. This leaves
national governments and the international community not only
with the need to design strategies that are all-encompassing
and creative in terms of approach and content, but also with
the responsibility to ensure that funding is used to its maximum
benefit in the pursuit of the EFA goals and targets.
for international support of Education for All
on increasing international assistance has focused particularly
on private investment, improved trade relations and debt relief
as potential, supplementary measures to international aid. Less
influential has been the reallocation of resources from military
spending, the size of which would permit immediate attention
to the funding needs of Education for All (see, for example,
OECD/DAC, 1996, 1998, 2000a; Watkins, n.d.; Köhler and Wolfensohn,
2000). The establishment of coherence through co-ordination,
sector-wide approaches and monitoring can be understood as important
measures for efficiency improvement of international aid.
and national resource mobilization must be complementary and
well targeted in the pursuit of holistic national development
processes. Several pre-conditions must, therefore, be met in
order for policies and strategies to be successful. One is to
ensure that support for EFA not be isolated from support for
the full education sector or from other core elements of a government's
budget. Education for All must be linked within sector frameworks
with poverty reduction and development strategies, as stated
in the Dakar Framework for Action. This means coherence, on
one hand, among national Education for All action plans, education
sector plans, development strategies and other policy frameworks,
such as the Common Country Assessments (CCA), the United Nations
Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the World Bank Comprehensive
Development Framework (CDF), the Poverty Reduction Strategy
Papers (PRSP) and the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC)
precondition is that international support be provided as a
function of the different institutional and structural contexts
and constraints at the national level which determine the appropriate
approaches, strategies and resource utilization. In this respect,
macro-economic and sectoral reform must be linked in order to
ensure a supportive environment for the education system to
function efficiently and effectively as a development tool.
Reform efforts must include policy reform to enhance locally
generated resources for education and other development purposes
through, for example, more effective fiscal instruments, appropriate
taxation and taxation incentives, enhanced private sector contributions
and budgetary re-allocations, and the attraction of additional
private international capital flows, concessional resources
and improved measures for debt relief. All resources and expenditures
must be treated within a common budgetary framework. Simultaneous
policy reform of the education sector must aim at cost-shifting
and cost-sharing, without adverse effects for the poor and without
enhancing gender, rural/urban, regional and other inequalities.
Efficiency and effectiveness of the teaching-learning processes
must be heightened through locally adapted solutions, including
the use of new information technologies as an important delivery
mode. This also includes the adoption of sector-wide approaches
to educational development and improving aid conditionalities.
strategy work, which must be done at the country level in view
of the specific country circumstances, should take into consideration
the elements of the Dakar Framework which aim at enhancing the
contribution and impact of international development co-operation.
UNESCO's provisional proposals are outlined in the following.
Increasing external finance for education, in particular basic
of the drastic decline in ODA during the 1990s, DAC member
countries, in particular those with large economies, are urged
to translate their expressed commitments into practice and
provide increased and targeted assistance to countries most
in need. Specifically, DAC member countries should:
their support for education to constitute a total of $7
billion by 2005, $10.5 billion by 2010 and $14 billion by
the foregoing increased overall support for education, significantly
increase ODA for basic education from the current $700 million.
their commitments towards the HIPC Initiative and ensure
that significant amounts of debt relief are channelled into
support for Education for All.
coherence and co-ordination of all assistance internationally
and nationally and monitor progress towards the fulfilment
of the goals of Education for All.
their assistance to achieve optimal effect, including support
for innovative approaches to Education for All, partly built
on best practices.
of alternative sources for mobilization of international resources
must also be considered, including:
aid recipient countries and non-DAC OECD member countries.
investment financing, in particular the possibility to forge
partnerships among the financial services industry, the
state and civil society to promote social development and
to link private and public finance with public education.
organizations, private foundations and large-scale corporate
foundations to undertake innovative funding of and fund-raising
for Education for All, assist in awareness-raising and lobbying
together with relevant ministries, and undertake specific
education programmes or provide financial support or support
in kind in fulfilment of the goals and targets of Education
(2) Ensuring greater predictability in the flow of external assistance
depends both upon political will and procedures that take their
point of departure in recipient country needs rather than aid-providing
country interests. Predictability also depends on recipient
country capacity to absorb and use funding in accordance with
nationally defined plans and goals. Aid-providing countries
and agencies must, individually and collectively, revisit their
conditionalities for aid provision and ensure consistency between
declared political commitment and actual action. In particular,
special soft terms must be applied for education aid in view
of its critical role for poverty reduction and sustainable development.
to the largest funding agencies, the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, it is important that social development
goals become core objectives alongside macro-economic targets
in the establishment of lending programmes. In the total World
Bank investment projects, the soft-loan concessional commitments
through the International Development Association (IDA) should
constitute a comparatively higher proportion than non-concessional
lending from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Providing debt relief and/or debt cancellation for poverty reduction
and basic education
current situation of declining ODA, it is important to identify
innovative financial schemes which can supplement ODA financing.
Debt relief and/or debt cancellation is one mechanism which,
together with debt-for-development-swaps, have received strong
international attention and political backing. The core notion
is that forgiven debt in specific countries would be translated
into social development activities, including financial support
for Education for All.
debt relief mechanisms must be enacted with the utmost urgency.
Financing of debt relief schemes must be undertaken through
the mobilization of new and additional resources, and not be
diverted from already declining ODA. Furthermore, the underlying
terms of the schemes must be revisited in order to ensure that
they truly benefit the countries and their social and educational
development. This includes possibly expanding the eligibility
criteria in order that larger, including possibly some of the
nine high-population (E9) countries, gain access to the scheme.
The criteria must be conditioned on social and human development
goals instead of short-term macro-economic targets related to
the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (now the Poverty
Reduction and Growth Facility). Finally, countries must receive
all necessary technical assistance to produce the national poverty
strategy which conditions access to the scheme.
(4) Facilitating more effective donor co-ordination
donor co-ordination aims at ensuring consistency in goals and
strategies adopted by all actors as a basis to promote holistic
national development processes based on national ownership and
leadership, and ensuring maximum impact of international assistance.
Co-ordination is, therefore, an important mechanism for efficiency
gains. Coherence must be established within and across sectors
and subsectors and between nationally and internationally developed
strategies and plans.
community needs to build on already achieved experiences at
the national level through, for example, Round-Tables. There
is a need for improved international co-ordination across UN
agencies which might in part be achieved if UNESCO, as the specialized
United Nations agency for education, became a member of the
United Nations Development Group. With respect to Education
for All, UNESCO has already begun its co-ordinating role through
the use of national and regional UNESCO offices and, globally,
through the establishment of the Working Group on Education
for All and the High-Level Policy Group on Education for All.
Strengthening sector-wide approaches
approaches have been identified as the best alternative or supplementary
mode to the fragmented project support which characterized international
development co-operation in earlier decades. Sector-wide approaches
represent at the same time: a new working relationship among
international agencies and between agencies and national governments
based on partnerships and policy dialogue; a new framework for
development assistance enabling consistency in purposes and
means among all partners; and a new instrument for development
assistance promoting reforms through agreed operational commitments
and devolving greater authority to national governments concerning
resource decisions (Ratcliffe and Macrae, 1999).
pre-conditions to success in introducing the approaches are,
on the country side, a supportive national policy and institutional
environment characterized by longer-term macro-economic planning,
strong government leadership and effective participation of
civil society organizations. On the agency side, important pre-conditions
are their ability to pool funding, work within common frameworks
and adopt common procedures across the participating agencies.
On both sides, institutional re-arrangements and development
of new, process and other skills in addition to skills in technical
areas are equally important.
community must provide technical assistance in order to strengthen
the human and institutional environment in specific countries.
It must also, together with national governments, ensure that
lessons and best practices in sector-wide approaches are properly
shared among all actors through research, seminar and other
information and communication activities at the country level.
Education sector readiness criteria must be used together with
the more general macro-economic and political criteria when
introducing sector-wide approaches. Alternatives must be considered
for countries that do not meet the appropriate pre-conditions.
Monitoring of progress towards the goals and targets of Education
of progress must be made the responsibility of all partners
nationally, regionally and internationally. It must be an integral
part of national, regional and international plans and a regular
activity in the Education for All efforts. It must be based
on common input, output, impact and outcomes indicators which
cover all aspects of the multi-faceted Education for All concept,
while allowing for national adaptations.
education management and information systems must be set up
at the country level, training programmes in base-line surveys
be conducted in order to enhance the quality, accuracy and validity
of data, and country capacities in general evaluation and monitoring
be strengthened. Global progress towards the achievement of
Education for All will be monitored through the UNESCO Institute
for Statistics in active co-operation with its partners.
of international assistance
of assistance for optimal use is as important as actual resource
mobilization. The current climate of scarce resources has toughened
conditionalities and led to a strong focus on aid effectiveness.
Reinforced support for government leadership, coherence and
co-ordination of efforts among all development actors have led
to a concentration on a more limited group of countries and
areas selected for support by development partners, often based
on principles of 'good' policies. Support for Education for
All must, however, be based on inclusive rather than exclusive
criteria. As the next step in this strategic Work in Progress,
scenarios of packages of support for individual countries will
be developed based on optimal use of external and national funding
for holistic development purposes.
in achieving the goals of Education for All depends on national
and international resource mobilization, efficiency improvements
and optimal targeting and utilization of the funding seen in
the context of solidly developed Education for All action plans
and wider education sector and other plans, strategies and policy
frameworks. Although responsibility rests predominantly with
national governments, the international community has a critical,
catalytic and supportive role to play in fulfilment of its responsibility
to reduce global inequalities and poverty. The goals of Education
for All underline the right to education and the need to establish
inclusive criteria for international support. Current emphases
on coherence and co-ordination as expressed in the need to link
national Education for All action plans with other plans, strategies
and frameworks underline that support for Education for All
must go beyond immediate support for Education for All goals
to full support for education in national development processes.
financial resources are in short supply and high demand. Scarce
resources have contributed to focusing attention on aid effectiveness
and to narrowing the range of countries and specific sectors
and areas selected for financial support by the international
community. At the same time, conditionalities have toughened
and recent global economic, political and social development
points to likely increased dependence on international assistance.
There is an urgent need, therefore, for the international community
to think widely and creatively in terms of resource mobilization
and to act with urgency. Traditional forms of international
assistance must be supplemented with new ones, and efficiency
improvements must be achieved through adoption of new procedures
for international co-operation.
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