Global Partnership for Education Conference: UNESCO pledges to support better data and planning

©UNESCO/Andrés Pascoe

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) will be holding its Replenishment and Pledging Conference in Brussels next week (25-26 June 2014). This is the second conference of its kind, during which the global funding mechanism is seeking backing by the international community to provide every child access to a quality education. Donors are being asked to help raise US$3.5 billion for education projects in 66 developing countries over the next four years (2015-2018).

In the face of declining aid to education and stagnating progress on getting children into school, UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, will advocate for increased efforts to bolster the level and effectiveness of education financing. During this year’s Pledging Conference, UNESCO will commit to a range of actions aimed at improving the quality of education data and planning, which it argues is essential if funds are to be deployed effectively.

“Sound planning, informed by robust and timely data, is crucial for accountability and for ensuring resources are used strategically and reach those most in need”, Mr Qian Tang, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education, stated. He said that UNESCO would be training annually at least 600 planners and policy analysts and 100 national statisticians to build sustainable national capacity in these key areas.

UNESCO remains at the forefront of efforts to enhance country capacities for evidence-based policy-making. In particular, UNESCO is:

  • training statisticians, planners and policy analysis at national, regional and district levels to build sustainable national capacities;
  • strengthening national reporting on education financing flows;
  • helping integrate conflict and disaster risk reduction measures into all dimensions of education sector planning and monitoring; and
  • developing new global measures to help monitor the post-2015 education agenda, including key issues such as equity, quality and learning outcomes.

UNESCO’s Education sector, along with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), provide the foundation for UNESCO’s pledge to the GPE. Covering more than 200 countries and territories, the UIS is the most comprehensive source of global education data and indicators, covering all levels of education and addressing policy issues such as gender parity, teachers and financing. IIEP improves education policy and practice through training planners and managers in skills to analyze and plan, manage and implement, monitor and evaluate.

During the Pledging Conference, UNESCO and UNICEF will host a high-level meeting on the post-2015 education agenda. Participants will discuss the proposed new overarching education goal and seven targets recently defined by the international community at the Muscat Conference. As the first meeting since the goal and targets were identified, it will aim to rally key partners behind this new education agenda and build support to make education a central pillar in the post-2015 development framework.

The GPE, formerly the Education for All Fast-Track Initiative, was created in 2002 to provide international support to back national efforts regarding Education for All goals.  Its partners include developing countries, bilateral donors, multilateral institutions, civil society organizations/NGOs, teachers, private foundations and the private sector. 

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