02.05.2018 - UNESCO Office in Doha

UNESCO chairs panel on Partnerships & Accountability for SDG 4 in the GCC at GCES in UAE

From left to right: Faryal Khan, UNESCO Programme Specialist for Education, Dr. Natasha Ridge, Executive Director The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research; Mr. Frode Mauring, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative, UAE, Ms. Maricel Fernandez, UNESCO Education Assistant and Mr. Jebrin Al Jebrin, AGFUND, Director of Projects Department.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call to “leave no-one behind” poses a global challenge to governments and partners to ensure inclusion, equity and sustainability across all areas of policy and planning. With specific reference to SDG 4, what does this mean for public, private, and philanthropic actors at national level? How can we explore the impact of new stakeholders on education in the Gulf States, keeping learning at the center of the policy dialogue? What are key messages for advocacy to roll out ED 2030 – SDG 4 agenda? What opportunities does the Sustainable Development Goal 4 with focus on Education (SDG 4) offer to enhance public, private, and philanthropic partnerships at national level?

Inspired by the increasing involvement of various public, private, and philanthropic actors in education in the Gulf region, the Eighth Biannual Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) Symposium with theme, “Public, Private, and Philanthropy: Exploring the Impact of New Actors on Education in the GCC”, was successfully conducted from April 7th to April 9th, 2018 in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Hosted by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, the meeting brought together more than 100 policymakers, NGOs, academics, and educators to debate and explore policies and practices in education across the Gulf States.

Chaired by Faryal Khan, Programme Specialist for Education at UNESCO GCC and Yemen Office, the UNESCO Panel on Partnership and Accountability in SDG4 was composed of the following discussants: (1) Mr. Frode Mauring, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative,  (2) Mr. Jebrin Al Jebrin, Director of Projects Department, AGFUND, Riyadh, KSA (3) Dr. Natasha Ridge, Executive Director, The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research and Ms. Maricel Fernandez, UNESCO Office for the Gulf States and Yemen.

The main purpose of this panel was to share information on SDG4 developments to ensure a continued shared understanding of SDG-4 progress in the GCC states, through updates on SDG 4 and SDG-wide developments in the GCC by UN, civil society, private foundations, and development funds. For this purpose, each panelist answered questions pertaining to: (1) Partnership mechanisms within SDGs; (2) Impact of partnership; (3) Recommendations to strengthen impact of partnerships to roll out ED 2030 agenda.

During the panel, Mr. Mauring provided some global and regional SDG developments and updates on partnerships initiated by UN for SDG4-ED 2030.  Mr. Al Jebrin provided a brief history of ADFUND’s long standing partnership and collaboration with UNESCO and other 20 UN agencies and highlighted how AGFUND reaches out and foster partnerships to carry out education programmes in countries which needed the most to promote SDG4-Education 2030.   Dr. Ridge, from the point of view of the Foundation, gave insights on how to close the gap between policy and implementation.  Ms. Fernandez emphasized the importance of coordination mechanisms among the SDG4-Education 2030 Sub-regional Partner’s Group in the GCC to roll out SDG4. 

The opportunity for sharing partnership strategies for SDG4 in platform such as the GCES affirmed UNESCO’s and it ED partners’ commitment to supporting Member States to promote SDG4-Education 2030 at all levels.


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