Newsletter January 2017
Happy New Year!
In this January issue, you can dive in to 6 short articles, all touching upon education from a national and international perspective.
- The Education Cannot Wait fund (ECW) is taking shape
- Launch of the Global Education Monitoring Report in Denmark
- GCE - News from the board meeting in South Africa
- Hopes and expectations for new Minister for Development Cooperation
- Oxfam Education and Inequality Workshop in Copenhagen 2016
- New report: #CostingEquity: The case for disability-responsive education financing
The Global Focus Education Network is a collaboration between several organisations in Denmark, who are working with aspects of education in one way or another. We work together to ensure a strong civil society, to share knowledge and to get education on the agenda of leaders and governments.
In May 2016 the Education Cannot Wait fund was launched. It is a new global fund working to ensure the delivery of education in emergencies. The fund aims to join up governments, humanitarian actors and development efforts to deliver a more collaborative and rapid response to the educational needs of children and youth affected by crises.
Until now the fund is still in the process of being structured. A consultancy company, Boston Consulting Group, is taking up the task to establish the operational part of the fund. 2 workshops have been held concerning the structure of the fund. The civil society is included and is represented in the process of developing the fund.
December the 2nd was the deadline for responding to an online survey where civil society organisations had the possibility to give input to how to structure the fund, best practices, etc. Many political issues have to be addressed in this process, especially since it is a highly politicised area, e.g. if it should be allowed for the donors to earmark money for certain projects, states, emergencies or groups. These political issues make it complicated to get the fund up and running.
Furthermore it is crucial that the fund is established in connection to and in cooperates with Global Partnership for Education (GPE), to prevent having two parallel systems.
Follow the ECW on their homepage here.
The Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM), which was formerly known as the Global Monitoring Report (GMR), is an editorially independent, authoritative and evidence-based annual report published by UNESCO. The purpose of the report is to monitor progress towards the education targets in the framework of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 13 reports have been produced since 2002, covering themes ranging from inequality, gender and teaching and learning to conflict, literacy and early childhood care and education.
The 2016 GEM report, Education for People and Planet, was launched in Denmark on the 1st of December. The launch was arranged by the Global Focus Education Network and UNESCO Denmark. The program entailed a presentation of the report by Dr. William C. Smith (Senior Policy Analyst), who elaborated on some of the most essential points, e.g. that 50% of refugee children are out of primary school and 75% of refugee youth are out of secondary school, which is an alarming high percentage.
Several other presenters contributed to the program; Jens Dalsgaard (Secretary-general for the Danish UNESCO-national commission), Claus Rosenkrands Olsen (Chef of Education Policy in Danish Business), Jesper Støier (Head of Department in the Danish Union of Teachers), Jens Vase (Chairman for Danish Schoolchildren) and Sanne Müller (Education Advisor in Oxfam IBIS and representative of the Education Network). The event was facilitated by Helle Gudmandsen from the National Commission of UNESCO and leader of the Youth Town.
With a common starting point in education and the SDG4, the diverse set of presenters managed to shed light on various aspects and issues in connection to education within Denmark, as well as globally. More than 80 participants were gathered at the launch, which ensured an interesting event with many great questions and debates.
Global Focus Education Network is pleased to have such a great cooperation with UNESCO Denmark and we hope to continue the tradition of launching the GEM report together next year.
Sanne Müller, who is intermediary board member of GCE (until a substitute for Helle Gudmandsen has been hired), attended the GCE board meeting in October in Johannesburg. She is one out of two representatives for the Northern Coalitions. The other person is Jennifer Rigg (Global Campaign for Education-US.).
Information points from the meeting:
- Chikezie Anyanwu has been appointed as the new GCE Global Coordinator and will start in mid-November. Chikezie helped to set up the national education coalition in Nigeria (CSACEFA) and was also involved in the founding of ANCEFA. He was Coordinator of the Commonwealth Education Fund (2002-2007) that supported education coalitions in 16 countries across Africa and South Asia – which was the precursor to the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF). Most recently he has played a pan-African role with Save the Children Fund and Plan International.
- It was a successful Global Action Week for Education on domestic financing – with a new “Financing Matters” Toolkit now complete; a new Financing Community of Practice starting and plans being developed for GPE replenishment campaign.
- The Board discussion on Global Action Week for Education 2017 reviewed 3 options (1.SDG accountability; 2. Free and public education / privatization; 3.Conflict and disaster) and also the possibility of continuing the 2016 financing theme (given the finance commission and 2017 GPE replenishment). It was decided that the focus will be on holding governments to account for delivering on the full SDG4 agenda – with emphasis on SDG4 being premised on free and public education.. Ensuring adequate financing of the ambitious SDG4 agenda will inevitably form part of the framing.
- The publication of Private Profit Public Loss and its launch at the privatization consortium meeting in Kenya, with UNGA in New York and in the annual meetings in DC. US (with other launches planned by ANCEFA, ASPBAE, CLADE, ACEA and some national coalitions e.g. in Liberia). A Privatization Toolkit is now being produced.
- There was a continuous reaffirming of GCE as a social movement and the importance of continuing to be so – and avoid being an instrument of other parties and interests. This was especially prominent in relation to our colleagues from the Middle East region, who described the situation in the region and the need for GCE to support and solidarity with the movements and people fighting for justice and peace.
- GPE Replenishment Campaign – the board received an initial outline note for how GCE can help to maximize pledges from developing countries and donors for the GPE replenishment in late 2017 – with an outline plan of action. This will be built into the secretariat work-plan. There are opportunities for significant involvement on coalitions in developing countries and in the North – as well as harnessing the opportunities presented by CEOs of major INGOs agreeing to work together on this.
- The next GCE World Assembly will be in October-November 2018 and will take place in the Asia Pacific region. The next face to face board meeting will probably be linked to the CCNGO Cambodia in late April / early May 2017.
Ulla Tørnæs was appointed Minister for Development Cooperation November 28, 2016. The Education Network is using the opportunity to welcome the new minister by writing her an open letter. In the letter we express our appreciation to get an experienced minister within both education and development cooperation. The key issues for Ulla Tørnæs have been equality, as well as girls’ and women’s rights. In the letter we emphasized that we hope she will continue to focus on those issues, since they are inextricably linked to education. Further, to carry on the work with the 17 new SDGs, especially SDG4 on quality education.
Albeit we also used the opportunity to raise our concern of the cuts on GPE. In relation to the planned contribution to Global Partnership for Education (GPE) from the government’s budget from 2015, the budget for GPE was 400 million DKK. This was cut down to 100 million, but then recently raised to 200 millions again, which we appreciated. We hope the minister and the government will support GPE's efforts to get more children and young people in developing countries, fragile states and humanitarian emergencies to school by increasing the Danish contribution to the GPE 2015 level in the GPE replenishment process October 2017.
The letter was send to the minister before Christmas and is available here.
Oxfam IBIS hosted a 4-days international Education and Inequality workshop in November 2016.
We achieved the aim of the workshop, namely to establish a firm and coherent foundation for spearheading Oxfam’s work on education and inequality through enhancing the linkages between programme and influencing work across national, regional and global levels.
The workshop stands out as a great outcome of 2016 connecting Oxfam colleagues from all over the world. It brought together 35 Oxfam staff across programs, policy and campaigns in more than 15 countries, representing 6 regions and work at global level, and 8 affiliates.
We experienced how the momentum for support to transformative public education for all is very strong right now, both in Oxfam and globally.
As a result of the workshop we established an Education Community of Practice and Influence (ECPI) and furthermore a steering group of ECPI.
Find the communiqué from the workshop here.
International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC) is doing a huge job on education. Recently they published a report, which looks at the benefits of financing disability-inclusive education, the current state of education financing with regard to inclusion, and what needs to change in order for education financing to effectively support the realization of Sustainable Development Goal 4 and Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD).
The research, funded by Open Society Foundations, Light for the World and other international disability and development organizations was launched at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2nd session on October 17th 2016 in New York.
Find the report here.