Globed - education policies for global development
- Newsletter #2
2015 is the deadline for the MDGs and most of the Education for All (EFA) Goals. As we get closer to this date, events that reflect on achievements and failures and, especially, on future development agendas are multiplying. This GLOBED Newsletter edition shows the intensification of such type of debates in the last month, with the Thematic Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda celebrated in Dakar in March 2013, being probably the most significant event in the period covered.
Extending the MDG and EFA goals
Today, many agree on the necessity of considering more ambitious and sophisticated education targets in comparison to those that were included in previous frameworks, particularly in the MDGs. The importance of taking equity, together with quality, as core principles in the post-2015 agenda generates a consensus among key stakeholders. Something similar can be said about the necessity of having a more complex understanding of “learning”, which should not be reduced to the achievement of measurable outcomes in literacy and mathematics.
Reflections on how to fund the implementation of the post-2015 agenda are not less important, especially in the context of the current financial crisis that is affecting the role played by traditional donors. More debate is necessary concerning the limits of target-setting as a tool for profound educational change. One of the main problems here is related to the universalistic pretension of this type of instrument and also to the existing uncertainties concerning what the political and policy processes are that the ‘targets’ are supposed to unchain to provoke substantive educational progress. Target-setting, as a way to constitute global development agendas, is especially problematic when stakeholders in the South do not feel ownership over such agendas.
Towards bottom-up inclusive agenda-setting
In fact, the most important challenge in the post-2015 agenda-setting scenario is related to how to transcend the ‘donorship’ sphere and to effectively include the voices of the most vulnerable population. In this respect, and to make sure that the forthcoming development compact is inclusive and comprehensive from the beginning, the active participation of local and transnational civil society networks, at all policy levels, is a necessary condition.
Today, benchmarks and targets dominate the education for development debate, and the Post-2015 agenda will have significant consequences on the selections and omissions of future policies and programmes. Choosing the appropriate targets and indicators goes beyond being a technical exercise to becoming a fundamental political issue. It should therefore include the perspective of those that will be likely recipients of global education policies. Otherwise, we run the risk of observing, again, how education policy agendas respond more to the interests and preferences of powerful organisations and less to the real needs of those most affected by poverty, fragility and the economic downturn.

Debating post-2015 agendas
The World We Want In March 2013, the Thematic Consultation on Education in the Post-2015 Development Agenda took place in Dakar, Senegal. About 100 representatives of international organizations, UN agencies, governments, civil society, the private sector and the academia were present. The final outcome document reflects the most important debates that were given in the meeting and proposes an umbrella education goal for the post-2015 development agenda: “Equitable, quality, lifelong education and learning for all.” This was seen as a way of transcending the reductionism of the prevailing educational MDG, which focuses on universal primary education.

In the context of the Dakar Thematic Consultation, the UN released a new study that proposes different ways to fill the funding gap that is necessary to achieve “education for all”. Among other measures, the authors of the study suggest that, instead of sending students from developing countries to study in donor countries, some of the funds should be spent on developing education systems in the South.

UNESCO, together with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), recently released the document Technology, broadband and education: advancing the Education for All agenda that widens the scope of the EFA debate. With this work, these organizations advocate for harnessing the power of the internet and other information and communication technologies in efforts to reach the 2015 internationally agreed development goals.

Education for All - Global Monitoring ReportThe UNESCO EFA Global Monitoring Report has released the draft paper GMR Proposed post-2015 education goals: emphasizing equity, measurability and finance, which suggests what the new educational goals for the post-2015 period could look like.

Also in the run-up to 2015, UNESCO, through its Institute for Statistics, and the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, in the context of the Learning Metrics Task Force, have released the report Toward Universal Learning: What Every Child Should Learn. The report presents a framework for what every child and youth should learn and be able to do by the time they reach post-primary age.

In this year's Global Action Week (21 to 27 of April), the Every Child Needs a Teacher initiative has been launched. This initiative, led by the Global Campaign for Education, aims to demand that states act now to ensure every child has well-trained and well-supported teacher. 

The Third International Summit on the Teaching Profession held in Amsterdam 13-14 March 2013 brought together education ministers, union leaders and other teacher representatives to discuss how teacher quality is defined and what standards are set and by whom; what systems are in place for teacher evaluation and how evaluations are conducted; and how teacher evaluation contributes to school improvement and teacher self-efficacy.

Aid effectiveness
The Global Partnership for Education’s new report “Making Education Aid More Effective” explores how education stakeholders can ensure that all children receive a quality education with the resources available from both developing countries and donors.

New OECD report on education policy
The new OECD report Trends Shaping Education 2013 brings together international evidence to address questions like: What does it mean for education that our societies are increasingly diverse? How is global economic power shifting towards new countries? In what ways are working patterns changing?

UNICEF - Child well-being in rich countriesUNICEF has just released the report Child Well-being in Rich Countries: A comparative overview. The report considers five dimensions of children’s lives (material well-being, health and safety, education, behaviours and risks, and housing and environment) and examines them in relation to 29 different countries. Changes in child well-being are examined, in part as a consequence of the global financial crisis, over the first decade of the 2000s.

In UNICEF’s Executive Board, held in February in New York, the right to education of children with disabilities was debated. UNICEF advocates for a Rights-Based Approach to Inclusive Education and argues that inclusive education promotes tolerance and equal participation in society. It leads to better learning outcomes, not only for children with disabilities but for all children, and is central to the achievement of high quality education for all learners, reducing inequities and building more inclusive societies.

World Bank
The World Bank Education Year in Review 2012 is available. This is a comprehensive overview of all the Bank’s recent education publications. It includes additional information on historical education lending data.

Higher Education
International Association of UniversitiesThe International Association of Universities has released a portal on the role of Higher Education in Promoting Sustainable Development (HESD). It aims at promoting more equitable and ecological societies, by making sustainable development a central theme of academic and institutional work.

Education and conflict
In order to support the integration of conflict sensitivity in education policies and programmes in conflict-affected and fragile contexts, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) has developed the INEE Conflict Sensitive Education Pack. This pack was formally launched at a half-day High Level Symposium entitled "Conflict Sensitive Education - Why and How" on 8 April 2013 at UNESCO, Paris. 
ProspectsEducation, Fragility and Conflict (2013). Guest Editor Lene Buchert. With an Introduction (Buchert, L.) and cases on Bolivia  (Lopes Cardozo, M.), Sudan (Breidlid, A.), Nepal (Pherali, T.) and Afghanistan (Borchgrevink, K.) including a special case article on importance of data (Montjourides, P.). Open File Prospects Vol. 43, No. 1. 

Universities and the Public SphereUniversities and the Public Sphere: Knowledge Creation and State Building in the Era of Globalization (2012). Pusser, B.; Kemper, K.; Marginson, S.; Odorika, I. (Eds.). New York: Routledge.

Desigualdades Educacionais & Pobreza [Education Inequalities and Poverty]. Fahel, M.; Rambla, X.; Lazzarotti, B.; Bronzo, C. 

Public Private Partnerships in EducationPublic Private Partnerships in Education: New Actors and Modes of Governance in a Globalizing World (2012). Robertson, S.; Mundy, K.; Verger, A.; Menashy, F.  (Eds.). London: Edward Elgar. 

Globalization and International Education Globalisation and International Education  (2012). Shields, R. London: Continuum.

Education and SkillsPost-2015 Agendas: Northern Tsunami, Southern Ripple? The Case Of Education And Skills (2013). King, K.; Palmer, R.
XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology - Yokohama, July 2014
An incredibly sensitive community of academics and professionals such as the International Sociological Association, aware of the social transformations taking place in the world, cannot and should not be absent from a debate on inequality.

UKFIET Conference - Oxford, September 2013
As the Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 2015 milestones draw nearer, governments and the wider international community are working to define new development frameworks that address the realities of 2015 and beyond. Education is an important part of this debate. The UKFIET Conference is designed to contribute to this international process.

DIE "Fragmentation of Pluralism? The organisation of development cooperation revisited" - Bonn, October 2013
The purpose of this conference is to explore fragmentation and pluralism of development cooperation, both at the theoretical and practical levels.

UEL / EADI, "Development in an Unequal World: Is there a Path to Global Equality?" - London, November 2013
The University’s third student led undergraduate conference for development, organized by the undergraduates from the University of East London, in partnership with the European Association of Development Research & Training Institutes (EADI). This open conference will centre on subjects pertaining to International Development and International Politics.

ISS, “Development Dialogue 2013”, The Hague, October 2013
This year, the Development Dialogue conference at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) aims to take a step towards exactly this goal, by bridging voices that speak to development. The conference provides a space for young scholars and PhD students to exchange recent and on-going research in the broad field of development studies.

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