18 September 2006, Issue No. 4 - Donors and Financing
“Education and skills are the commanding heights of a modern economy. That means placing them at the very centre of a government's economic and development strategy.” - Rt Hon. Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development, World Education Forum, Dakar, 27 April 2000
Donor meeting reviews the work of UNICEF on Girls’ Education and the way forward
On 11 September 2006, donors for girls’ education met in New York to review achievements and challenges in girls’ education during UNICEF’s medium-term strategic plan (MTSP) for 2002-2005. The focus of the meeting was a review of lessons learned, challenges, opportunities, trends and progress made for achieving the MDGs and EFA goals during the period 2002-2005. The meeting also emphasized UNICEF’s commitment to working in partnerships to advance girls’ education. That is why time was spent on strategies that have been put in place to strengthen partnerships around girls’ education, particularly the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI), and progress on UNICEF’s Education Strategy.
A major lesson learned from the girls’ education programme was that mainstreaming and scaling up gender and girls’ education is a difficult process both within and outside of UNICEF.
To address the issue of access versus quality, there was agreement that there is significant potential in the use of the child-friendly school (CFS) model as a means of transforming quality in education.
In an effort to move increasingly to systemic interventions, UNICEF will continue its work on improved capacity to work within the sector-wide approach (SWAps).
Against this background, UNICEF has been working on an education strategy paper that spells out a vision for the future up to 2015 and beyond. The strategy highlights how UNICEF will work with partners to contribute more effectively and efficiently to achieving the MDGs and the EFA goals. UNICEF is also working with the five EFA convening agencies, to support UNESCO in developing a global action plan (GAP) for joint support to countries in their efforts to achieve the goals of Education for All.
Helping to save the lives of children, sending more boys and girls to school and improving their protection and rights received a boost today with the launch of a new partnership between the UK, Sweden and Canada to support the work of UNICEF.
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) is a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Norway particularly supports projects and programmes that promote gender equality and education for girls and women.
A new report released by the World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) finds that in developing countries over the past 15 years, high priority was accorded to increasing enrollments in primary schools, but much less attention was directed to the crucial issue of whether children are learning adequately.