20 April 2017
by Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education
This article was originally posted by GPE.
This week, the Global Partnership for Education is formally launching its third replenishment with the release of our new Case for Investment at an event at the Center for Global Development together with former Tanzanian President Kikwete, Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Education and Tony Lake, UNICEF’s Executive Director.
For us, the launch will mark the beginning of a new era in education financing, aimed at reversing the trend of declining development aid for education. It is an opportunity to show a new commitment not just to the hundreds of millions of children who are not in school or not learning, but also to the security and prosperity of the entire world.
Indeed, 2017 is an important year for education: the Education Commission is moving forward with its groundbreaking recommendations, the G7 accountability report is focused on education and the World Bank’s annual World Development Report will be on education. Tapping into this mounting momentum of support to education, we will hold our third replenishment event later this year.
GPE’s goal is to reach a financing level of US$2 billion a year by 2020 and to double this amount by 2030.
For the upcoming replenishment later this year, GPE is asking donor countries for contributions totaling US$3.1 billion over three years, developing country governments to allocate 20% percent of their domestic budgets to education and philanthropic foundations and private sector donors to step up their targeted contributions.
GPE is also expecting to unlock an additional US$900 million between 2018 and 2020 through its new leverage fund, which incentivizes countries to raise additional funding from external sources, generating at least US$3 for every US$1 of GPE support received.
Under GPE’s new financing and funding framework GPE’s reach has increased significantly: 89 low-and lower-middle income countries where poverty and education needs are greatest are now eligible for GPE funding accounting for 870 million school aged-children and youth, including 78% of the world’s out-of-school children.
An investment in GPE is an investment in the future of children and youth around the world. Children who are marginalized because of poverty, ethnicity, religion, disability, location or gender. Children who need our help.
GPE’s grant funding is results-based as an incentive to drive education priorities; its business case is compelling and effective because it:
Delivers transformational change. GPE helps countries build stronger education systems – based on improved management information tools, learning assessment systems and better data to drive policy and reform with a focus on equity, efficiency and better learning outcomes.
More than 60 developing countries have worked with GPE to improve their education sector plans and ensure their implementation.
Builds on a strong foundation of progress. With the help of GPE, developing countries across the globe have constructed more school buildings; improved planning and data collection and analysis; enhanced the accountability and efficiency of their education spending; increased the number of qualified teachers and administrators and improved the quality and availability of learning materials. These results have given more parents the confidence and determination to send their children to school – especially girls and others from disadvantaged communities.
In Ghana, for example GPE’s support and funding helped to improve policy and planning, and strengthen school supervision and teacher training. Now a million girls and boys have a better education and a better chance to find employment.
Drives results. In mobilizing increased domestic finance, GPE country partners have progressed more than three times faster than the developing country average rate of increase.
Educates children caught in humanitarian crisis. An unprecedented number of refugee and displaced children need educational support. GPE is spending 60% of its funding in countries that struggle with fragility or conflict. Better education can help countries reduce the social unrest and violent conflict that leads to humanitarian crisis and can spill far beyond a country’s borders.
In Chad, which was hosting more than 400,000 refugees in early 2017, GPE supported the efforts of the government to create a stronger education infrastructure that benefits Chadian and refugee children alike.
Keeps people and countries ahead of the workplace revolution. Around the world and especially in developing countries, workplaces are rapidly automating requiring their workers to have better skills. The hundreds of millions of children today who are not learning at even the most basic levels will not be prepared for the modern workplace. GPE supports millions of children to get a quality education so they are better prepared to for the future job market.
As the Education Commission pointed out in its landmark 2016 report, current trends suggest that it will take until the end of this century before all children in low-income countries complete primary school and that only one out of 10 young people will be on track to gain basic secondary-level skills by 2030 to be fit for tomorrow’s job market.
Accelerating these trends will require us to invest substantially more and better than we do today.
The GPE replenishment is in many ways a historic, pivotal moment when the course of global education could change dramatically for the benefit of the entire world.
We urge developing countries, donors and the private sector to work with us and do what’s necessary to seize this moment and support the world’s children.