Since 2012, Global Citizens have taken 1.6 million actions towards achieving quality education for all children. These actions, combined with our high-level advocacy, and the efforts of partners, saw 57 new commitments and announcements in support of quality education. Together, these announcements and commitments are valued at $2.4 billion US dollars, and are set to affect the lives of 60 million children by 2030.
Focused on our support for key delivery partners like the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait, the report provides details of each commitment, its progress to date, as well as a traffic light summary of progress.
This first Global Citizen Education Accountability Report provides a report-back on the status of these commitments, which finds that:
34 are on-track to be fully delivered, or to exceed their initial goals
2 are proceeding with some risk
1 is off-track or have been abandoned
20 are too early to tell, with future reports to contain further updates
Overall, the report finds that we are 25% toward impacting the 60 million lives set to be affected, and that $1.5 billion has been raised or disbursed toward commitments worth $2.4 billion, which is 63% of target.
You can read the full report here - or read on for key findings.
In compiling this report, we have noted with interest a number of key themes that our team, partners and commitment makers have shared with us as being important drivers of future delivery of commitments related to education:
Welcome shift to 12 years of free, quality education and transition:
From a prior focus on increasing primary school enrollments under the Millennium Development Goals, Global Citizen, alongside those like the Malala Fund, has since aligned with the 2015 Global Goals for Sustainable Development to focus on children receiving a full 12 years of free, quality, primary and secondary education to flourish. We welcome the increasing engagement on this topic by many donors. We are particularly focused on ensuring a strong commitment from donors and partner countries on improving the transition rates from primary to secondary school to reduce drop-off.
Importance of maintaining a focus on addressing barriers, including for girls and children in emergencies:
There has been a large increase in efforts to reach the children most often excluded from education - especially girls and those in conflicts and emergencies. This is a welcome commitment to universalism, and one that needs to be fully resourced and implemented. It is vital that efforts recognise and respond to the barriers that keep these kids from attending and learning, from disability, to conflict and crisis, poor menstrual hygiene management or toilet facilities, cultural norms and laws and entrenched poverty. New initiatives will face implementation challenges but consistent, long-term funding is critical to ensure sustainable solutions. Global Citizen will also champion good policy, like legislative changes on child marriage in Malawi, and call out poor policy, like Tanzania's recent decision to exclude young mothers from returning to school after having children.
New donors are needed, existing donors must step up, and everyone needs to resource education more:
The increase in domestic resource mobilization to fund education in the world's poorest countries is a welcome sign, and Global Citizen encourages ALL countries to reach the 6% of GDP benchmark set by the UN. However, as the Education Commission's 2016 report noted, additional domestic resources are not in themselves enough to fill the education financing gap. Traditional donors need to do more, new donors are needed, multilateral bodies like GPE and ECW must be fully funded, and innovative mechanisms like the International Finance Facility for Education have a role to play in filling the gaps or the world will fall short of achieving its goals for quality education.
Call for greater transparency and accountability in education:
In compiling this report, Global Citizen has observed that the education sector faces more data and reporting challenges than other sectors like health. Where the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Global Fund routinely publish annual and even quarterly donor receipts, making tracking progress against commitments a comparatively open book, education investments are often less transparent to track and take longer to manifest and demonstrate outcomes. Global Citizen encourages the education sector to consider that accountability works in everyone's favor, garnering grass roots trust from citizens and voters, while shining a light on poor donor behavior, enabling grassroots response, and helping multi-laterals have greater trust in their donors too. We believe this translates to greater impact.