Dan Jones, Campaigns Manager at RESULTS UK, discusses his first experience of the RESULTS International Conference , before sharing a recent blog by his American counterpart, Tony Baker.

It already feels like it was months ago, but in fact only a few short weeks ago I was in Washington DC for the RESULTS International Conference. It was my first time at the IC, and it was fantastic to be there with our UK grassroots volunteers, and to have time to meet face-to-face with RESULTS staff from other countries that I am constantly skyping, but never get to hang out with! One such person is Tony Baker, the Education For All Campaign Manager at RESULTS in the US. Tony and I collaborate on a lot on international education issues, particularly things like the World Bank’s spending on basic education, and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

Credit: Gates Foundation
Credit: Gates Foundation

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is the only multilateral partnership focusing solely on education from pre-primary to secondary. GPE works with 58 low-income countries, providing funding and/or technical and policy advice. Partnership support has helped to reduce out of school numbers in GPE countries, from one in three children of primary school age in 2000, to one in five in 2009. In 2011, GPE funds helped train more than 110,000 teachers, deliver 18 million textbooks, and construct or restore almost 8,000 classrooms.

Next year (2014) will be the GPE’s replenishment, when it seeks funding and support from a wide range of donors to fund its activity for the coming years. RESULTS UK, along with RESULTS internationally, will be doing lots of work to call for strong support to the GPE from the UK Government and other donors, so watch this space! We hope our grassroots will be up for the challenge of campaigning for more funding to achieve a quality education for every child!

In the meantime, here’s a quick blog post by Tony Baker  about our education meetings at the International Conference, on the GPE’s website…

People Power: The RESULTS International Conference

(Originally posted by Tony Baker on 1st August 2013 at http://www.educationforallblog.org/issues/success-stories/people-power-the-results-international-conference)

Education advocates rally to support education for all beyond 2015

Last week 500 advocates from 20 countries converged on Washington as part of RESULTS annual International Conference. Speakers at the conference included, among others:

– Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate and Founder of the Grameen Bank
– Kul Gautam, former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF
– Carol Bellamy, former Executive Director of UNICEF and former Chair of the Board of Directors of GPE
– Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF
– Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria

On the final day of the conference, RESULTS volunteers took to Capitol Hill, the World Bank, and GPE to advocate their priority issues in education development.

A call for action

A central theme emerging throughout the conference was a call for immediate action to realize a quality basic education for all as a fundamental foundation towards ending poverty. Inspired by World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim’s bold agenda to end extreme poverty by 2030, RESULTS volunteers and allies are pushing their campaign forward with renewed energy to achieve Education for All, rally efforts towards meeting the education Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, and see to it that a post-2015 development agenda prioritizes the expansion of basic education, improving learning outcomes, and reaching the marginalized.

GPE Replenishment

In 2013 alone, countries are expected to request over $1 billion from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to support their basic education plans, and as Carol Bellamy told the audience, GPE anticipates that by the end of 2014, it will have provided over $4 billion since its establishment in 2002 to support education in nearly 60 countries. RESULTS volunteers understand the critical importance of a successful GPE replenishment and have already begun their advocacy campaign in the run-up to GPE’s June 2014 pledging conference. RESULTS volunteers from the UK and Australia are keen to support their governments in retaining their roles as the largest contributors to the GPE Fund. Those from Canada are working to protect and increase its commitment in an era of budget cuts, and those in the US continue to encourage the US to make a multi-year pledge to the Fund.

Education for All Act

Taking to the Hill the day after its introduction, RESULTS volunteers from the US are championing the Education for All Act, H.R. 2780. If passed, the act will ensure that US policy contributes to a successful international effort to provide all children with a quality basic education through the creation of a comprehensive strategy to achieve the targets and goals of Education for All.

World Bank support to basic education

RESULTS international partners spent a day during the International Conference meeting with World Bank staff to explore how they can maximize their support for basic education in the countries worst off. Despite a recent 2010 World Bank pledge to accelerate progress toward the education MDGs, increased World Bank investments in basic education have not materialized. The trends in the chart below illustrate RESULTS concerns about World Bank support to basic education overall as well as to critical subsets such as GPE developing country partners, the Africa region, and conflict-affected and fragile states:

Results blog chart

Education beyond 2015

Finally, RESULTS continues to look ahead to education beyond 2015 and calls on three priority education frontsthat should be reflected in the post-2015 development agenda:

  • Finish the job by achieving universal equitable access to primary education as targeted by the current education MDGs.
  • Expand the horizon of education access both upward to secondary school and downward to pre-primary school.
  • Focus on quality, not just quantity, by targeting learning outcomes and learning environments.