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Presentation of the Report “Innovative Financing for Education: Moving Forward”

The Report “Innovative Financing for Education: Moving Forward” published in February 2012 is a follow-up to the first 2010 report “2+3=8, Innovating in Financing Education” of the Task Force on Innovative Financing for Education. The 2010 Report presented an initial study of innovative financing mechanisms that could be used for education.

This second report highlights the urgent need to mobilize new resources to overcome inequalities in education and presents an in-depth analysis of certain mechanisms chosen in the first report. The aim is to mobilize the international community, political leaders in particular, on the need to implement innovative financing for education through innovation and the reduction of disparities in education. Progress in achieving MDGs for the education of all boys and girls has been observed since the World Education Forum (Dakar, 2000). Yet, although children have access to primary school, many of them give it up before completing primary education and too many students drop out of school without gaining basic knowledge of reading, writing and arithmetic. Consequently, the quality of teaching has become a major educational issue.

However, despite the great progress achieved in access to education, 67 million children are still out of school in developing countries. What is also at stake is the reduction of inequalities in access to education by targeting the most disadvantaged children, namely girls, children in conflict-affected countries and in rural areas.

In view of this observation, financing education implies fully taking account of equity and innovation in the education sector. All partners involved in the financing of education must work together, including governments, donors, NGOs and the private sector.

The Task Force on Innovative Financing for Education presents four mechanisms that are ready to be implemented and have the best potential for raising substantial funds.

The Education Venture Fund is intended to mobilize new resources through a range of mechanisms for investing in initiatives to promote innovation in the education sector.

Debt Conversion Development Bonds (DCDBs) are a form of debt relief in which the creditor forgives debt on the condition that the debtor makes available some specified amount of local currency funding to be used for specific development programmes.

The issuance of Diaspora Bonds makes it possible for countries to issue debt instruments to raise financing from their overseas diasporas.

The Travellers’ Savings Fund for Development is a financial instrument that increases social investment and their participation. It also helps mitigate the risk associated with exposure to currency fluctuations by civil society, private foundations, NGOs and travellers at large.

The other mechanisms that have been studied are efficient at the national level and could help raise awareness, but are less applicable in terms of volume of fundraising.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) at national level include the collaboration of governments, donors and enterprises for the development of Education Management Information Systems (EMIS) in schools and ministries.

Private fundraising by an entity bringing together businesses on the basis of education-related marketing practices is also a promising form of innovative financing.

Micro-donations consist in the large-scale collection of very small amounts of financial transactions, for example through payroll giving.

In order to implement the above proposals, the Task Force recommends a certain number of actions:

► Maintain the same level of official development assistance (ODA) for education in developing countries;

► raise the share of education in national budgets to 20%, as recommended by the international community;

► continue to fight inequalities by targeting marginalized and out-of-school children in national education policies and donor programmes, in order to achieve the MDGs and the Education for All (EFA) goals;

► select one or more mechanisms presented in this report and promote implementation thereof through political and financial support;

► pursue advocacy to ensure that education is covered by the Financial Transaction Tax;

► ensure that the implementation of innovative financing for education has an impact on the most marginalized.

Lastly, the Task Force calls on the Leading Group to update its objectives, in accordance with the latest international commitments, including by UNGA, the G20 and ECOSOC. You can download the Report in English (in PDF format) by clicking on the icon below:

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Innovative financing for Education: Moving Forward

27 February 2012

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