This first Task Force meeting for 2011 determined the follow-up action to be taken to the experts’ report presented in New York and Tokyo. Detailed information sheets on each type of mechanism will help convince new partners to establish innovative financing in the area of education. A number of expert assessments are under way, in addition to the Task Force report, which will bolster our arguments. Here is a very brief summary of participants’ contributions.
Philippe Lacoste and Julien Meimon on behalf of the Permanent Secretariat of the Leading Group reported on progress being made in the international debate on innovative financing and the considerable feedback we have had. Initial steps include the Leading Group Plenary Meeting in Tokyo in December 2010, preparations of a side-event at the UN LDC Summit in Istanbul in May 2011 and the next Leading Group Meeting to be held in June. They likewise pointed out that in line with requests made in Tokyo, the G20 has become increasingly interested in innovative financing and that the French Presidency has made it a priority to fund development. Suhas Ketkar from the Open Society Institute addressed the issue of diaspora bonds. He used Israel and India as examples to show the considerable amounts that could be raised with such bonds (to date, Israel has raised over $50 billion). In his opinion, diaspora bonds are instruments that can be used in other countries but only if accompanied by credit enhancement. Marja Karjalainen from the European Commission talked about a study the Commission is conducting on public-private partnerships and essentially on initiatives such as RED products. She stressed that such initiatives were meant to raise awareness of development issues just as much as to raise funds. Moreover, this type of project helps make consumerism – a leading feature of our societies – useful and do something positive. Olav Seim from UNESCO talked about debt swaps for education. He pointed out that past experiences have been mitigated but mentioned major education projects in countries like India and stressed the need to advocate education. Ilona Genevois, with Khadim Sylla from the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), reported on the initial findings of a study being conducted in partnership with the Global Public Policy Institute on public-private partnerships for education. Khadim Sylla talked further about information systems being used to manage and monitor education systems, an area in which the private sector can play a key role, especially be sharing its expertise. Lastly, Desmond Bermingham from Results for Development explained the Education Venture Fund project, a mechanism to fund educational projects, prepared to take more risks than a traditional investment fund. The idea is quite advanced and the Results for Development staff is now at the stage of identifying investment banks and funds that could be interested.
14 February 2011Printable version