All Means All: Transforming Education to Include Quality Provision for All Children in All Settings, by Mobilizing All Actors
This year has been populated by a number of key moments for the shifting education landscape, which have brought a renewed sense of urgency, as well as productive conversations on how all stakeholders can work together to get progression to SDG4 back on track. One such key collaboration, formulated to align with the Transforming Education Summit (TES), which took place in New York City on September 19th, saw IDP Foundation (IDPF), alongside over 30 other foundations, sign a joint statement by philanthropic actors supporting education change and promoting increased inclusion.
For IDPF this not only means the inclusion of all faiths and marginalized groups, but also both state and non-state actors within the conversation, so we can collaborate in central education planning and focus on our shared goal: progress towards equitable and quality education for all children. The fact that the statement was supported not only by philanthropies, but also by large, influential institutions like UNESCO and OECD, shows how the tides are changing.
In support of the statement, a side event was held in New York City, alongside the UN General Assembly, to discuss the statement’s content. These conversations made it clear that when we talk about ensuring all children have access to quality education, we must mean all children, in all settings, which requires all actors to work together across the varied education landscape that exists today. Seeing government representation from Zanzibar and Cambodia, was a powerful message, showing that fostering meaningful partnerships with private philanthropy can become part of a connected solution to the education crisis. IDPF supports the call to “speak as one voice for the first time and stand ready to contribute to the mobilization of resources and to support global and in-country efforts to transform education in support of Agenda 2030 and beyond.”
Between 2016 and 2019, total global philanthropic funding for education was USD 4.5 billion (OECD, 2021). This statistic underscores the huge role that philanthropic funders play in the education ecosystem and, therefore, we must continue to encourage collaboration between all education funders and players, in order to ensure education is funded adequately.
At IDPF, we are collaborating to mobilize more resources and distribute them more equitably and efficiently across contexts; including within both state and non-state provision.
To truly transform education, there needs to be a connected ecosystem that encompasses all education settings and actors, both state and non-state, to truly include all children, regardless of faith, gender, special needs, geographical location, and conflict situations, in access to quality education. To achieve this, all stakeholders must work collaboratively and have a shared vision for the future of education. IDPF is keen to continue to build and strengthen our relationships with actors beyond the philanthropic community, reflecting our ‘all hands on deck’ approach to our work. Every actor in the mixed economy of education that exists can provide their own unique insights and contributions, to ensure we reach the most cohesive approach to solving the education crisis.
IDPF supports the call to education partners in the international development community to work closely with philanthropies towards SDG4, and capitalize on the contribution that they can make to the sector. We need to act now, leveraging UNESCO’s renewed Global Education Cooperation Mechanism and committing to follow-up actions from the Summit – namely the pledge made by at least 130 countries to “reboot their education systems and accelerate action to end the learning crisis.” Additionally, two-thirds of these countries referenced “measures to offset the direct and indirect costs of education for economically vulnerable communities.” The catalytic process is in drive, and IDPF looks forward to more activities that strive towards real change, such as the announcement of the International Financing Facility for Education (IFFEd). From 2023, this will provide $2 billion of “additional affordable funding for education programs to be disbursed.” IDPF is focused on working with our partners across the education landscape to ensure that this funding is used in the most effective ways possible.
IDPF believes that by establishing and reinforcing strong public-private partnerships and collaboration, we will reach education targets sooner, providing quality education to the most marginalized populations. We must all work together to ensure that education for all truly means all.