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Financing Education as a Public Good: 1000 Days to 2015 and Beyond


In 2000 the world committed that no country would be left behind in education due to lack of resources. Now is the time for governments to fulfil that promise.

On Friday 19 April the Global Campaign for Education, its members the Global Campaign for Education US, Results, Plan International and Oxfam, and the Global Partnership for Education hosted Financing Education as a Global Public Good: 1000 Days to 2015 and Beyond, a seminar to discuss the vitality of new financing to achieve education for all.

Click here to read the outcomes of the session.


With 131 million children of primary and lower secondary school age still out of school around the world, and fewer than 1000 days remaining until the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, the event called for urgent new efforts to be made by all parties to reverse the serious decline in financing for basic education. 

Most of the significant barriers to achieving Education for All were debated during the week of the event, at a special Education Summit co-hosted by the UN Global Education First Initiative, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and the World Bank: The Final Sprint to 2015: Delivering Quality Education & Learning for All. However, education financing merits additional focus due to the severe decline of recent years.

Financial commitments generated by the international and domestic prioritization of education have been central to the success over the past decade in expanding educational access. However, education resources continue to be skewed toward higher education rather than basic education, and toward richer segments of the population, leaving vulnerable populations behind. Funds may be inefficiently deployed or ineffective at producing high quality educational outcomes for the poorest. The economic climate particularly in Europe remains a threat to education financing from traditional donor countries.

Speakers included Amina J. Mohammed, the UN Secretary-General's special advisor on the Post-2015 Development Goals, Aleesha Taylor of the Open Society Foundations, GCE President Camilla Croso and Kevin Watkins, Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute chaired the event.

Key outcomes and demands from the event included:

  • All governments: take urgent action to ensure a minimum of 20% of national budgets, or 6% of GDP, is allocated to education, and ensure that at least 50% of this is dedicated to basic education, with a much higher percentage where necessary. Urgently identify ways of increasing domestic tax bases, and ensure a share of this is allocated to education. Progressive tax reform, action on tax evasion and closing tax loopholes are specific actions that should be taken.
  • Bilateral donors: urgently commit 0.7% of GNI to aid, and allocate a 10% share to basic education in low income countries. Ensure that the Global Partnership for Education can meet the increased demand for its education grants by meeting the replenishment target of $2.5 billion, and commit to increase contributions during its next replenishment round in 2014
  • The World Bank: fulfil its 2010 pledge of additional IDA support to basic education in the countries most in need by allocating $1.6 billion per year from now until 2015 to basic education.

The full set of demands and outcomes can be downloaded here.