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United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality. Interim Report on Achieving the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education . Millennium Development Goals. Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

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United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality

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United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality

Interim Report

on Achieving the Millennium Development Goal of

Universal Primary Education

Millennium Development Goals

  • Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

  • Goal 2 Achieve universal primary education

  • Goal 3 Promote gender equality and empower women

  • Goal 4 Reduce child mortality

  • Goal 5 Improve maternal health

  • Goal 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

  • Goal 7 Ensure environmental sustainability

  • Goal 8 Develop a global partnership for development

Millennium Development Goals Overall UN Strategy

Millennium Campaign: Mobilizing political support for the MDGs through

locally-led national campaigns.

Millennium Project: Setting targets, recommending strategies and

developing an implementation plan that will allow all developing countries

to meet the MDGs by 2015.

  • Commissioned by Secretary General Kofi Annan, 10 independent Task Forces were convened to generate recommendations to achieve the MDGs. Led by Jeffrey Sachs, Director of The Earth Institute, Columbia University.

    MDG Country Reporting: Evaluating countries’ progress toward the

    MDGs through periodic national reports.

    Country Operations: Coordinating UN agencies’ activities to help

    countries implement policies to achieve the MDGs.

Task Force onEducation and Gender Equality


Achieve universal primary education by 2015

  • Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike,

    will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

    Promote gender equality and empower women

  • Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and to all levels of education no later than 2015.


  • Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development

  • Geeta Rao Gupta, President, International Center for Research

    on Women

  • Amina Ibrahim, Education for All Coordinator, Ministry of Education, Nigeria.

Charles Abani

Carmen Barroso

Nancy Birdsall

Mayra Buvinic

Winnie Byanima

Jennifer Chiwela

Christopher Colclough

Diane Elson

Tamara Fox

Geeta Rao Gupta

Carolyn Hannan

Noeleen Heyzer

Amina Ibrahim

Ruth Kagia

Michael Kremer

Lin Lean Lim

Nora Lustig

Karen Mason

Arlene Mitchell

Penina Mlama

Mary Joy Pigozzi

Magaly Pineda

Anastasia Posadskaya

Paulo Renato Souza

Gita Sen

Fatou Sow

Gorgui Sow

Gene Sperling

Albert Tuijnman

Cream Wright

Task Force 3 on Education and Gender EqualityMembers

Task Force 3 on Education and Gender EqualityPerspective

  • Making current systems bigger will not be enough

  • Transformational actions are needed to

    • Make sure schooling --> education

    • Address gender inequality in education

    • Educate vulnerable and marginalized children

Task Force Messages

1- Mothers Matter Most

2- A Little Education Isn’t Enough

3- Parents, and Other Citizens, Have the Right to Know

4- More Money, Better Spent

5- Focus on the Hardest-to-Reach

6- Think Holistically

Message One:Mothers Matter MostSustained progress toward universal primary education requiresactions to improve the status of girls and women.

  • Educated mothers have more resources and use them to send children to school.

    • Women are 20 times more likely (than men) to spend money on the health and education of their children.

  • Mothers who are more educated tend to have children who perform better in school, and remain in school longer.

    • In Latin America, a 15-year-old child whose mother has some secondary schooling will remain in school for 2 to 3 more years than a child of a mother with less than 4 years of education.

Message Two:A Little Education Isn’t Enough The benefits of education endure only after a critical level of schooling has been attained.

Up to 9 years (basic education) provides the level of

education required to generate individual, family and society-

wide benefits.

  • Completion of at least 5 to 6 years is needed for mastery of basic competencies.

  • Higher levels of education generate key health and economic benefits particularly in more gender-stratified and unequal societies.

  • Post-primary education of girls is critical for lowering fertility and mortality, and improving reproductive health outcomes (including AIDS prevention).

    The world faces the largest-ever cohort of adolescents.

    Dead-end schooling dampens demand at the earliest grades.

Message Three: Parents, and Other Citizens, Have the Right to Know Improving local, national and international accountability through better information generation and sharing is fundamental to better education.


Core set of information about school resources and performance to

permit parents to hold schools and government accountable.


Planning data on school supply and performance; household demand;

and labor market.


Trends in the education sector; policies, resources and performance;

and assessment of development aid effectiveness.

Message Four:More Money, Better Spent Significant additional resources are critical, but not sufficient, to reach universal basic education.

Between $7 billion and $15 billion per year are required to put every

child in a good primary school.

  • Recurrent costs, rather than capital investments, represent the bulk of required funds. About 55% of the external gap is for recurrent costs and only 45% for capital investments.

  • External financing requirements for poor countries are likely to be somewhere between $2-6 billion per year.

    More spending doesn’t always lead to better performance.

  • Additional funding alone will not rescue failing systems from poor governance and management.

  • A review of 15 cross-country analyses show no consistent relationships between resources and performance.

    More spending doesn’t always lead to better performance.

    Management, effective resource allocation, demand-side factors are critical parts of the equation.

Message Five:Focus on the Hardest-to-Reach Reaching out-of-school children will take special efforts, beyond what is typically thought of as “scaling up.”

Specific interventions are needed to make schools

accessible and secure for this population:

  • Elimination of school fees

  • Conditional cash transfer programs

  • School feeding programs

  • School health programs

  • Sensitizing schools to girls’ needs

Message Six:Think HolisticallyFor education to reach its potential to contribute to economic growth, it needs to be accompanied by sound, broad-based economic reform.

Education will lead to economic growth and women’s

empowerment only if the economic context is favorable.

  • Job opportunities for skilled workers

    Investments need to be complemented by policies to


  • Governance

  • Investment climate

  • Labor market incentives

Recommendation 1: Funding by donors, connected to action by governments

  • Donors should commit to a dedicated facility with a starting balance of at least $1 billion.

    • To be drawn down and replenished to fund education sector plans under the Fast Track Initiative.

Recommendation 2:Expanded funding for post-primary education

The Fund should cover basic education in

countries that qualify, to keep adolescents in

school and increase the likelihood that parents

and children will be motivated to complete

primary school.

Recommendation 3: Strong monitoring of progress in implementing changes and improving education system performance

  • Assist recipient countries to implement systems that provide relevant information about education spending and outcomes. Focus on parents’ information needs.

  • Expand indicators of education system performance, and strengthen the capacity of statistical agencies within developing countries to collect and analyze data of adequate quality for decision making (UNESCO’s UIS).

Recommendation 4: Strong monitoring of donor funding and practices

Donors should commit to a common framework

of transparent annual monitoring and reporting

on commitments, disbursements and


  • This can be done through the FTI, in the case of countries included in the initiative, and through the OECD’s DAC more broadly.

Recommendation 5:Support for innovative, demand-side interventions

In addition to annual FTI funding, donors should provide

funding for cash or other transfers to poor households

contingent on children's attendance at school.

  • These programs ideally would be developed and managed by governments, but where that is not possible, could be developed and managed by donors as long as governments agreed.

  • Other interventions that should be eligible for funding:

    • School feeding programs, particularly where under-nutrition and food security issues are prevalent.

    • Girls’ scholarship programs, particularly where discrimination against girls predominates, and/or the opportunity cost of girls’ participation in post-primary education is a significant demand-side constraint.

  • Recommendation 6:Genuine evaluation to learn what works

    A minimum of 5% of resources for basic education

    should be applied to evaluation programs that use

    sound methodologies, and guarantee dissemination of


    • Create an independent facility for funding and bringing

      visibility to the results of rigorous impact evaluation. An

      independent facility would:

      • Contribute to the "global public good" of knowledge.

      • Reduce tension between implementation and evaluation, which hampers evaluation initiatives within the donor agencies.

      • Have the ability to disseminate evaluation findings and make available evaluation data.

    Consultation Question:What priority should we give to adult literacy programs?

    Does literacy acquired later in life have a

    similar effect on future generations as

    does early education of girls?

    Should this be a top priority?

    Consultation Question:What priority should be given to post-primary education?

    Investments in post-primary education

    could create an unaffordable burden on

    donor and domestic resources and take

    away from primary education resources.

    Consultation Question: What information should be made available to whom?

    What information do all parents and

    citizens need?

    What are some examples of information

    that has been made available to parents

    and citizens and what was the effect that

    it had?

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