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Olav Seim EFA International Coordination Team UNESCO

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Funding Education in Practice The Role of UNESCO. IIEP/UNESCO Summer School 2009, Paris, 28 July 2009. Olav Seim EFA International Coordination Team UNESCO . UNESCO - Purpose/Constitution. Founded 1945 - From Preamble:

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Funding Education in Practice

The Role of UNESCO

IIEP/UNESCO Summer School 2009,

Paris, 28 July 2009

Olav Seim

EFA International Coordination Team


unesco purpose constitution
UNESCO - Purpose/Constitution

Founded 1945 - From Preamble:

“Since wars begins in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”

the purpose of the Organization is: "to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations’ .”

education for all 2000 major education gains
Education for All: 2000 > Major education gains

Enrolment increases at all levels in developing countries but large global and national disparities risk being accentuated

  • Impressive increase in primary school enrolments in Africa and South Asia – much more rapid than in 1990s; progress towards gender parity
  • Impact of public policies: school fee abolition, school construction in underserved areas, teacher recruitment
  • In a majority of countries with data, national spending on education has increased since 2000, international aid has supported progress
  • Increasing demand for secondary education but enrolments still much lower than at primary level in most developing regions
  • Rapid growth in tertiary education

→But: 776 million adults lack basic literacy skills; 75 million children still out of school

Low learning achievement in many developing countries



Lessons from 1990s crises: high human costs

No clear cut pattern but most studies show:

  • Reductions in social spending on health and education
  • Higher child mortality rates, increase in malnutrition
  • Reduced ability of households to contribute to schooling costs
  • Decrease in school enrolments in low-income countries
  • Increase in child labour
  • In middle- and high-income countries possible increase in secondary and tertiary enrolments due to lack of job opportunities
  • Reduced aid flows: 1% drop in donor-country GDP associated with 1% drop in aid flows


must protect gains made
Must protect gains made
  • Counter-cyclical investment:

- protect or increase public spending on education

  • Maintain and increase aid commitments
  • Special measures to help poorest and most vulnerable groups
  • Increase efficiency and reduce corruption


reaffirm the centrality of education
Reaffirm the centrality of education

Knowledge, skills and values to promote informed choices and a more sustainable future

Educationis a catalyst for development. It:

  • Contributes to economic growth
  • Reduces poverty
  • Improves health, nutrition, income and livelihoods
  • Promotes citizenship and democratic participation, important element in peace building
  • Is a condition for achieving all the Millennium Development Goals



Organization: The Education Sector

  • The largest of the 5 Sectors of UNESCO
  • About 130 people in Paris and 140 in the field
  • Composed of four Divisions at HQ:
    • Division for the Promotion of Basic Education
    • Division of Higher Education
    • Division of Education Strategies and Field Support
    • Division for the Coordination of UN priorities in Education
    • Executive Office
    • International Education for All Coordination Team
    • Global Monitoring Report Team
  • UNESCO has some 50 field offices


unesco budget

2008-2009 Regular Program Budget: $631 million.

The Education Sector gets $108.5 million for 2 years

57.7 million in used on Staff costs

50.7 million is used on ED activities

Annual Education Program Budget approx. 25 million USD

70% of the education activities budget is decentralized to field offices.

UNESCO also receives voluntary contributions, mostly from Member States. Approximately $300 Million received in extra budgetary resources for Education projects in 2006 and 2007, approx $150 annual

In comparison FTI - Catalytic Fund disbursement in 2008 was USD 214 million


challenges lessons learnt
Challenges – Lessons learnt
  • Not sufficient robust in-country processes – lack of ownership and use of country systems (Paris Declaration (AAA)/FTI Evaluation)
  • Need to strengthen analytical basis and planning, support countries build capacity to implement holistic costed sector programs
  • Capacity development needs to be better integrated into the sector program, not least institutional capacity to implement programs
  • This involves a cost – particular in countries in a fragile situation
fragile states
Fragile states
  • Environments involve element of risqué - Not sufficient upfront risqué assessment
  • Donor accountability – Parliaments, state auditors
  • Need for better data, mapping of the situation, potential agents/channels for service delivery
  • Need to develop more clear lines of accountability, particular in a situation of weak state capacity. This is strongly linked to robust risqué assessment and monitoring and evaluation of implementation of programs
role of unesco
Role of UNESCO
  • A trusted partner
  • Not a funding organisation
  • Should focus on advisory services, including policy advice and strategic planning
  • Need to get more strategic. With the new biannual budget, focus on 20 countries furthest away from reaching the EFA Goals (many of which are fragile states)
  • Aid architecture fragmented
  • Need to strengthen coordination, cooperation and division of labour between the EFA Convening Agencies.

“Everyone has the right to education”

Article 26, Universal Declaration of Human Rights