Where do we stand with Universal Education for all by 2015 (MDG2)? Nora Coghlan from the ONE Campaign reports from the Summit floor.
September 20, 2010
Earlier this morning, I listened to a powerful panel of speakers — including former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, UK Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell, Queen Rania of Jordan and World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala — rally around a single issue: education for all by 2015.
Under the banner of 1 Goal, a global campaign for universal education that recruited 18 million supporters during this summer’s World Cup, the panelists kicked off a week of MDG-related discussions by underscoring the fact that with its links to democracy, family health and economic growth, education is central to meeting all the MDGs and achieving long-term development beyond 2015.
More than one of the panelists cited this new Lancet study, which credits women’s education for half of the reduction in child mortality over the past few decades, as the latest in a growing mountain of evidence that says education leads to progress on multiple fronts.
It wasn’t all talk, though.
On behalf of the World Bank, Okonjo-Iweala pledged $750 million for education in low income countries over the next five years. She said that the funding represented a 40 percent increase in the World Bank’s basic education spending over the past five years and would be directed toward countries who have had their national education plans supported by the Education for All-Fast Track Initiative, but are off-track in meeting MDG 2.
Kevin Rudd, Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, also said that Australia expects to spend around $5 billion on education over the next five years, an estimated 70 percent of which will be directed towards basic education.
There was also a strong call for shifting the focus beyond inputs to results and impact. Andrew Mitchell emphasized that when it comes to education, establishing and evaluating targets for literacy, math skills and primary completion are especially critical.
This focus on impact will no doubt be a theme here in New York this week. Given the global financial climate and the fact that the world has only five years until the deadline for achieving the MDGs, there is a strong sense that now is the time to redouble efforts on programs that are delivering results — and reinvent those that are not.
Nora Coghlan is a Policy Manager at the ONE Campaign. She has been with ONE for nearly three years, and is currently focused on advocacy efforts around maternal, newborn and child health, global education, the 2010 G8 and G20 summits and ONE’s new Women ONE2ONE campaign. As a student, Nora spent time working for Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and for Dignitas International. Nora graduated with a B.A. in International Development and History from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. She also spent a semester studying in South Africa and working for the Amy Biehl Foundation.