“Partnering with the philanthropic community to promote education for all”

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will convene a special event, “Partnering with the philanthropic community to promote education for all” on 28 February 2011, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

This event is one of the preparatory events for the 2011 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) on “implementing the internationally agreed goals and commitments in regard to education”, and is organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP), and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthrophy (CECP).

An opening plenary session will be followed by two panel discussions on: (a) Staying the course: Enabling access for both girls and boys to complete primary education; and (b) Promoting education and training for tomorrow's economy.

The key objective of the special event is to increase focus on issues central to the achievement of education for all, through:

(i) broadening of the range of stakeholders involved in the work of ECOSOC, as well as increasing the awareness amongst the philanthropic community on the progress made and the challenges faced in achieving the internationally agreed goals and commitments on education;
(ii) promoting concrete initiatives by the philanthropic community and initiating new partnerships that would accelerate progress in reaching the international goals and targets related to education;
(iii) expanding multi-stakeholder engagement in the international community’s efforts to help advance the progress on the two focus areas mentioned above.

A number of co-convenors are lending their support to this event. These include: the Clinton Global Initiative, Education For All-Fast Track Initiative Secretariat, the International Association of University Presidents, the International Labour Organization, the NEPAD Business Group, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Foundation, the United Nations Millennium Campaign, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, the United Nations Global Compact, the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations University, the United Nations Women, the World Bank, the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, and the World Economic Forum.



Clinton Global Initiative

Education For All-Fast Track Initiative Secretariat

International Labour Organization

NEPAD Business Group

United Nations Foundation

United Nations Millennium Campaign

United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development

United Nations Global Compact

World Bank

World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists

World Economic Forum.

Best Practices

Abolishing school fees in Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania: 

The abolition of school fees at primary school level hasled to a surge in enrolment in a number of countries.In Tanzania, the enrolment ratio had doubled to 99.6per cent by 2008, compared to 1999 rates. In Ethiopia,net enrolment was 79 per cent in 2008, an increase of95 per cent since 2000. But the surge in enrolment indeveloping regions has brought a new set of challengesin providing enough teachers and classrooms.

Investing in teaching infrastructure and resources in Ghana, Nepal and Tanzania:

Ghana has recruited retireesand volunteers to meet teacher demand. Additional fundshave also been allocated for the provision of temporaryclassrooms and teaching materials. In Nepal, investmenthas ensured that more than 90 per cent of students livewithin 30 minutes of their local school. And Tanzaniahas embarked on an ambitious programme of educationreform, building 54,000 classrooms between 2002 and2006, as well as hiring 18,000 additional teachers.

Promoting education for girls in Botswana, Egypt and Malawi:

Egypt’s Girls’ Education Initiative and Food-for-Education (FFE) programme encourage girls to attendschool by providing free education and by constructingand promoting ‘girl-friendly schools’. By 2008, more than1,000 schools were built and almost 28,000 studentsenrolled. In conjunction the FFE programme providesschool meals to 84,000 children in poor and vulnerablecommunities. Botswana has reduced female drop-outrates by half by implementing readmission policies.Malawi has been promoting girls’ education in grades1-4 by providing learning materials.

Expanding access to remote and rural areas in Bolivia and Mongolia:

Mongolia has introduced mobile schools(‘tent schools’) to reach children who would otherwise not have regular access to primary education. One hundred mobile schools have been providing educational services across 21 provinces. In Bolivia, a bilingual education programme has been introduced for three of the most widely used indigenous languages. It covered 11 per cent of primary schools in 2002, expanding access to education for indigenous children in remote areas.

Click here to discover more exciting examples of what has been done and achieved in a number of countries to help achieve the targets and goals related to education.



“The Global Initiative on Education and HIV & AIDS seeks to promote, develop and support comprehensive education sector responses to HIV and AIDS.”

Partners: “Relies strongly on principles of joint action and partnership to maximise opportunities and impact at the country level. It is in line with efforts to strengthen the coherence and the coordination of efforts, including the UNAIDS division of labour.”



Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE)

“Global strategic framework for the implementation of the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012), in order to meet the Education for All (EFA) goals, with particular focus on adult literacy and out-of-school children…targets the 35 countries that have a literacy rate of less than 50 percent or a population of more than 10 million people who cannot read nor write.”


Teacher Training Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa (TTISSA)

“To improve access, quality and equity of education through improving the quality and quantity of the teaching force in the region…supports the region’s Member States in addressing teacher-related challenges over a period of ten years (2006-2015).”

Partners: African Union, NEPAD, ADEA, African Development Bank, World Bank, Commonwealth of Learning, Commonwealth Secretariat, TESSA




Education for All Global Action Plan

“Strategy to improve international and country-level coordination for Education for All (EFA), which aims to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015. It works to clarify the roles of the five international agencies spearheading the global EFA movement (UNESCO, UNDP, the UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank) and define their coordinated, joint action at the global level. Ultimately, it aims to improve targeted action on the ground, at the country level.”

Partners: World Bank/IMF, OECD, Regional Development Banks, Civil Society



Inter-Agency Standing Committee Cluster

“Clarify the roles, responsibilities and accountability of UN and non-UN partners seeking to restore schooling in specific crisis situations…also seeks to better coordinate efforts to rebuild education systems in post-crisis transitions.”

“All operational organizations and with a standing invitation to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the International Organization for Migration. Relevant non-governmental organizations can be invited to participate on an ad hoc basis. In practice, no distinction is made between "Members" and "Standing Invitees" and the number of participating agencies has expanded since inception of the IASC in 1992.”



United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI)

“Provides advocacy and technical support for designing, financing and implementing national education plans…offers stakeholders – which include UN system agencies, governments, donor countries, non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, communities and families – a platform for action and galvanizes their efforts to get girls into school.”

Global partners: Aga Khan Foundation, American Institute for Research, CARE, Education Development Center, EFA Fast-Track Initiative, Global Campaign for Women and AIDS, International Rescue Committee (IRC), OXFAM International, Plan International, Save the Children Alliance, UNAIDS, World Education, World Learning


WASH in Schools

“Calls on decision-makers to increase investments and on concerned stakeholders to plan and act in cooperation – so that all children go to a school with child-friendly water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.” Goals: (i) “Clean water for drinking and washing”; (ii) “Dignity and safety through ample toilets and washstands, separated for girls and boys”; (iii) Education for good hygiene; (iv) Healthy school environments through safe waste disposal.

“Partners (as of February 2010) include: Alliance of Religions and Conservation, AED, CARE, Children Without Worms, Catholic Belief Services, Dubai Cares, EMF, Emory University, GWC, H2O for Life, IRC, IRHA, Millennium Water Alliance, Save the Children, UNICEF, UNSGAB, Water Can, Water advocates, Water Aid, Water for People, WHO.” {C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}


World Bank

Education for All–Fast Track Initiative (FTI)

“Platform for collaboration at the global and country levels. Through the FTI compact, developing countries commit to design and implement sound education plans while donor partners commit to align and harmonize additional support around these plans. Funding is channelled through existing bilateral and multilateral channels and also through the FTI Catalytic Fund (CF), which supports countries with insufficient resources to implement their sector plans.”

“Encompasses all major donor countries and agencies working in education - over 30 bilateral, regional and international agencies and development banks. The following civil society organizations are engaged in constructive dialogue with FTI and advocate donor support for the Initiative: Action Aid, Data, Education International, Inclusion International, Oxfam, Save the Children.”



International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC)

“Created in 1992 with the overall goal of the progressive elimination of child labour, which was to be achieved through strengthening the capacity of countries to deal with the problem and promoting a worldwide movement to combat child labour.”

Partners: public and private sector. See list.



United Nations Global Compact

The Children’s Rights and Business Principles Initiative

“To develop a set of principles based on practical actions business can take to respect and support children's rights in the workplace, marketplace and community.”

Global compact, total: over 8700 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 130 countries.


United Nations Foundation

Girl Up

“Gives American girls the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Supporters are encouraged to give a "High Five" to girls in developing countries by donating $5 or more to provide girls with such basic needs as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence, and more.”

“Partners represent a diverse community from across all sectors and include leading corporations and foundations, youth organizations, media outlets, and sports leagues.”

World Economic Forum

Global Education Initiative

“Raise awareness and support the implementation of relevant, sustainable and scalable national education sector plans on a global level through the increased engagement of the private sector.”

“Engages over 40 private sector partners, 14 governments, seven international organizations and 20 NGOs”