Education Commission, UN Envoy Propose International Finance Facility
UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
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The Education Commission, chaired by UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, has proposed an International Finance Facility for Education.

The Facility could mobilize an additional US$13 billion annually for education by 2020.

UNESCO issued a paper on ensuring that higher education leaves no one behind, outlining six steps to make it affordable and accessible to all.

20 April 2017: The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (Education Commission) has proposed an International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd). The Facility would serve as a donor and Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) investment mechanism, and aim to fill financing gaps with new and additional resources for education.

The Education Commission was established in July 2015, and is chaired by Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, with the Heads of State and Government from Chile, Indonesia, Malawi, Norway and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General serving as co-convenors. The proposed Facility builds on plans outlined in the Commission’s September 2016 report on expanding access to education at all levels, titled ‘The Learning Generation,’ which calls for establishing an MDB investment mechanism for education.

Countries would agree to “reform their systems for results” and increase public expenditure on education from 4% to 5.8% of GDP.

The IFFEd would use both capital leverage and a compact between developed and developing country parties, and draw on the experiences of mechanisms such as the Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative and Global Funds for health and immunization. According to the Commission, it could mobilize an additional US$13 billion annually for education by 2020. Through the compact, low- and middle-income countries would agree to “reform their systems for results” and increase public expenditure on education from an average of about 4% of gross domestic product (GDP) to 5.8% of GDP by 2030.

The Commission presented the proposed IFFEd during the 2017 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which convened from 21-23 April 2017, in Washington, DC, US. It is also calling on leaders to support the proposal during the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in Germany in July 2017.

On 20 April, UNESCO issued a paper on ensuring that higher education, a “cornerstone for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG),” leaves no one behind. The policy paper, titled ‘Six ways to ensure higher education leaves no one behind,’ was prepared by the UN Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) International Institute for Educational Planning (IIHP) and UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report.

The six suggestions for making higher education equitable and affordable are: 1) Keep an eye on the target: Make sure those who need help the most are getting it; 2) Put it into law: Guarantee equity and affordability in regulatory frameworks; 3) Step up monitoring: Establish national agencies to ensure equal opportunities; 4) Vary admissions criteria: Use different admissions criteria to respond to different individuals’ needs; 5) Provide varied student aid: Establish an agency to coordinate different forms of student aid, such as loans and grants; and 6) Limit student loan repayments to <15% of their annual income.

Also on education, on 10 April 2017, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres designated Malala Yousafzai as UN Messenger of Peace with a special focus on girls’ education. She is the first Messenger of Peace designated by Secretary-General Guterres. [Proposal for IFFEd] [UN Press Release on International Facility] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Education Commission Report] [UN Press Release on Higher Education] [UNESCO Press Release on Higher Education Report] [Policy Paper 30: Six ways to ensure higher education leaves no one behind] [UN Press Note on Messenger Appointment] [UN News Interview with Malala Yousafzai]


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