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Post-2015 Development Agenda Bulletin
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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
SDC
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Volume 208 Number 6 - Friday, 22 March 2013
GLOBAL MEETING ON EDUCATION IN THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
18 -19 MARCH 2013

The Global Meeting on Education in the Post-2015 Agenda convened from 18-19 March 2013 in Dakar, Senegal. The meeting was the culmination of the consultation on education, one of 11 global thematic consultations initiated by the UN in preparation for the post-2015 development agenda. It was co-led by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with support from the Governments of Senegal, Canada and Germany, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Over 100 participants from government, civil society, UN agencies and international organizations participated in the meeting.

Discussions over the course of the two days focused on the success and efficacy of the Education For All (EFA) initiative and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the elements of a possible education goal in the post-2015 development agenda. The discussions highlighted the common view that education should be central to the post-2015 development agenda and prominently feature in it.

The meeting resulted in agreement on the overarching education goal of “equitable quality lifelong education and learning for all,” highlighting the consensus that equal access to quality education should be the basis of the education agenda in the post-2015 framework. Participants argued that the terminology used in the proposed goals needs to be clearly defined to ensure a common understanding. They also urged easily communicable goals that will allow the education community to advocate greater prominence in the post-2015 agenda. The meeting ended with broad consensus about the direction of the post-2015 education goal. Participants also noted the amount of work still needed before an articulate, concise and concrete proposal on the role of education in the post-2015 agenda can be put forward.

This report summarizes the presentations made and discussions that took place during the meeting.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GLOBAL CONSULTATIONS ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

At the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), held in New York, US, in September 2010, governments called for accelerating progress towards achieving the MDGs, and for thinking about ways to advance the UN development agenda beyond 2015. In response, the UN undertook several initiatives aimed at developing a post-2015 development agenda, including: setting up a UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda (UNTT); launching a High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP); appointing a Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning; and launching national and global thematic consultations.

In addition to the above, other processes that will feed into the post-2015 discussions include: the work of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a 30-member group mandated by the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) to prepare a proposal on SDGs for consideration by the UNGA at its 68th session; regional consultations by the UN Regional Economic Commissions, which will result in a report on regional perspectives on the post-2015 development agenda; input from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, set up by the UN Secretary-General in August 2012 to support global problem solving in ten critical areas of sustainable development; and input from businesses and the private sector through the UN Global Compact.

In order to ensure coherence across these different work streams, an informal senior coordination group of four Assistant Secretary-Generals (ASGs) has been put in place, which includes the ASG for Economic Development at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the ASG for Development Policy at UNDP, the ASG for Policy and Programmes at UN Women, and the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning. A “One Secretariat” has also been established to facilitate coordination and coherence across the work streams.

UN SYSTEM TASK TEAM: UNTT, which includes over 60 UN entities and agencies, and other international organizations, was set up to assess ongoing efforts within the UN system, consult all relevant stakeholders and define a system-wide vision and roadmap to support the deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda. UNTT presented its report, Realizing the Future We Want for All, in June 2012, calling for an integrated policy approach to ensure inclusive economic development, social progress and environmental sustainability, and a development agenda that responds to the public’s aspiration for a world free of want and fear. The report, which recommended that the post-2015 vision be built on the principles of human rights, equality and sustainability, will serve as a reference for additional, broad and inclusive consultations on the post-2015 development agenda.

UNTT is co-chaired by DESA and UNDP, and will provide technical support to the OWG on SDGs. It also aims to support the multi-stakeholder consultations being led by Member States on a post-2015 development agenda by providing analytical inputs, expertise and outreach.

HIGH-LEVEL PANEL OF EMINENT PERSONS ON THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA: The UN Secretary-General launched the HLP in June 2012, and appointed President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Prime Minister David Cameron of the UK as co-chairs. The HLP includes leaders from civil society, the private sector and governments. The Panel, which reports to the UN Secretary-General and is not an intergovernmental process, is expected to publish its report in May 2013, outlining its vision and recommendations on a post-2015 global development agenda. This report will feed into the Secretary-General’s report to Member States at the UN General Assembly’s Special Event on the MDGs in September 2013.

SPECIAL ADVISOR ON POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT PLANNING: In June 2012, Amina J. Mohammed of Nigeria was appointed as ASG and Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning to coordinate, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, the process of developing and building consensus among Member States, UN actors and key external actors. Mohammed also serves as an ex-officio member on the HLP, represents the Secretary-General in the post-2015 debate and advises him on related matters.

NATIONAL AND GLOBAL THEMATIC CONSULTATIONS: The UN Development Group (UNDG) initiated national and global thematic consultations on the post-2015 development agenda aimed at bringing together a broad range of stakeholders to review progress on the MDGs and discuss options for a new framework. The national consultations are taking place online and offline in more than 60 developing and developed countries, with national stakeholders exchanging information and providing their inputs for a shared global vision of “The Future We Want.”

At the global level, UNDG initiated 11 multi-stakeholder thematic consultations on: inequalities; education; health; governance; conflict and fragility; growth and employment; environmental sustainability; hunger, nutrition and food security; population dynamics; energy; and water.

Each thematic consultation is co-convened by two or more UN agencies with support from governments, working together with representatives from civil society, the private sector and academia. The consultations, which seek online contributions at the “World We Want 2015” website, aim to explore the role each theme could play in a new framework, the various ways in which they can best be addressed, and the linkages among them. A high-level meeting has been or will be held for each thematic area, to consider the results and recommendations of the consultations. Each of these consultations will produce a thematic report, which will also feed into the Secretary-General’s report to Member States. The final meetings on inequalities, governance, population dynamics, health, and conflict, violence and disaster have already taken place.

In addition, UNDP, the UN Millennium Campaign, the Overseas Development Institute and the World Wide Web Foundation developed and are facilitating an options survey called “MY World” that allows citizens to vote online and offline for issues that they believe would make the most difference to their lives. This survey aims to gather public opinions on development priorities.

GLOBAL CONSULTATION ON EDUCATION IN THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA: The consultation on education is led by UNESCO and UNICEF, with support from the Governments of Senegal, Canada and Germany, as well as the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The consultation aims to reach agreement on key recommendations for taking education forward in the post-2015 development agenda. Through a process comprising online and four regional consultations, stakeholders had the opportunity to share their views on four main themes: equitable access to education; quality of learning; global citizenship, skills and jobs; and governance and financing of education.

Through this process, stakeholders recognized four cross-cutting issues, emphasizing that education is key to: ensuring poverty reduction; tackling gender inequalities; ensuring that youth have essential skills for employment; and promoting local and national governance both broadly and within the education sector itself. The consultations have also suggested priorities and gaps to be addressed in the potential goal, including education quality, relevance and universal education at all levels and for all groups.

REPORT OF THE MEETING

The Global Meeting on Education in the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda opened on 18 March. Vincent Rigby, Vice President of Strategic Policy and Performance Branch, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), reflected on some of the successes achieved by the MDG framework, including mobilizing resources and narrowing the gender gap. He called on participants to develop ambitious recommendations that focus on equitable access and quality of education.

 Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, underlined that education is a human right. She challenged participants to match the determination and sacrifice of children around the world who overcome great challenges to receive education. She called for the potential education goals to be aimed at: improving education quality; ensuring accountability and transparency; guaranteeing safe places for learning in spite of natural or political disasters; and promoting innovation and technology.

 Qian Tang, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, considered lessons learned from the MDG process and highlighted the unfinished aspects of the EFA goals. He posited that recommendations should be based on peace and sustainable development, promote inclusive and equitable education, strengthen links with other development sectors, and define and promote lifelong learning systems.

Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Senegalese Minister of Education, noted the need for a paradigm shift away from “charity,” and urged that future education goals should consider the multi-dimensional nature of education and incorporate human, financial and environmental concerns. He reiterated the need to incorporate equity and quality into the goals.

Mamadou Ndoye, former Senegalese Minister of Education, stressed that in order for the right to education to be realized, all other human rights must also be realized. He noted that going forward, transformational policies that espouse the importance of scientific and technological skills are necessary.

Ahmad Alhendawi, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, underlined that education provides the opportunity and support for a successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. He clarified that although ensuring basic education for all is fundamental, the post-2015 development agenda should also strive to improve the quality of education and respond to labor and market needs. He said the legitimacy of the education goals depends on seeking and including the voices and ideas of young people to create a youth-friendly agenda, noting the importance of relevant skills to engender the employability of youth. Stressing that ownership is critical to success, Alhendawi called for empowering youth and youth-led organizations.

 Amina Mohammed, Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, and Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Education, addressed the meeting via video message. Mohammed noted that progress has been made in the education sector globally, citing examples including increased provision of classrooms and the creation of opportunities to improve the quality of education through teacher support. She explained that sustainable development is at the core of the new landscape of challenges, and urging participants to find the “thread to weave” education through all development goals, stressed specificity in proposed goals.

 Brown identified the “super goal” of development as universal education and universal learning to provide sustainable prosperity for all. He discussed the multiplier effect of education on the development goals and, on eradicating inequalities, he suggested developing timelines by 2030 to define universal achievements.

EMERGING PRIORITIES AND CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES

Richard Morgan, Senior Advisor on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, UNICEF, on behalf of the UNDG, said that the UNDG advocated for the future development agenda to be informed by the needs and wants of all stakeholders. He lauded the majority of African countries for participating in the education consultation process and noted that the online and regional consultations have reaffirmed the original values of the Millennium Declaration. Outlining emerging priorities and issues, he highlighted that inequalities, other forms of discrimination and other barriers must be considered in conjunction with poverty. Morgan outlined potential uses of technology for an education goal to ensure participation, accountability and good governance within the education system.

During the discussion, several participants highlighted the relevance of the EFA goals and the MDGs, and reflected on neglected aspects of these goals, urging discussions to identify lifelong learning as a priority. On confronting barriers in education, one participant suggested that gender equality be addressed through education rather than in education, stressing that education had the power to change gender bias norms. Another highlighted that although the global population is “young,” populations within school systems tend to be “old.” Morgan, responding to the discussion, suggested focusing on the twin arguments that education is a universal human right and has a high return on investment, in order to secure a place for education within the post-2015 development agenda.

Participants also underlined that: the potential post-2015 development goal for education should be inclusive and expand on current definitions of access; education is central to the development agenda and addresses the human rights of all people; the quality of learning and of teachers requires improvement; recommendations should be holistic, concrete and measurable; and the many concurrent frameworks on education should be reconciled by considering elements of commonality.

PRESENTATION OF THE PROCESS AND EMERGING MESSAGES FROM THE EDUCATION CONSULTATION

Yusuf Sayed, University of Sussex, UK, said that the starting point for consensus on a potential goal is recognizing the need to accelerate progress on the EFA goals and the MDGs. He noted that the current consultation process has highlighted that education is key for development, with stakeholders stressing that it, inter alia: is a basic human right; underpins many other development priorities; and is the most effective means to overcome inequality, eradicate poverty and achieve development.

On emerging priorities, Sayed highlighted the call to ensure equitable access to, and the quality of, education, with an increased focus from participants on learning outcomes. He stressed that many had noted the need for moving towards universally applicable goals that bring together the frameworks of the EFA goals and the MDGs. He highlighted the call for goals, targets and indicators to be globally aspirational yet contextually specific. He said the consultations had urged a human rights-based approach and universal stakeholder participation and accountability. Sayed urged further discussion on cross-cutting issues, citing the need to decide if gender should be a component of goals or a stand-alone goal. In closing, he summarized enabling conditions that had emerged in discussions, including strengthening the capacity of national monitoring and evaluation systems, ensuring strong accountability systems and adequate financing, and working work towards effective public-private partnerships.

EMERGING EFA REGIONAL PRIORITIES

Olav Seim, Director, EFA Global Partnerships, UNESCO, outlined emerging priorities in education including: peaceful societies; lifelong learning; youth life skills; women and children; governance and management; innovation and technology; and equity. Seim drew attention to the challenge of reflecting local contexts and culture while maintaining ambitious, measurable and realistic goals.

REFLECTIONS FROM MEMBER STATES ON EDUCATION IN THE POST-2015 AGENDA

Angola traced the impact of the current economic and financial crises, noting that they pose a challenge to achieving the MDGs and EFA goals. She shared efforts to address challenges in education such as increasing enrollment rates, reducing illiteracy rates and increasing quality of education through improved and continued training of teachers.

Cameroon recommended that, in view of globalization, vocational skills should be emphasized in addition to ensuring environmental awareness and protection to address threats to human security arising as a result of climate change and natural disasters. He spoke about Cameroon’s aspirations to provide universal education by 2015, calling for bilateral and multilateral cooperation, improving resource allocation and encouraging private initiatives to aid in achieving this goal.

Afghanistan outlined progress despite being partially in a war and post-war state. He explained how lessons learned have contributed to the pursuit of addressing challenges to meet national goals, which echo the MDG targets, by 2020. He noted that although education is the most important investment to overcome inequality, eradicate poverty, and promote growth and development, the cost can be prohibitive. He however cited technology access as a means to surmount this challenge. Going forward, Afghanistan shared the need to focus on access, quality and relevance to promote education to foster peace and development.

During the discussion, one participant suggested exploring different types of education and learning systems, saying that traditional, formal schooling systems may no longer be applicable. Another urged consideration of the potential role of partnerships to improve education systems. Other topics discussed include: prioritization of issues; potential targets and indicators; gender-sensitive curricula; the use of consultations to motivate governments to achieve progress; and the rights of the disabled being included in a future goal.

IDENTIFYING SECTORAL AND THEMATIC PRIORITIES IN THE POST-2015 AGENDA

Participants broke into nine discussion groups to consider the sectoral priorities and thematic suggestions that emerged from the consultation, and to suggest new issues. Considerations included: assessing the MDGs and EFA goals, including an overall assessment of trends and challenges, specifically equity challenges; discussing emerging sectoral priorities; and undertaking a context analysis to assess broader socio-political and economic bottlenecks, and the role of social protection in improving access and equality in education.

In the report back to plenary, the groups highlighted that although the MDGs and EFA goals are yet to be achieved, they have been successful in ensuring momentum for progress, particularly in focusing attention on the education issues, improving access to education, increasing investment and engaging political will.

On emerging sectoral priorities, the working groups called for achieving universality of access, noting that this may need to be addressed through exploring non-traditional education systems. They underscored the importance of quality basic education, saying that quality needs to be defined and measurable. They highlighted that an improved understanding of basic education may be necessary. Many suggested a universal goal to bridge the gap between the MDGs and the EFA goals, one that is adaptable to local and national contexts, can aid in accountability, and can be easily understandable and communicable in all languages. Other priorities included equity, addressing the different possible learning outcomes and gender parity at all levels.

Going forward, some groups highlighted the need for adequate sustainable financing to ensure that future goals may be achieved. Some noted that broader consultation beyond the education sector could enhance future goals and development frameworks. Summarizing, Camilla Croso, Global Campaign for Education, said that participants need to ensure that the qualities of “the world we want” are incorporated in the future framework.

In the ensuing discussion, one participant cautioned that certain terms could be misleading citing: “learning outcomes” as certain outcomes are not instantly available or easily measured; and “employability,” which does not reflect changing expectations within careers. Another participant highlighted that education is an important element of human security, skills development and human capacity.

 In light of the MDGs being focused on sustainable development, participants urged building bridges between other areas of development to clarify and strengthen the role of education in the post-2015 development agenda. Several participants agreed on the need to draw linkages among these recommendations with Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the MDGs and EFA goals. Tang proposed coordinating the MDGs and the EFA goals, saying that the MDGs should remain overarching goals while the EFA goals should be made more relevant at the regional level through a process of regional and sub-regional consultations. He announced an offer by the Government of Korea to host a global education conference in 2015 to address developments since the World Education Forum in 2000 and produce a new set of goals for education beyond 2015.

 Rigby summarized discussions saying that: education should be introduced as a “force multiplier” to enable other development priorities; gaps remain in the disparity of access, although some progress has been made; and thinking should develop to address evolving landscape of challenges. He urged participants to form a strong, single voice to deliver the compelling story of education.

DEVELOPMENT PRIORITIES EMERGING FROM THE HLP AND IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, via video message, provided insight on emerging priorities from the HLP, reiterating the aim to “develop a framework about people, their lives, families, environments and futures” which should be centered on education. She highlighted challenges such as regional disparities, financing and quality, suggesting a change in focus from inputs to outcomes. She explained that the past decade has improved the understanding of issues faced by stakeholders, which will enable a better formulation of the post-2015 development agenda and recommitment to education objectives.

PRINCIPLES AND POSSIBLE SCENARIOS FOR THE POST-2015 EDUCATION AGENDA

Keith Lewin, University of Sussex, UK, introduced the discussion on developing concrete recommendations for the post-2015 agenda, noting that many organizations have published their positions on the post-2015 education agenda, and outlined that goals, indicators and targets require commitments and clear specifications.

 Pauline Rose, Director of the EFA Global Monitoring Report, introduced a proposal based on equity, measurability and finance, developed from experience in monitoring the progress in achieving the EFA goals. She defined an overarching goal to be shared by all frameworks to “ensure that by 2030, everyone has an equal opportunity to learn the basics, whatever the circumstance.” She proposed that individual goals should address: completion and quality of early, primary and lower secondary education; acquisition of life skills; elimination of inequalities; and financing.

 Jonathan Penson, Commonwealth Secretariat, reported the recommendations from the 18th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers held in August 2012, included merging the EFA and MDG frameworks into one structure, with three principal post-MDG goals to address access, equity and quality and six technical subordinate goals as post-EFA goals. He clarified that all countries will share principal goals while specific targets and deadlines will be differentiated based on national starting points, ambition and capacity. Penson identified cross-cutting issues to be mainstreamed across all goals: education for emergencies; migration; gender; and sustainable development.

Camilla Croso presented recommendations for education in the post-2015 agenda proposed by the Global Campaign for Education. She underscored the need for structural indicators to increase financing, international cooperation, national policies, and highlighted the need to institutionalize civil society participation and monitoring. She explained four core dimensions based on a rights framework: availability; accessibility; acceptability; and adaptability. Croso emphasized equity and non-discrimination as cross-cutting issues, explaining that priority areas should include: equitable availability and access to free public education; ensuring school availability and zero economic barriers; and equitable quality education systems, to ensure the relevance of learning to promote human rights, peace, environmental sustainability and decent work.

Susan Nicolai, Overseas Development Institute, reported MyWorld survey results showing education emerging as a top priority among civil society. She shared research that outlined: areas of consensus including prioritization to carry over unfinished goals into the next agenda; focus on learning; equality, measuring and monitoring. Nicolai also noted areas of divergence on the number of goals, definitions, measurements for learning, timeframes, intermediate milestones, scope, accountability mechanisms, and methods for international resource transfer.

Dennis Sinyolo, Education International, highlighted his organization’s key priorities as quality, teachers and access to quality education at all levels and all ages. He said the framework should be ambitious, forward looking and not reductionist. He noted that financing is the key enabler for achieving these priorities.

Desmond Birmingham, Director, Save the Children, lamented that the needs arising out of conflict and emergency situations are not adequately addressed in current frameworks, and urged that the post-2015 development agenda should address this issue. He said the framework should enable quality education in addition to good learning outcomes, and ensure that all children start school and all youth have literacy and other skills needed for adulthood.

Michael Ward, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, presenting his organization’s proposal for education in the post-2015 agenda, called for: formulating universal goals with national targets; developing common indicators; ensuring that equitable access and quality is at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda; and expanding basic education to nine years of schooling.

Rebecca Winthrop, Brookings Institution, outlined potential scenarios for the post-2015 development agenda, saying that the most likely outcome is a hybrid approach between developing SDGs and extending MDGs. She urged the education community to build consensus and engage the political process in order to attain sufficient recognition in the post-2015agenda. Reminding participants to develop clear and compelling messages, Winthrop concurred with the call for global goals and national targets.

Jean D’Cunha, Global Migration Advisor, UN Women, urged equal opportunities at all levels and called for the post-2015 agenda to seek equal and higher retention rates and learning outcomes across all genders. She suggested addressing the need for gender sensitive and life skills curricula in addition to seeking higher investment in order to address social barriers to education.

Louise Zimanyi, Director, Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development, advocated a framework that incorporates multiple sectors. She lamented that governments do not prioritize early childhood programmes, saying that these can provide a solid base for achieving EFA and other goals.

In the ensuing discussion, participants highlighted that domestic sources of financing for education are becoming increasingly important given current financial constraints. One participant noted that systems for increased transparency and accountability are necessary to ensure that resource wastage does not occur domestically. Some participants urged greater participation of youth in discussions for determining goals, while others emphasized that strategic choices for resource allocation will have to be made. Responding to a call to include people with disabilities in the agenda, Croso noted that this was implicit in the wording of the proposals.

Other topics discussed include: quantitative versus qualitative indicators; how to encourage political and financial commitment from governments; measuring learning outcomes; and addressing education in migratory populations.

WORKING GROUPS ON RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EDUCATION IN THE POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

Steven Obeegadoo, Chair of the Pan-African Parliament Commission on Education, proposed that the discussion groups should focus on: strengthening the argument that education is an enabler for all development goals; and producing one or two proposals to inform consultations with a focus on desired outcomes.

Sayed reiterated the need to address the complexity of development with simplicity when forming key goals and priorities, reminding participants that there will be opportunity after the meeting for continued input. He provided context to shape proposals from discussion groups, reflecting on the undetermined structure of the framework as either a post “MDG+” sectoral framework or a thematic approach where education would be dispersed across each theme, suggesting that the discussion groups develop recommendations that could fit either approach. He challenged the discussion groups to address the many fully formed proposals by bringing together diverse ideas into a common and united vision, noting that at this stage of the consultation, there should be a broad focus with further work on the development of specific targets and indicators.

Albert Motivans, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, cited post-MDG improvements in measurement, such as improved and increased national learning assessments, regional initiatives, and national household surveys. Motivans underscored that recommendations should strive to increase national ownership, utilize common language, include measurement frameworks, build into planning data collection, and recognize technical capacity needs.

In ensuing discussions, one participant suggested that the discussion groups should engage in critical thinking to challenge suggestions and ensure that they are appropriate across the network.

Participants then broke up into smaller groups to discuss possible education goals in the post-2015 development agenda. Following these discussions, participants reconvened to share their groups’ views. On new goals, most groups agreed on an overarching goal that calls for universal, equitable access to quality, basic education. Others urged that the goal should require governments to be held responsible for financing universal education from domestic resources. One group called for goals to reference access to relevant education.

The discussion groups made several suggestions, including in relation to: equity indicators to assess if education is being accessed by marginalized populations; student-teacher ratios to assess quality; and life-skills indicators to assess contribution of citizens to society and employability of school-goers. In these suggestions, many groups highlighted the need for a balance between quantitative and qualitative indicators. Some groups also emphasized the need for national governments to articulate their own indicators to account for local circumstances.

On the role of education goals in the broader development agenda, the groups emphasized the links between education and health, social development, peace and security, and transparent use of resources. The discussion groups noted that the post-2015 agenda should: address marginalized groups, especially victims of conflict and the disabled; advocate education at all levels and stages and reference lifelong learning; and ensure “employability.”

One participant urged that the proposed goals should be coherent, fit for purpose and easily convertible to programmes for institutions in the current development landscape. Others called for clearly defining the meaning of basic education and global citizenship. Participants also discussed additional components for indicators, emphasizing the importance of disaggregated data tracking equity, establishing a baseline and improved national and global capacities.

PRESENTATION OF EMERGING RECOMMENDATIONS AND CLOSING REMARKS

Summarizing emerging recommendations, Sayed noted unfinished work that will require further commitments, such as inequitable progress, lack of focus on lifelong education, and the value of quality and learning outcomes. He synthesized these elements to a triad of priorities: equity, access and quality.

Obeegadoo reviewed the outcomes of the discussion groups, highlighting calls for education to be universal, free, compulsory, inclusive, equitable and based on partnerships. He also noted references to ensuring a safe environment for learning, considering mother tongues in the first years of education, and developing a metric task force.

Obeegadoo reported that participants stressed that education should be centralized within the broader post-2015 development agenda because education is an enabler and builds resilience. He noted that education must provide relevant knowledge, competence, values, life skills and citizenship, in order to be able to address the thematic agenda of growth, sustainable development, peace and security.

Stressing that the outcome of this meeting is not a precise formulation, Sayed suggested a mega-goal as a placeholder for education in the broader post-2015 development agenda, noting that the proposed goal to the HLP is “equitable quality lifelong education and learning for all.” In the discussion, participants questioned the word choice in the mega-goal, proposing that the phrasing should reflect the human right to education.

Outlining next steps, Sayed explained that the outcome document will be open for public comment and will be part of a process to produce a final report by the end of April 2013, with opportunities for continued engagement and clarification on detail.

Participants discussed inclusion and prioritization in the targets and goals of, inter alia: lifelong learning; health; technology; child readiness; valuation of teachers; the role of civil society in policy making; and designations of implementation systems.

Joseph Pierre Ndiaye, Cabinet Director at the Ministry of Education, Senegal, congratulated participants for producing outcomes that will determine the future of education, signaling a strong message to the international community. He praised the acknowledgment that partnerships are the safest road to achieving development goals. Ndiaye shared Senegal’s commitments to take ownership of the recommendations and establish a roadmap and policies to ensure that the overall objectives are met. He closed the meeting at 6:52pm.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Fourth Meeting of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda: The fourth meeting of the HLP, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, will convene in Bali, Indonesia, from 25-27 March 2013. The focus will be on “Partnership and Cooperation for Development.” dates: 25-27 March 2013 location: Bali, Indonesia www: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/post2015hlp

High-Level Consultation on Food and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: As part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda Global Thematic Consultations, this High-level Leadership Meeting will bring together Member States, NGOs and other members of civil society to discuss and agree on an agenda on food and nutrition for the Post-2015 Development Framework in Madrid, Spain. This consultation is co-led by FAO and the World Food Programme, and is co-hosted by the Governments of Spain and Colombia. date: 4 April 2013 location: Madrid, Spain www: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/food2015

High-Level Meeting on Energy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: This meeting is the culmination of the global thematic consultation on energy in the post-2015 development agenda, and will consider the results of the online consultations and their recommendations. It is expected to develop a declaration on key energy recommendations and potential global energy objectives, with the aim of informing and shaping the post-2015 development agenda on energy issues. The meeting is organized by UN-Energy and the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Initiative, in partnership with the Governments of Mexico, Norway and Tanzania. date: 9 April 2013 location: Oslo, Norway www: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/energy2015

UNGA High-Level Meeting on Disability and Development: This meeting, which is being convened by the UNGA, will be held at the level of Heads of State and Government on the theme “The way forward: a disability inclusive development agenda towards 2015 and beyond.” date: 23 September 2013 location: New York, USA contact: UN Enable, Secretariat of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities fax: +1-917-367-5102 email: enable@un.org www: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1590

UNGA Special Event on the MDGs: This special event will follow-up on efforts made towards achieving the MDGs. It is expected to focus on accelerating implementation of the MDGs and look forward to the post-2015 framework. date: 25 September 2013 (tentative) location: New York www: http://bit.ly/WgW6le

UNGA High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development: This high-level dialogue is being held as a follow up to the first High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development held in 2006, and will convene during the 68th session of the General Assembly date: fall 2013 location: New York, USA contact: UN DESA www: http://www.un.org/esa/population/migration/hlmimd2013/highlevelmim2013.htm

GLOSSARY

ASGs
DESA
EFA
HLP
MDGs
OWG
SDGs
UNCSD
UNDG
UNDP
UNESCO
UNGA
UNICEF
UNTT

Assistant Secretary-Generals
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Education For All
High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Millennium Development Goals
Open Working Group
Sustainable Development Goals
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
United Nations Development Group
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
United Nations General Assembly
United Nations Children’s Fund
United Nations System Task Team on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda

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The Post-2015 Development Agenda Bulletin is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) <info@iisd.ca>, publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org>. This issue was written and edited by Tasha Goldberg and Kate Louw. The Editor is Tomilola Akanle Eni-ibukun, Ph.D. <tomilola@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists (in HTML and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <http://www.iisd.ca/>. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, New York 10022, USA.
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