As part of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, the Education Commission hosted a series of events designed to engage global leaders and harness the week’s momentum to generate new solutions to financing education.
On Wednesday 13 April, the Commission held its third meeting. Hosted by World Bank President Jim Kim, the Commissioners gathered in the World Bank board room to refine the investment case for education and address critical issues of policy reform and the combinations of domestic, international and innovative financing mechanisms to achieve a vision of accelerated progress.
A closing discussion on financing served as a natural segue to the Commission’s subsequent Finance Panel meeting. With presentations from panel members, including Sir Ronald Cohen on outcomes financing, Alice Albright on risk financing and Bertrand Badre on international financing arrangements, the Commission sought to explore innovative financing pathways. While education shortfalls – both in terms of resource allocation and availability – are routine problems, the Commission believes that routine problems need to be met with – as described by one Commissioner – “disruptive” thinking.
After an engaging Thursday breakfast hosted by the Global Business Coalition for Education bringing together members of the business community in support of education, the Commission hosted an Expert Panel on Technology and Education. The purpose of this panel was to explore how best to embrace innovation poised to expand learning opportunities, inclusion and education quality. From new technologies that improve systems, accountability and access, to new hardware expanding the resources at a teacher’s disposal, the experts had the opportunity to consider how these advances could best be marshaled.
The week’s activities concluded with a Ministers of Finance and Development Roundtable on Education held at the World Bank. Organized by the Education Commission, and co-chaired by Gordon Brown (Education Commission Chair) and Børge Brende (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway), the roundtable brought together more than thirty global leaders. Ministers of Finance from Somalia, the DRC, Yemen and close to a dozen other countries engaged in dialogue with Commissioners Tony Lake, Julia Gillard, Amel Karboul and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The President of the Inter-American Development Bank and Minister of Development and Francophonie from Canada were among the dozen development partners joining the meeting. The meeting proved a fitting conclusion to a week defined by political courage, immeasurable will and a call for action.
Photos: Lana Wong/Education Commission