In 2000 at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal 164 countries pledged to achieve six education goals by 2015. Participants committed to vastly improve education opportunities for children, youth and adults. Governments and international partners pledged that no country engaged in these efforts would be hindered by a lack of resources.
The Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report, established in 2002 and prepared by an editorially independent team hosted by UNESCO, was mandated with monitoring progress towards the six EFA goals and tracking the performance of governments, civil society, bilateral donors and international agencies in the implementation of the agreed strategies.
The six Dakar goals are the result of a collective agreement and partnership. The report’s editorial board therefore includes representatives from diverse constituencies including experts, international agencies, UNESCO institutes, donors and civil society. The report has received funding from governments (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom), two foundations (Open Society Foundation and the Master Card Foundation) as well as UNICEF and UNESCO.
Almost all of the reports have had a thematic focus. These themes range from the 2004 report on quality, The Quality Imperative and the 2006 report on adult literacy, Literacy for life, to the 2011 report conflict and violence, The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education (2011). This year’s report, the 12th and last in the EFA series, provides a stock take of EFA progress since Dakar. Education For All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges gives an overview of 15 years of education change at the global and national levels and provides in-depth policy analysis to serve as a framework for guiding the post-2015 education agenda.
Contributors to the report include a diverse array of researchers and external experts as well as team members who are focused on communication, outreach, administration, the website and social media. Until now, there have been 5 different directors and 55 team members, not to mention the more than 500 independent education experts and academics who have contributed background papers on issues such as child labour, international aid, trained teachers, school fees and non-formal education
In addition to the report itself, which is published in the six UN languages, a large volume of supplementary materials is also produced. Summaries of each report are published in over ten languages to reach a wider audience and policy papers are released throughout the year to further elaborate on issues discussed in the main report. The most popular papers in 2014 included Sustainable development post-2015 begins with education, a booklet on the role of education in the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, and Progress in getting all children to school stalls but some countries show the way forward, on trends in primary school participation since 2000. Since 2010, the GMR established the World Inequality Database in Education, which has become a reference point on monitoring within country disparities in education participation and learning outcomes.
The GMR team has had an active presence at many the world’s foremost conferences on education. For example, just over the last few months the Report has been represented at the Comparative and International Education Society, the Global Human Rights Forum and the Global Education for All Forum, and the International Education Working Group ensuring that conclusions from EFA monitoring and evaluation remain firmly on the agenda of professionals in national and international policy making.
As the foremost experts on education monitoring, the GMR is frequently cited in the media and reports have been covered in Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Times Higher Education Supplement, BBC, The Dawn, Le Monde, RFI, The Times of India and many more. In 2013 alone, media coverage from reports and papers released by the GMR reached over 31 million people in 100 different countries. Over the past few years, the GMR has significantly increased its online presence through the development of social media channels and the World Education blog, and engages over 10 million people via its digital channels each month.
As the GMR team prepares for the more than 50 launch events beginning this Thursday, let us know which of our reports and papers you have particularly enjoyed, and what you hope to see from the team as we adopt a new name in the months to come and begin to analyse post 2015 education targets in the sustainable development goal framework.