Few topics in education generate as much passion as the role of non-state actors. While everyone wants to achieve the goal of providing quality education for all, who delivers it, who is engaged, and how they are engaged is a subject of much debate. Non-state activity in education has a variety of motivations, from charity to profit. Activities may or may not involve collaboration with the government. Controversy abounds as to whether the role of non-state actors should be encouraged or contained. Public opinion on non-state actors displays generational shifts that vary between countries.
Today we are releasing the concept note for the 2021 Global Education Monitoring Report on non-state actors in education, which will tackle this topic head on – to monitor the situation, inform and advance research, and provide policy recommendations. We are also opening an online consultation on this concept note as well as a call for expressions of interest to contribute to the Report, the aim of which is to broaden the scope of expertise and voices that inform our work.
While states have a duty to fulfil their citizens’ rights to education as enshrined in international or national law, a wide range of non-state actors, in different forms and through different arrangements, play a significant role in education systems. As detailed in the concept note, the 2021 GEM Report’s main objective is to broaden the conversation on that role. Looking across all levels of education from early childhood care and education through to adult education, it will deal thematically with (1) how non-state actors are involved in providing education services; (2) how non-state engagement is financed; (3) how non-state actors are regulated; and (4) the role of non-state actors in generating evidence and in innovation.
The Report will continue to have a strong emphasis on equity and inclusion, with a substantive focus on the system-wide equity consequences of non-state activity – on stratification and segregation of learning opportunities, by gender, poverty, location, and other dimensions of marginalisation.
The Report will seek to address these five key questions:
- How are non-state actors engaged in the provision of core and support education goods and services?
- What are the effects of non-state provision of education on access, equity, inclusion, quality, learning and efficiency?
- How is non-state activity in education funded?
- Is regulation of non-state activity in education fit for purpose?
- What influence do non-state actors exert on education systems in the field of ideas?
Join the consultation
The 2021 GEM Report on non-state actors in education is an opportunity for providing evidence-based research that can provide clarity on the role of non-state actors in achieving progress towards SDG 4. As with every year, we would like to invite you to:
- Provide substantive feedback to the proposed lines of research
- Recommend interesting examples from around the world that illustrate the different roles non-state actors play in in different education systems
- Recommend potential areas of new research drawing on already established or previously unexplored sources of quantitative and qualitative data.
We welcome the views of anyone with an interest in non-state actors in education – whether governments, non-government organizations, service providers, donors, researchers, practitioners, parents or students. It is only through joint action that we can productively advance our thinking on the non-state role in education. The consultation will close on 31 January.
Post your contributions as comments on our online consultation, providing web links to research reports, policy papers, evaluations, and other documents or datasets that you think would be useful for the Report team. If you would rather email your comments or attach documents or data that you would like to share with the GEM Report team, please send them directly to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘2021 Report Consultation’ as a subject heading.
Contribute your research
For the first time we are also opening a call for expressions of interest to contribute to the Report with research. You may submit an expression of interest for a paper in 10 areas identified by the Report team and also to make your own suggestion. To take part, please follow our guidelines and send us an abstract of no longer than 300 words describing the importance, scope, methodology, research and evidence that your contribution would provide. Successful applicants will be notified by 28 February 2020.
Be on the lookout for in-person and online consultations
Over the coming months the GEM Report team is also convening a series of in-person consultations with researchers, academics, governments, non-governmental organizations, aid donors, school and ancillary service providers, teachers and youth. These targeted events will engage with different education actors whose activities influence all fields of education.