October 2, 2022


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Education for all: Is the world on track? Some personal reflections on the first EFA Global Monitoring Report, 20 years back

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Education for all: Is the world on track? Some personal reflections on the first EFA Global Monitoring Report, 20 years back


Twenty decades back, on this day, we went into the very first business office at UNESCO. Within the place of 5 months, from June to Oct 2002, the very first Education and learning for All International Checking Report (EFA GMR), Education for All – Is the environment on observe? was prepared and printed, almost from scratch.


An worldwide report staff was recruited, focused worldwide funding secured, performing processes and accountability in just UNESCO identified, editorial independence nailed down, and an intercontinental editorial board established. None of these necessities – and additional – ended up met quickly. But achieved they had been, by way of evolving partnerships across UNESCO and its Institutes, allied to the power and dynamism of a crew of 12, a combine of seconded UNESCO staff members and external researchers and practitioners in the industry of fundamental instruction, led by the GMR’s 1st Director, Professor Christopher Colclough. It was a inventive, energising and demanding time.

But the again story guiding the development and inception of the EFA GMR was sophisticated. The lengthy road that led to its progress was neither straight nor easy.

The Environment Meeting on EFA at Jomtien in Thailand in 1990 gave a light nod in the path of typical worldwide plan assessments and evaluation, but the mid-expression report of the Intercontinental Consultative Discussion board on EFA at Amman in 1995 was obviously constrained in its conclusions by significant deficits in the availability and quality of instruction and enhancement information.

By the end of the 1990s, even so, political and technological fascination in checking progress toward the achievement of world wide growth targets had heightened. In setting up for the Entire world Training Discussion board at Dakar in 2000, the academic material of a assortment of reports was recognised: The Point out of the World’s Little ones Report of UNICEF from 1980 the Environment Development Report of the Earth Lender from 1978 the Human Improvement Report of UNDP from 1990, as well as UNESCOS’s Once-a-year Statistical Yearbooks. There was absolutely nothing sufficiently equivalent, nonetheless, for education an authoritative report made to chart progress year on calendar year, interrogate approaches intended to address critical policy difficulties, and, to advertise accountability, nationally and globally.

In the party, in 2000, the Dakar Framework for Motion established that UNESCO’s Institutes (UIS, IIEP, UIE – now UIL – and IBE) need to deliver ‘a monitoring report’. This was not received effectively by those who had argued in the lead up to Dakar for a separate impartial report. This disquiet intensified after the to start with UNESCO report was posted in 2001. On getting the report in Paris in Oct 2001, the Higher Level Group on EFA proposed a elementary re-believe on the aims and framework for the checking report. It charged UNESCO with coordinating the response to its proposals. In February 2002, an inter-agency/region agent group, chaired by UNESCO, agreed that an editorially impartial report, positioned in, and functioning with UNESCO, should be launched devoid of delay. 4 months later on, in the to start with 7 days of June, work commenced on the 1st report.

Useful criteria apart, the initial endeavor in Paris in the summertime of 2002 was to agree broadly on the template for the new report and to decide promptly on its main topic. Its fundamental thesis – elaborated in Is the Environment on Monitor? was that ‘there is a essential identification amongst securing EFA and attaining advancement,’ setting up from the outset a central tenet of subsequent reviews.

The speedy vital was to demonstrate how progress could and should be monitored from EFA and other ambitions, evaluate gains given that Dakar, and interrogate the diploma to which the planning for, the resourcing of, and the dedication of the intercontinental community by way of assist and greater coordination was generating a variance or not.

There was no time to take a look at a solitary theme in depth, the hallmark of subsequent stories. The report assessed the countrywide and global response to Dakar’s EFA commitments and, in so-doing commenced to experiment with approaches of deciding the extent to which the world – its locations and nations combined – ended up on observe for reaching all 6 EFA targets, taken as a full. A modest precursor for the several tools that have been made around the decades by GMR/GEM Report, including Vast and PEER.

In late November 2002, Chris Colclough introduced Is the entire world on monitor?, at the second assembly of the Large Degree Group, in Abuja, Nigeria. Whilst not spelt out explicitly,  this was the initially opportunity to keep the intercontinental local community to some account notably, national governments and intercontinental enhancement businesses. Chris highlighted both of those educational, fiscal and political deficits, which would will need to be addressed for EFA aims to be achieved in their entirety. Some nations were defensive about their nationwide facts, as recorded in the report, other people emphasised their solid political determination to EFA. But it was distinct that the electrical power and affect of the Superior Degree Team was constrained beyond pronouncements at its yearly assembly.

Exhausted at the close of the calendar year, there was little respite for the GMR team and for UNESCO. There ended up many lessons to be realized from the 6 thirty day period crash program in generating a world report but the development of the following report, Gender and Education for All: The leap to equity, was the first precedence.


All those of us who participated in the first 3 a long time of the report like to believe that sound foundations have been laid for the GMR and its successor, the GEM Report, in 2016. Over 20 several years, an critical report and useful resource has been produced, and the scope and selection of its goods diversified. Concerns close to affect and the Report’s contribution to accountability are significantly much more tough to evaluate. At a time, however, when schooling is less than quite a few threats globally, the value of speaking real truth to electric power with regard to realising legal rights, abilities and life time prospects has in no way been far more essential.

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