How can quality education for all be financed?

eDiscussion through the Education Hub Community of Practice

Financing quality education

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The adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development in July 2015 set a direction for the international community to follow. In preparation for further discussion on how to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda at the UN General Assembly in September, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November and the 21st Conference of the Parties in December, the Commonwealth Education Hub hosted an e-discussion on financing for Education in August 2015.

The discussion emphasised that sustainable quality education is not simply a function of funding inputs, but also maximising existing resources. The funding gap was acknowledged as significant, with existing mechanisms deemed inadequate – addressing national budget allocations, domestic taxation and mobilising non-traditional funding sources were identified as central to meeting international targets of 4-6% of GDP. However, participants argued that more effective and innovative use of existing funds was equally important.

Recommendations included:

  • National government financing for education should be the starting point. Mobilising domestic resources through taxation is vital, focussing on both the efficiency of taxation systems and the allocation of revenues received.
  • Domestic resources alone will not be sufficient to bridge the funding gap. Joint mobilisation of additional funding sources including private sector input, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and innovative financing mechanisms will be essential.
  • Effective utilisation and prioritisation of existing resources, targeted at realistic goals – for example basic education and teacher training – is essential.
  • Funds can be maximised by increased use of technology and Open Educational Resources (OERs) in particular.

Issues discussed in detail:

  • Existing funding gap
  • Domestic financing as a starting point
  • Joint mobilisation of resources
  • Non-traditional and innovative funding sources
  • prioritising resources
  • Effective management and governance
  • Maximising existing funds through OERs