RESULTS Education Campaign Hits Tokyo
In recent years, World Bank support to basic education through the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s “Fund for the Poorest,” has been increasing overall. Nevertheless, IDA investments in basic education have been decreasing in many of the countries most off-track from reaching the education MDGs, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, there are growing trends in which IDA support to basic education is decreasing in countries that are part of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the membership to which indicates a particular need and readiness for additional education support.
RESULTS raised the flag about these trends in its 2010 report World Bank Education Financing: Less or More for the Poor in IDA 16?, and that September the World Bank pledged to increase IDA support to basic education by $750 million over the 2011-15 period. RESULTS applauded this announcement in a press release, World Bank Corrects Course with $750 Million to Education.
However, as RESULTS advocates know, it is questionable if the World Bank is indeed staying the course on its 2010 pledge to basic education (see recent RESULTS report Staying the Course? The World Bank’s 2010 Pledge to Basic Education).
The pledge’s details — a numbers game which has set pledge targets so low that a pledge to “increase” support has actually become a pledge to decrease it — have inspired some to write op-eds and letters to the editor calling for the World Bank’s new president, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, to step in to set the record straight.
Last week, RESULTS took this campaign on the road to the World Bank Annual Meetings in Tokyo. As part of the Annual Meetings’ Civil Society Policy Forum, RESULTS organized a policy session entitled “Basic Education and the World Bank’s 2010 Pledge.” As it turned out, this would be the only policy session on education at the week-long Civil Society Policy Forum.
With speakers from the World Bank, the Global Partnership for Education, Oxfam International, the Japanese NGO Network for Education, as well as RESULTS, the session examined three areas:
- Recent trends in IDA support to basic education, paying specific attention to complements formed by IDA funds and GPE grants;
- Progress on the 2010 pledge; and
- Mechanisms which may be put in place to help increase the effectiveness of IDA support to basic education.
Check out what the speakers had to say: