GCE Campaigns and Advocacy Initiatives

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) Campaigns and Advocacy Initiatives

Creating stronger global and transnational enabling environment for national civil society advocacy and transparency efforts

Education Out Loud EOL approved the OC3 programme in November 2020. GCE is the main grantee and co-grantees are its regional coalitions the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) and the Arab Campaign for Education for All (ACEA).

GCE represents over 124 national and regional education coalitions and international organisations. Its membership comprises a huge variety of national, regional and international civil society organisations, teachers’ organisations, parents’ associations, women’s group, disabled people’s organisation, youth and student groups, academic or research institutions and child rights campaigners. Thus, GCE national coalitions encompass many thousands of civil society organisations and represent millions of individuals across the world.

The OC3 programme pursues 2 specific objectives and expects to achieve 4 outcomes by the end of the programme. The first specific objective is centered around strengthening the capacity of GCE’s membership to promote evidence-based advocacy towards better allocation of investments in education and for inclusive education during times of emergencies or crises. The first expected outcome under this objective revolves around achieving improved mechanisms to track and follow up on global, regional; or national commitments related to the public education financing and allocation of resources to education during emergencies/crises.

In the course of the OC3 programme GCE works on expanding the use of the budget monitoring and pledge tracking online tool which was initially designed to be used by national education coalitions in Africa under the GIZ- German Backup Initiative. The use of the tool is being rolled out to GCE’s national coalitions in other regions including Asia and the Pacific, Latin America as well as the Middle East. National coalitions in these regions are offered an opportunity and support to use the tool to collect evidence-based data and analyse national governments spending on education.

Also linked to the topic of Education Financing is an exciting initiative: the development of a research initiative on debt mechanisms and education financing. The overarching aim of the initiative is to understand the potential of the multiple debt mechanisms available, such as debt alleviation, debt cancellation or debt swaps for investment in education, to increase national education budgets. The research samples are drawn from Georgia, El Salvador, Lebanon, Gambia and Zambia, Nepal and Mongolia.

GCE also takes this opportunity to announce its education financing and advocacy e-learning courses which are accessible from the GCE website. The courses are running on a Moodle platform, and are flexible self-paced lessons with learning resources from different regions across the globe on key topics that relate to education financing and advocacy. .

The second expected outcome under the first objective focuses on achieving improved coordination and delivery of stronger transnational, regional and global education policy advocacy and campaigns that inform inclusive allocation of resources in education, including in times of crisis. Under this outcome GCE is working on establishing an education financing observatory with the objective of tracking the performance of public education financing and to strengthen civil society participation, especially of GCE members, in the analysis of national, regional and international contexts and the implementation of actions to demand and improve the financing of education.

Also supported via the OC3 platform GCE organised its first virtual World Assembly (WA) from the 23rd to the 25th of March 2021, under the theme “Building a resilient and engaging movement”. The WA brought together close to 300 participants who are representatives of GCE members from 93 national education coalitions, 17 International NGOs and 14 regional networks, youth-led organisations and teaching professionals as well as guest observers from the strategic partners of GCE.

The second specific objective seeks to tighten the links between national, regional, and global advocacy, while enhancing CSOs influence in key education policy platforms relating to education financing, GPE processes and recommending inclusive education solutions in times of emergencies or crises. Under this objective, it is envisaged that linkages between national, regional, and global level education financing advocacy and campaigns will be established, including the inclusion and building on national-level views in key regional and global level debates/events.

In January 2021, GCE launched a new global campaign, One Billion Voices with a primary focus on the education financing strategic area 4 within the GCE global strategic plan. The overarching objective of the OBV long-term campaign is to secure an increase in sustainable financing for education. This campaign provides a narrative on the global scale and severity of the education funding crisis which has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting increase in debt and severity of austerity measures around the world. A week-long action of the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) (26-30 April 2021, under the theme More and Better Financing for Education, amplified the objectives of the One Billion Voices for Education campaign.

Another expected outcome under this objective envisages an effective engagement of GCE membership in key advocacy platforms (i.e., Education Cannot Wait (ECW), Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) to contribute meaningful solutions that recognise the provision and access of inclusive education for all in times of emergencies and crisis. GCE co-hosted a panel discussion titled “Education financing to reach the most marginalized: Challenges and solutions during COVID-19 response and recovery” in collaboration with the Bank Information Center, Education Cannot Wait, Global Campaign for Education, Global Partnership for Education, Humanity & Inclusion, Inclusive Education and Early Childhood Community of Practice, Open Society Foundations and World Vision International for the Civil Society Policy Forum (CSPF).

GCE takes part in the High-level Steering Group and Executive Committee of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), which plans the expansion of civil society seats in ECW as well as taking a lead role in organising the elections process.

Conclusion

Through the Education Out Loud programme, the GCE movement has been enabled to deliver its strategic policy advocacy and campaigning initiatives that are in line with its strategic goal 3 on Education in Emergencies and goal 4 on Education Financing; with an overall objective of contributing to processes that strengthen public education systems. With the current COVID-19 pandemic crises, the GCE has focused its EOL programme deliverables on generating evidence-based information on the lasting negative impact that the pandemic is likely to have on education financing and identifies possible policy responses to mitigate this impact through its policy advocacy and campaign initiatives at national, regional and global levels.