Strengthening accountability in the implementation of SDG4 - Education 2030

When, local time: 
Wednesday, 1 November 2017 -
3:00pm to 6:00pm
Where: 
France, Paris
Type of Event: 
General Conference

Wednesday 1st November 2017 from 3pm to 6pm, Paris, UNESCO HQ Room II

Two ministerial level panel debates explored the different processes, mechanisms or instruments established by governments to promote accountability and transparency, including through public monitoring and reporting. They also examined how greater accountability can improve financing for education, and how to move the Education 2030 agenda forward.

Presentation on Accountability in education

The introductory presentation on accountability in education served to frame the two panel discussions by clarifying the notion of accountability in education, the diversity of approaches, as well as the critical issue of accountability in the financing of education. The panels were followed by open floor discussions.

Panel 1: Accountability: A diversity of approaches

Accountability aims to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of education systems, ultimately in view of improving individual, social and development outcomes for all. It implies the need for timely, reliable, and transparent data that can properly inform decisions relative to the deployment of funds and the regulation of education institutions, the quality and relevance of the learning, as well as the degree of alignment of learning outcomes with desired national education and development goals. Understandings of and approaches to accountability in education vary enormously across contexts. By featuring the multitude of approaches, policy measures, strategies and tools used by governments in the context of SDG, this panel discussion identified the enabling environments required for effective accountability across the diversity of contexts.

Panelists’ guiding questions:
• What is your approach to accountability in the implementation of the 2030 education goal and targets?
• What are the national public education monitoring mechanisms to ensure accountability?
• How can they be made more effective?

Panel 2: Accountability in the Financing of Education

Financial accountability is key to the success of Education 2030. It relates to two obligations for all education stakeholders, namely: (i) that institutions report on how resources have been spent and, (ii) that institutions act in accordance with the rule of law. In education, governments are accountable to their citizens and are responsible for ensuring that public funds are allocated to the purposes for which they were committed, and are spent in a way that delivers education to all learners, in particular to those belonging to disadvantaged communities. Reliable and complete information on the sources and uses of financial resources is key to monitor the extent to which governments have efficiently spent funds according to the priority areas budgeted in their education plans. This panel examined ways in which improved accountability can improve financing, both domestic and international financing, for education.

Paneslists’ guiding questions:
• What can be done to ensure greater accountability in domestic and international financing for education?
• How effective are the various processes, mechanisms or instruments for monitoring and reporting of
public budgets in promoting accountability and transparency at the national and international levels?

Participants brought both advisory and policymaker perspectives to the panel discussion.

Featuring:
Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
H.E. Mr Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of National Education, France
Mr Dankert Vedeler, Co-Chair of the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee
Mr Manos Antoninis, Director, Global Education Monitoring Report

Panel Debate: Accountability: A diversity of approaches
Moderator: Mr Andreas Schleicher, Director, Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD
H.E. Ms Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Minister of Education, Finland
H.E. Ms Mailis Reps, Minister of Education, Estonia
H.E. Mr Roberto Aguilar Gómez, Minister of Education, Bolivia
H.E. Mr Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education, China
H.E. Mr George Kronnisanyon Werner, Minister of Education, Liberia
H.E. Mr Sabri Saidam, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Palestine

Panel Debate : Accountability in the financing of education
Moderator: Mrs Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education
H.E. Mr Sébastien Proulx, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports & Minister for the Family, Quebec, Canada
H.E. Mr Tomaž Boh, State Secretary at the Ministry for Education, Science and Sports, Slovenia
H.E. Ms Cira Piñeiro Alonso, Deputy Minister of Education, Cuba
H.E. Mr Henry Puna, Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Cook Islands
H.E. Mr Lazarus Dokora, Minister of Primary and Secondary Education, Zimbabwe
H.E. Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed AL-Issa, Minister of Education, Saudi Arabia
H.E. Mr Nurul Islam Nahid, Minister of Education, Bangladesh, E-9 group