Last week, the Board of the Education for All ‘Fast Track Initiative’ (FTI) met in Paris to address some of the reforms proposed by a recent independent evaluation of the FTI.
On our conference call earlier this month, we discussed the need for the FTI to change in order to attract more resources and deliver education aid effectively in conflict-affected and fragile states. Ahead of the Board meeting, RESULTS activists wrote to their MPs asking them to make some recommendations to the Secretary of State about the kind of reforms we would like to see the FTI make.
We are therefore pleased to hear that the FTI’s Board has agreed to implement some of the recommendations that RESULTS has been making. We have learned that the FTI Board has agreed to:
- Simplify financing arrangements by creating a single fund that will be open to all low income countries including conflict-affected and fragile states;
- Increase the number of developing country and civil society representatives on the Board;
- Reducing the dominant role of the World Bank in the FTI and enabling other agencies to take on some financial management responsibilities.
Whilst these recommendations are a big step in the right direction, this is not yet the radical transformation of the FTI that RESULTS had been calling for. As one of our previous conference call guests, Desmond Bermingham from the Centre for Global Development, notes in a recent blog post, if we are going to meet the target of ensuring that every child completes primary school by 2015, we need to provide places for those children this year. In order to achieve this, we need the FTI to become completely independent of the World Bank so that it can disburse resources more quickly and effectively.
We also need a funding mechanism that can mobilise the additional $16 billion a year needed to fill the global education funding gap. Even with the reforms proposed by the Board, the FTI is not yet in a position to fundamentally transform education funding in the way that is needed to reach the goal of education for all.