Italy - Education
At a glance
Italy’s funding for global education is increasing
Italy spent US$249 million on global education in 2016 (the latest for which complete data is available), according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), making it the 10th largest donor country to education. Education accounted for 4% of Italy’s total official development assistance (ODA) in 2016, well below the average of 8% spent by members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC).
In 2016, Italy provided over half of its ODA to education through multilateral organizations (57%, US$143 million in 2016). Italy supports the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), providing US$56 million to GPE since it became a donor in 2005 (as of May 2020). In February 2018, Italy pledged €12 million (US$14 million) for the 2018 to 2020 pledging period. The Programming Guidelines specifically mention Italy’s support for GPE, identifying it as the principal financing mechanism for activities to attain the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4).
In 2018, Italy’s bilateral support for education was one of the few sectors that witnessed a significant increase. In 2018, Italy spend US$124 million, up from US$106 million in 2017. Italy spends bilateral education ODA in 2018 mostly in the area of general education (40%), followed by secondary education (33%) and then basic education (18%). The largest share of bilateral education ODA (32%) in 2018 was allocated to ‘education facilities and training’ in partner countries. A significant share of contributions also went to funding for advanced technical and managerial training (17%). US$19 million (15% of bilateral ODA) was spent in 2018 on ‘higher education’ and US$11 million on ‘basic life skills for youth’ (9%). Primary education (8%) and vocation training (8%) receive smaller shares of funding.
DGCS defines education priorities; AICS leads implementation
The Directorate-General for Development Cooperation (DGCS) within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI) is in charge of defining the strategic direction of Italy’s education policy. The DGCS’s office for programming of development cooperation, its geographic offices, and the unit for multilateral cooperation are relevant actors for defining Italy’s bilateral and multilateral education policy. The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), is in charge of program implementation. AICS’s office for ’Human Development’ is responsible for education projects.