Norway fights to include children with disabilities in education for all

Norway’s Minister of Development Dag-Inge Ulstein spoke at the Inclusive Education Initiative at the World Bank Spring Meeting to highlight eduction of children with disabilities. The Minister pointed out that many children with disabilities are not registered at birth and half of all children with disabilities in low-income and lower-middle-income countries do not go to school. Norway is committed to delivering on the ‘Leave No One Behind’ agenda by supporting an inclusive education these countries and promoting closer cooperation between actors in education.  

Speech – Government website

Norway Education

UK co-hosts high-level meeting on International Financing Facility for Education

UK development minister Penny Mordaunt co-chaired a high-level meeting on the proposed new International Financing Facility for Education (IFFEd) in Washington, DC, along with the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Co-operation in the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag. The IFFEd is an innovative proposal for education financing that could unlock US$10 billion of new funding in its initial phase. The meeting focused on hearing from potential borrower countries on their needs.  

The UK has hosted two of the last four technical design meetings that are exploring how the Facility should operate and be managed. According to the UK government, there is now a robust proposal for driving up education outcomes in lower middle-income countries thanks to its interventions.

UK Parliament - Letter to the Chair of the UK’s International Development Select Committee from UK International Development Minister on UK Government engagement on the IFFEd

IFFEd website - Education Commission

CSOs release C20 policy pack ahead of G20 Osaka Summit

The Civil 20 (C20) Summit, a side event to the Group of 20 (G20) Osaka Summit convened by civil society organizations (CSOs), has released its 2019 policy pack. Papers include anti-corruption; education; environment, climate, and energy; gender; global health; infrastructure; international financial architecture; labor, business and human rights; 'Local2Global'; and trade and investment. 

C20 representatives handed over the policy pack to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 18, 2019. The G20 Osaka Summit will be held on June 28-29, 2019.

Policy Proposal - C20 Policy Pack 2019

Official website – C20 Summit 2019

Press release – MOFA (in Japanese)

New report claims UK development assistance funds privatization of education

A new report from Global Justice Now, a UK civil society organisation, and the National Education Union, criticizes UK development assistance for supporting the privatization of education in developing countries. The authors of the report, which reveals that the UK government is funding for-profit educational firms, highlight that privatization of education can lead to problems in terms of equality, quality, and accountability. 

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)has criticized the report as misleading, noting that it is not contributing to a privatization agenda in the education sector. According to DFID, 95% of its spending on education goes to the public sector.  However, this includes for-profit organisations who deliver services through the public education system.  

News article - Education  Executive 

United Kingdom Education

Former Australian prime minister highlights Rihanna's support of Global Partnership to Education

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has spoken in an interview with Vogue Australia magazine about popular singer Rihanna's support for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Gillard chairs the GPE and outlined how Rihanna had come to be an active supporter of global education after they met before the 2016 Global Citizen conference in New York. Rihanna has since travelled to visit projects in Malawi and to support the GPE 2018 replenishment in Dakar.

This article will appear in Vogue Australia’s May 2019 issue, published on April 29, 2019.

Magazine article - Vogue Australia

Australia Education

Norway channels more than half of ODA to multilaterals

In 2017, Norway channeled 54% of its official development assistance (ODA) through multilateral organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Bank, multilateral funds, and regional development banks. This is a 14 percent-point increase from 2000, when the share was 40%.

Within multilateral ODA, 45% of ODA was channeled through multilateral organizations as core contributions and 55% was earmarked for specific countries or sectors. Of earmarked funding, 61% was regionally or country split, while the rest went to global initiatives or funds. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, as well as new financing mechanisms for the environment and climate are examples of key thematic inititatives to which Norway is a significant funder.

Press release - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)

Norway commits to promoting higher education in partner countries

Norwegian development minister Dag-Inge Ulsteins has committed to helping youth in the Global South to access high-quality education, claiming that Norway is well-placed to build on its long-standing cooperation on education and research with partners in developing countries. Norway will continue to emphasize basic education, in order to help people qualify for higher education. 

Norway works actively through partners to ensure better access to and better quality of the basic education, and to ensure that both girls and boys finish school. Norad, the Norwegian development agency, runs a 'Tax for Development' program  to promote better public financing to provide access to education in partner countries. 

Parliamentary update - Government of Norway (in Norwegian)

Norway Education

Swedish government website on sex education website proves successful in the Middle East

'', a website commissioned by the Swedish government to provide online sex education support and information for young people who are seeking asylum or have recently sought asylum in Sweden, has shown promising results in 2018. Run by the company Inera, it offers information about the body, sex, and relationships in several languages including Somali, Dari, and Arabic. An analysis of the website traffic for 2018 found that over 80% of the visitors to the website were outside Sweden. The highest number of visitors came from Iran, while the most visited page was the Arabic-language page on the vulva and the vagina. 

According to Swedish Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen, these results show that Sweden has an important role to play in sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the site is a good complement to Sweden's project work in this area. 

Radio Interview - Swedish Radio (in Swedish)

Women’s quality higher education will be on the agenda for G20 summit in Osaka

The fifth World Assembly for Women (WAW!) and Women 20 (W20), one of the group of 20 (G20) engagement groups established to make recommendations to G20, convened in Tokyo, Japan. At the meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized the importance of diversity and women’s empowerment to solve multiple social issues.

Abe also announced that the government of Japan would support at least 4 million women living in developing countries to attain high-quality education or skill development until 2020. In addition, in the coming G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan will address women’s education in developing countries as an agenda item.

Programme of the 5th WAW!/W20

Summary of the 5th WAW!/W20 (in Japanese)

Statement – Shinzo Abe (in Japanese)

Global Japan Education

Australia’s opposition spokeswoman on foreign affairs commits to continuing support for Asia-Pacific, health, should Labor win the election

Senator Penny Wong, Australia's opposition spokeswoman on foreign affairs, spoke at the University of Queensland on 'Rebuilding Australia’s international development program for a time of disruption.' She outlined her party's priorities for development policy, should the Labor Party win the upcoming May 2019 federal election. 

She committed to continuing Australia's development engagement with middle-income countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Health, education, climate change, infrastructure, and gender equality and inclusion would  be Labor's central themes. Her speech also included a new funding commitment to tackle cataract blindness in the region and the announcement that Labor would appoint a Global Human Rights Ambassador. Although she reiterated plans to rebuild the development budget, she would  not re-establish a separate development agency.  

Speech - Senator Wong's  website