Morgus, Switzerland, September, 2013 - Meeting of the SDC education network focuses on those who are difficult to take into account, and easy to forget

A meeting of the Education Network of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) was held in Morges, Switzerland, from 16 to 20 September 2013. The objective of the meeting was to provide a forum for exchange of best practices in advocacy for quality education for all, including the disadvantaged. Specifically, the meeting aimed to share successful experiences on policy dialogue, analyze tools that have been designed to influence positively national and international policies, and discuss the links between domestic and foreign policies. This process should lead to the identification of efficient and coordinated responses of the entire network that will help tackle the remaining unresolved challenges within the framework of EFA and the MDGs. This is expected to affect the development of the post 2015 Framework for Action.


More than 70 participants responded to the invitation, and these included representatives from civil society and the social and professional networks, as well as research networks, specialized institutes, donor agencies, the SDC services and the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs. The ADEA Secretariat (Mr. Ahlin Byll-Cataria) and the ADEA Working Group on Non-Formal Education (Mr. Ibrahima Bah-Lalya) also participated in the meeting.


In general, the workshop emerged with the following significant findings:


    • Progress during the last two decades in access to basic education and gender equity are impressive, but with significant differences related to economic, social and cultural differences and the positioning of individuals and organizations.


    • Progress in quality was poor due essentially to the inappropriateness of some educational offerings, very high losses, reduced educational management strategies often focused on the formal and states structures, and the complex poverty situation in many countries, as well as "fragility" due to conflict and / or natural disasters.


    • Issues of relevance, which would usually complement quality and adequacy of educational opportunities to the real needs of organizations, are ignored in a good number of educational policies.


The meeting proposed to prepare a concept note for policy makers addressing the post -2015 agenda to share with the 68th General Assembly of the United Nations and beyond. The note will also be shared during the sessions of the ADEA Steering Committee and other bodies such as the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE), Conference of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) and the Conference of Education Ministers of Countries Using French as a Common Language (CONFEMEN). This note should send a strong message and target three or four points to be included in the Post -2015 Agenda. The SDC network should be strengthened and utilized to get this message transmitted in various channels of decision making. In addition, we must continue to reflect on the operation of the network and its prospects beyond the post -2015 strategy.