Global Goals Week Begins With New Vision for Education

NEW YORK, September 24, 2018 — A new report on improving cross-border knowledge sharing in education was launched today by a coalition of organizations — the Center for Global Education at Asia Society, Results for Development, Teach For All, The Boston Consulting Group, and World Innovation Summit for Education. The report takes forward the recommendations of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (the Education Commission) in its 2016 Learning Generation report.

The new report, Investing in Knowledge Sharing to Advance SDG 4, presents a fresh approach for understanding knowledge sharing in education and proposes a set of criteria, derived from case studies and interviews, that funders and practitioners can use to make more effective investments in knowledge sharing.

As Lawrence Summers, a member of the Education Commission, writes in the report’s foreword, “funders and practitioners must unite to make cross-cutting investments in collective resources devoted to improving knowledge sharing in education…Increasing the level of investment in knowledge sharing can help scale effective innovation, coordinate efforts across borders, and empower local education systems.”

Launched on September 24 at the Asia Society, the report builds on a recommendation of the Education Commission in its 2016 Learning Generation report to invest in a “global ‘ecosystem’ for education that will promote cross border learning and sharing of innovations and grow the capacity of leaders and practitioners.”

“The report draws on the input of over 200 leaders in education, and highlights both the potential for knowledge sharing to accelerate progress, and what it will take to do this effectively,” explained Wendy Kopp, CEO of Teach For All, one of the coauthors of the report.

Investments in knowledge sharing have yielded significant returns in other sectors, such as health and agriculture, while the education sector has fallen behind. The report explores how similar gains from knowledge sharing could be made in education by combining investments in global public goods, capacity development, and networks—three essential elements of knowledge sharing. With more than 260 million children out of school, 75 million affected by crises, and 69 million new teachers needed by 2030, coordinated action is needed to accelerate progress. The report argues that with increased focus and investment in knowledge sharing, the sector can hasten progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

“We have seen the power of this approach through Asia Society’s own Global Cities Education Network, which the Center for Global Education established in 2012 and now includes a dozen urban education systems across North America and Asia,” said Anthony Jackson, Vice President of Education at Asia Society and Director of the Center for Global Education. “This network supports system leaders to identify and address common challenges – such as teacher professional learning, career and technical education, and the integration of 21st century skills – with the benefit of each other’s collaboration.”

Randa Grob-Zakhary, Board Member of the Global Partnership for Education and one of the speakers at the launch event, explained, “We have seen the promise of knowledge sharing in health and agriculture. In order to achieve SDG 4, we will need to strengthen our approach in education. This report is a pivotal step in defining this path forward.”

One of the key findings in the report is that both the quality and quantity of investment in knowledge sharing must increase. “There has been significant underinvestment in knowledge sharing in education,” said Lane McBride, a Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group, who focuses on education topics. “But better investment is also needed. Too often, investment timeframes are too short or impact measurement requirements are too strict to allow for effective investment in knowledge sharing. In the report, we propose a set of investment criteria that can help overcome these barriers and encourage funders to evaluate how they can make better investments within their current approaches,” he continued.

Education Commission Director Liesbet Steer put this report in the context of the Commission’s other work, stating, “We are glad that the recommendation the Commission made in The Learning Generation report to invest in a global ‘ecosystem’ for education that will promote cross border learning and sharing has been further elaborated upon in this report. We hope this will inspire and enable education actors to share tools, approaches, data, and programs across borders to advance progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4. All children should have access to a quality, equitable education, and this is one part of making that a reality.”

The report is available for download at: educationcommission.org/project/knowledgesharing

For inquiries, contact:

Education Commission: Francois Servranckx, +1-917-716-6668, fservranckx@educationcommission.org

Center for Global Education at Asia Society: Tony Bricktua, +1-212-327-9295, TBricktua@asiasociety.org

Results for Development: Kelly Toves, +1-202-403-7773, ktoves@r4d.org

Teach For All: Sarabeth Berman, +1-617-947-3737, Sarabeth.Berman@teachforall.org

The Boston Consulting Group: Nidhi Sinha, +1-646-899-8218, Sinha.Nidhi@bcg.com

World Innovation Summit for Education at the Qatar Foundation: Lina Lahlou, +33-665-303-220, lina.lahlou@wise.org.qa