Co-convenors: Moses Oketch and Bronwen Magrath

Achieving equitable, quality learning outcomes for all requires more money be spent on education, but also in a smarter way.  While we can all agree on the need for additional funding, more controversial are questions of who is spending and who is (or is not) receiving. Aid has long been criticised for fuelling global power imbalances and for ‘donor-driven’ programming and reform; yet the staggering need for social spending in low- and middle-income countries begs the question of how these gaps can be filled. In the education field this tension has intensified with a flurry of interest in non-traditional donors including private and philanthropic funders, new bilateral aid donors, and a growing list of global financing mechanisms.

At the domestic level, there are myriad actors seeking to increase and influence education spending. Local and regional governments compete for limited education resources from national and international sources; provision is occurring across the private-public spectrum, involving government, NGOs, private enterprise and domestic philanthropy; civil society organisations advocate for more equitable and transparent financing and taxation. Clearly the current domestic as well as international education financing presents several equity and inclusion problems and will need to be reformed to ensure its long-term sustainability.

This conference theme invites presentations that explore current and emerging trends in education financing, with a particular interest in how these shape programming and policy from the global to the local level. We welcome theoretical or conceptual ‘think-pieces’ as well as empirical research and lessons from practice. Proposals may address some of the following questions and topics:

  • What are the different/complementary roles played by governments, bilateral, multilateral, philanthropic and corporate donors? How can these be better regulated and coordinated?
  • What role do/could local civil society actors, including schools, teachers, parents and communities, play in making education financing fairer and more equitable?
  • What new models and mechanisms are emerging for education financing? What are the potential benefits and risks in terms of education equity and inclusion?
  • What models are there for funding that is nationally and locally based, collaborative and accountable?
  • What reforms are needed, domestically and internationally, to ensure the long-term sustainable, equitable funding of education?
  • How can we ensure accountability and transparency in education financing?

For any questions on this theme please contact Bronwen Magrath

Read the blog on this conference theme