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The equity initiative: Sustainable systems are equitable systems: measuring equity of resource allocation in education

Tue, April 16, 5:00 to 6:30pm, Hyatt Regency, Level -1, Pacific G

Group Submission Type: Formal Panel Session


Gathered under the auspices of the Education Equity Research Initiative, this panel will examine the backbone of any education system: it’s resource allocation mechanisms and the extent to which resources are directed to where the needs are greatest. The promise of public education is in expanding opportunity and accelerating pathways for individuals regardless of their background, physical ability, or place of residence. This promise drives SDG 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all”, which has galvanized governments and donors around the issues of equity in education. Working from the Conceptual Framework of the Education Equity Research Initiative, we define equity as a reassessment and redistribution of resources (human, institutional, and financial) in education with the goal of reducing or eliminating systematic inequality in outcomes. In this sense, equity is a path to achieving equality. In the simplest terms, equity is fairness, or equal opportunity to achieve the same outcomes regardless of starting conditions and barriers. This panel examines the extent to which this reassessment and redistribution of resources towards learners who have greater needs – due to their socioeconomic origin, disability status, poverty or place of residence - is taking place, on a national, regional, and global level. We will present a framework for understanding the relative magnitude of inequity, and apply it to data from education systems across the income spectrum, from OECD to Sub-Saharan Africa. We will examine the extent to which systems direct resources towards areas of need, and seek to generate cross-national and regional parallels for examining equity in resource allocation. The panel will show that despite contextual differences, broad factors that determine need for additional support in education are similar across systems, while resource allocation mechanisms in most cases are not sufficient to address the disparities in need. The panel will conclude with a special emphasis on inclusion and the financing of the inclusive education policies globally.

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