Session Submission Summary

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Engaging governments to ensure sustainability; three case studies of civil society efforts to promote gender and girls’ education

Tue, April 16, 1:30 to 3:00pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Bay (Level 1), Bayview B

Group Submission Type: Refereed Round-Table Session


Prompt 1: How is the topic relevant to comparative and international education, sustainability, or a SIG?

Relevance to comparative education: Panelists will compare experiences across diverse socio-political contexts.

Relevance to sustainability: Knowledge exchange will focus on how CSO’s have successfully engaged governments to embrace promising approaches and build political will for sustained improvements to gender and girls’ education.

Relevance to a SIG: This panel is most relevant to the Gender and Education committee, as the focus is on promoting gender and girls’ education.

Prompt 2: What is the need or the problem that the program or intervention tries to address?

According to the 2017/18 Global Education Monitoring Report, on average, the world has achieved the target of gender parity at all levels except tertiary education. The international education community has rightfully celebrated this progress. However, gender gaps persist. Only 66% of countries have achieved gender parity in primary education, 45% in lower secondary education and 25% in upper secondary education (UNESCO 2017).

In 2015, 193 countries committed to a vision for “a world in which every woman and girl enjoys full gender equality and all legal, social, and economic barriers to their empowerment have been removed." Some practical barriers to girls’ attendance and success at school can be addressed through improved pedagogy, infrastructure and other technical inputs. However, technical progress must be balanced with a complex process to support country leadership and capacity-building. The organizations on this panel are working hand-in-hand with governments to ensure sustainability at the systems level.

Prompt 3: What advice do you seek at CIES, and how can it address similar challenges elsewhere?

How can we convince national and international leaders to embrace promising approaches and enact policies that advance gender and girls’ education, to ensure sustainability? Clearly, approaches to advocacy must be adapted to meet specific contexts. But can we share experiences across borders and identify effective strategies to advance our common goals?

What advice do you offer at CIES, and how can it address similar challenges elsewhere?

Representatives from The Basic Education Coalition, Room to Read, and the Echidna Global Scholars Program at Brookings will present lessons learned in their work to advance progressive gender and girls’ education agendas in diverse socio-political contexts. Presentations will focus on how civil society actors have successfully engaged governments to embrace promising approaches and built political will for sustained improvements to gender and girls’ education.

Audience members will be inspired and better-equipped to successfully navigate government engagement in their own countries of work.

Prompt 4: What would you have done differently, knowing what you know now about the project or program?

Panelists will reflect on the challenges of navigating government engagement and creating sustainable systems-level change.

Prompt 5: What was the impact of the project on the problem it targeted? How was the project’s impact assessed?

The organizations on the panel have contributed to significant progress in gender and girls’ education. National governments have taken up promising approaches for gender integration curriculum. Donors have introduced new legislation and policy to increase funding and effectiveness of international gender and girls’ education initiatives.

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