Recent reforms in multilateral agencies, including those under implementation at the World Bank, have focused on the key question of how institutions can implement global priorities in organizations driven by country level decision making. A recent report on basic education financing, by the Center for Universal Education at Brookings and the UNESCO-Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR), takes a closer look at the extent to which the global development goal of universal access to primary education has been supported by multilateral action.
The challenge is substantial. Despite good progress over the past decade and a reduction of 45 million in the number of out-of-school children, there are still 57 million children out-of-school, and 250 million children who are in school but who are not learning. Most of these are from marginalized and disadvantaged groups. Keeping the global promise of universal access for all children will require more money, as part of the solution. After taking account of available domestic resources, the EFA GMR estimates that an additional $26 billion will be needed per year to make sure all children receive a basic education by 2015. This gap will need to be filled by domestic as well as international resources.