The GPE webinar series has just wrapped up a very full year in 2017, exploring a range of technical and thematic issues.
Since the launch of the series in May 2016, the series has discussed topics such as disability and education, textbook provision for every child through progress made in development of the Global Book Fund, early childhood care and education, national education accounts, GPE 2020 and the gender equality policy and strategy, the Education Commission report, the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) and support to education in fragile and conflict-affected situations, among others.
The webinars have been organized in collaboration with partners including many ministries of Education in GPE partner countries, as well as institutional partners such as UNESCO Institute for Statistics, UNESCO Pole Dakar, Inter-Agency Network for Education (INEE), Education Cannot Wait, UNICEF, the Global Campaign for Education, Deliver Deaf Child Worldwide, Norwegian Refugee Council, Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), Catalyst for Inclusive Education of Inclusion International and many more.
A tool to bring partners together
Conceived as part of GPE's overall approach for knowledge and good practice exchange, the GPE webinar series began as a response to requests from GPE partner countries and other partners for further opportunities to exchange and share knowledge, with a view to inform policies and practices at the country level.
As such, the GPE webinar series aims to support the realization of the partnership's strategic goals as well as national and global objectives. It provides a platform to share knowledge, solutions and innovations to help drive in-country results.
The success of the GPE webinar series has been its ability to create awareness and amplify the work of partners, bringing strong country level presentations and technical collaborations with other agencies to a wide audience of GPE partners at the country and global levels.
The webinar series capitalizes on its ability to bring together GPE global and national stakeholders in order to have a continuous exchange of perspectives, knowledge, and practices. The webinars are also as visibility tool helping to shine a light on the work of the partnership and the contribution of its partner countries, and from across the partnership in fulfilling SDG 4, as well as GPE’s own results framework.
Partners drive the thematic focus of webinars
Webinar topics are selected based on expressed interest by partner countries and to discuss key topics for GPE such as systems strengthening, equity, learning, inclusion, and building a stronger partnership.
A survey is administered to webinar participants annually to solicit feedback, not just on content of the webinar series but also on areas to improve in the quality of webinars. The 2016 survey, for example, indicated that most webinar participants found country experiences to be of most value, as well as learning about new methodological approaches. The majority of respondents cited the following reasons for participating to the series:
- to obtain new information
- to get exposure to evidence based good practices
- to obtain a better understanding of GPE’s work with countries.
The GPE Webinar Team will be sending out another survey soon to inform the 2018 series.
A diverse audience
While the GPE webinar series is primarily targeted at GPE developing country partners, it has attracted strong engagement from other partners, including CSOs, multilateral organizations, donors, private sector/foundations, and academia, with an average of 90 participants per webinar. Several webinars in the series have attracted more than 300 participants.
As of mid 2017, webinars have been live streamed in English and French. Past webinar sessions are available on the GPE Webinar Series YouTube channels.
A quick review of some of 2017’s webinars
In collaboration with the Global Campaign for Education (GCE), this webinar focused on the role of civil society engagement within GPE’s work. Within social accountability and advocacy for results, civil society plays a unique role. The Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF), funded through the Global Partnership for Education, has a unique and ambitious global program that supports citizen engagement in education sector policy, planning, budgeting and monitoring in GPE partner developing countries. The webinar highlighted the work of CSEF and discussed the social accountability and advocacy work being undertaken, especially at the country level. The webinar explained activities at national, regional and global levels as part of the CSEF; helped to build an understanding of the role of CSOs in the partnership, and CSEF. Watch the recording: English
In collaboration with the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), this webinar explored both INEE and GPE’s work in fragile and conflict regions of the world. The session offered participants an overview of GPE’s work along with the Minimum Standards (MS) in Education, developed by the INEE and implemented by the network in 110 countries so far. The INEE MS sets ‘universal goals for helping adults and children achieve the right to life with dignity.’ Countries highlighted were DRC and South Sudan. Watch the recording: English French
In April 2017, Education Cannot Wait announced a US$20 million investment in the First Response Window. Funds were allocated to support educational opportunities for children and youth in seven crisis-affected countries: Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Madagascar, Peru, Uganda, Ukraine and Somalia. This investment marked the launch of a unique mechanism designed to fund immediate education needs, either at the onset or escalation of a crisis. Funds are disbursed to support partners and their activities on the ground for 12 months and serve as a catalyst for strengthened and improved coordination. GPE supported ECW to host the webinar using the GPE webinar series platform. Watch the recording: English
In collaboration with UNICEF and the International Institute for Education Planning in Dakar (IIEP UNESCO- Pole de Dakar), the webinar presented the Data Must Speak (DMS) Initiative, which is based on the idea that better use of data and feedback tools can improve education system management (in particular on the equity dimension) and enhance social accountability through community participation. The webinar discussed the DMS initiative, its key principles, and objectives, its implementation in Madagascar and Togo, and how it links with the development of education sector plans. Watch the recording: English French
The Results Report 2015/2016 presents the baseline data and highlights the progress made during the first year of GPE 2020 (Strategic Plan) as per the Results Framework indicators. The report shows that more children in GPE partner countries are in school and completing school, particularly girls and children living in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, and there are more trained teachers per learners. GPE also continues to be the largest international funder of education sector analyses and planning, and partner countries have shown strong initial results in domestic resource mobilization for education which are crucial elements in strengthening countries' education systems in the long term. The report also shows that more progress is necessary in getting children enrolled in pre-primary education, ensuring that girls are not disproportionally affected by being out of school, and in achieving better alignment of GPE grants with national systems. Overall, GPE has achieved 16 out of 19 milestones set for the first year. This webinar explained the architecture of the report and how it can be used to leverage more and better resource mobilization where it is needed the most. Watch the recording: English French
This webinar elaborated on the DMS initiative, its key principles, and objectives, as well as its implementation in partner countries and how it links with the Education Sector Plan (ESP). The session shared country experiences from Nepal, the Philippines and Zambia and addressed questions around quality and availability of relevant data, use of feedback tools, link with school improvement plan development, and enhancement of community involvement in school management. Watch the recording: English French
This webinar explored the topic of education for children with disabilities from three different dimensions – evidence, results and practice. GPE shared the results and analysis from the Disability Stocktake followed by presentations from Comoros and Kenya. The Comoros presentation focused on opportunities created by the National Sector Plan and its implementation. It also explored challenges and future plans to ensure more coordinated effort for supporting education of children with disabilities. Participants also learned from Deaf Child Worldwide (DCW) and VSO, two CSOs active in Kenya, and ways in which advocacy and evidence generation have influenced education policy in the country. Recording upcoming
Ready for more knowledge exchange in 2018
The GPE Secretariat wishes to thank all its partners for the fruitful collaboration this past year.
We look forward to new and exciting topics that will be explored with all our partners in the 2018 webinar series. Future topics will include teaching and learning, health and education, SDG 4 implementation, and many more.