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32 New Findings from the Global Education RISE Conference 2021: Parents, Politics, and the Pandemic—Plus the Education Interventions People Would Trash

Last week was the annual conference for the Research on Improving Systems of Education (or RISE) program, a large scale, multi-country research program developed to answer the question: “How can education systems be reformed to deliver better learning for all?” You can read the full conference program and you can watch videos of all the sessions. But here, I’ve broken down the key findings and takeaways from each presentation

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Gender Equality Policy Markers: A Beginner’s Guide

2021 has been a big year for global gender equality advocates, practitioners, and investors. The Generation Equality Forum brought together donor governments, multilateral organizations, philanthropists, activists, and youth leaders to accelerate progress toward Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” This event, and the commitments made at it, are made even more critical by the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, which is exacerbating gender disparities around the world, threatening to dramatically set back progress toward SDG 5.

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Turning the UK from a Development Superpower to a Development Minnow in Six Easy Steps

There are a plausible set of circumstances under which the UK’s status as a serious bilateral donor would be under existential threat. They would take the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) from having slightly more than £8 billion in 2019 over which it has full flexibility to spend bilaterally on its priorities in the most effective manner it can, to having just about £2 billion next year. This would amount to a complete gutting of the UK’s status as a major bilateral development presence, essentially depriving its new Secretary of State of one its most potent weapons almost immediately after she assumes the brief.

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Designing with Users, Designing for Use: Lessons from Using Digital Tools to Improve Service Delivery

Going digital can greatly improve the efficiency of public services. But just as well-designed digital applications can strengthen the citizen-state relationship, poorly designed or ill-conceived applications can weaken that relationship by creating unnecessary complexity, reducing  transparency, and skewing government incentives towards maximizing technology use rather than improving service delivery.

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Germany: Five Areas for COP and G7 Climate and Development Leadership

Recent extreme weather events in the US, Canada, Europe and beyond have shown the high-income countries how vulnerable it is to climate change—a feeling that lower- and middle-income countries have known for years. Germany’s actions over the past decade on climate finance have established it as a leader with climate negotiations and commitments on climate finance at a critical moment.

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Governing New Pandemic Preparedness Financing – What’s Needed for Credibility, Legitimacy, and Effectiveness

Regardless of the institutional home and scope, there are four essential attributes to build into the financial intermediary fund (FIF)’s design, drawing on lessons learned from existing global funding entities and the broader global governance community. While these elements are intuitive in theory, they require deliberate design and commitment to ensure that they are integrated effectively into the ultimate FIF.

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Will the UK Chancellor’s Accounting Be “The Tail that Wags the Dog” of UK Foreign Policy?

The new foreign secretary, Liz Truss, will meet with the chancellor in the coming weeks to determine her department’s budget over the coming three years. If the chancellor maintains his current stance on counting aid spend even where it has no fiscal cost, and also treating the aid target as a ceiling rather than a floor, it would be like the tail wagging the dog,* with the  Chancellor’s stance on the aid target (the tail in this case) directing the UK’s international approach (the much-weightier dog) instead of vice versa, as one would hope. And it could also mean the foreign secretary would have to implement a third round of cuts in UK aid in spring 2022.

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