We Don't Need No Education? Why the United States Should Take the Lead on Global Education

March 02, 2009

President Barack Obama will have a chance to build support for his proposal for a U.S.-led Global Fund for Education when he hosts UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the White House this week. Brown has long championed improved education in the developing world and in 2006 committed his country to provide the equivalent of $12 billion over 10 years to support this cause. What would be the impact of additional U.S. funding on existing multilateral efforts? How can U.S. efforts in this area complement rather than compete with work that is already underway?

In this new CGD Note, visiting fellow Desmond Bermingham, the former head of the Education for All–Fast Track Initiative (FTI), argues that the United States has a tremendous opportunity to lead the international effort to provide a decent education to all young people. While the FTI has laid down a good mechanism for global coordination in the education sector, it still faces many hurdles. A U.S.-led Global Fund for Education could take advantage of the FTI where it works and fill in the gaps where it does not. Such a fund should focus on results, encourage innovation, promote inclusion, openness, and transparency, and harmonize across financing channels.

Bermingham elaborates on the successes and challenges of the FTI in a recent Q&A and introduces himself and his research in a new video.

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