International Working Group on Education (IWGE)
Financing Education: Redesigning national strategies and the Global Aid Architecture
IWGE Meeting 2010
A summary of discussions and recommendations
The 'Bellagio Group' was launched in 1972-73 during two inter-agency meetings. These were organized in Bellagio, Italy, at the initiative of the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.
Addressing the need for donor agencies to work more closely together
After the excessive development optimism of the sixties, there was a need to clarify the complex education/development relationship and to provide better co-operation services.
Agencies agreed to undertake self-financed specific research to support discussions. Between 1973 and 1982 discussions focused on: brain drain, higher education in Africa, literacy, financing of education, and education and training for public management.
Keeping basic education high on the agenda of the international community
In 1983, it was decided to work on one major theme over a 10-year period. This long-term investment was designed to provide the necessary inputs and arguments to play a pro-active role in influencing the education development agenda.
The group was renamed IWGE, and a light management structure was agreed on. A small planning committee was in charge of the overall guidance of the activities (made up of 5 members and later enlarged to 7). A basic secretariat was established at the IIEP.
A key role in the EFA Conference
The first major policy theme chosen was 'Basic Education'. Consequently, the group has widely explored this issue. It played a key role in the preparation and follow-up of the EFA Conference.
It has also become a privileged forum where agencies freely discuss the modalities of international development work - including donor co-ordination, implementation of sector-wide approaches...
Recent sessions focused on:
- 2008: Making education work for all: financing for equity, capacity development, and data management.
- 2006: Advancing in education: reaching rural people, developing capacities.
- 2004: Progress in Education for All: focus on governance.
- 2003: Girls' participation in education, education in situations of emergency and modalities of development co-operation.
- 2000: HIV/AIDS - the sector-wide approach.
- 1998: Poverty alleviation and disadvantaged groups.
- 1996: Implementing EFA goals and strategic issues in the development of post-basic education.