La conférence générale de l'UNESCO: discours du Président du Conseil d'administration de l'IIPE

02 Novembre 2011
Le 02 Nov. 2011, Raymond E. Wanner s'adresse à la Commission éducation

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen of the General Conference,

I am Ray Wanner, and as Governing Board Chair of IIEP, I have the responsibility to report to the General Conference through you on the Institute’s work. I take pleasure in doing so. There are good things to tell. 

IIEP is the Education Sector’s specialized Institute for educational planning. Its goal is to help equip your ministries of education with the skills and the tools necessary to attain your development goals. 

How do we do this?

We train planners in-depth; we coach them in situ; we support them technically. We provide them, and the education community, with policy-oriented research findings.

We also work in the field, but when we do so, we do so only upon request, in full adherence with the One-UN, and One-UNESCO approach, with the ultimate goal of building our local counterparts’ capacity to plan without us.

Let me share with you some of our recent results:

  • For the very first time, South Sudan will have at year's end an interim strategic education plan. We have gone to Juba a number of times. We joined forces there with UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank, and the Academy for Educational Development. We strove for a participatory approach to design a plan South Sudan can be proud of, relate to, and implement with a sense of purpose.
  • South Sudan’s situation is by no means unique. Any country, at any time, can experience fragility. A flood, an earthquake, civil strife can disrupt the education of thousands of children. With UNICEF and concerned ministries, we are working with planners in Burkina Faso and Chad to embed, from the planning stage forward, conflict and disaster risk reduction strategies. Our objective is to make education systems more resilient.
  • We look at Afghanistan with a particular sense of achievement. We started our cooperation there in 2002, when the Ministry barely had a building. Today, the central Planning Unit is able to train provincial planners; and fundraise with technical documents that it has produced on its own. Afghanistan’s plan was endorsed by the Global Partnership for Education - the former Fast-Track Initiative, thereby opening the way for significant catalytic funding.

So what is the recipe for this success?

  • First of all, unwavering commitment from the Ministry.
  • Continued financial support from generous donors. And
  • Sustained technical engagement from IIEP.

Allow me now to move on from our work on technical assistance to policy dialogue.

Only last week the fifteen African SACMEQ Ministers met at IIEP in the presence of the Director-General to discuss the quality of education in their countries, and how to improve it.

The basis of their discussion was hard data that track seven years of policy interventions to achieve Education for All.

The SACMEQ findings and the policy questions they raise are of interest to us all:

  • How will we improve teachers’ capacity to transfer their subject knowledge to pupils?
  • How will we improve the achievement levels of pupils in rural schools, and pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds?
  • How will we reduce the gender gap in learning outcomes?

We are searching for answers and, in doing so, I reaffirm IIEP'S commitment to work with the SACMEQ Ministers to translate their political intent into credible action.

I could share more results -- including from Latin America, where our office in Buenos Aires works with countries in the region to achieve their Twenty / Twenty-one Goals, and transform education so that it suits the aspiration of youths. 

These good results all stem from IIEP’s able leadership, its committed staff, and the steadfast, moral and financial support of a core group of donors. These donors provide more than 80 of every 100 dollars we spend from our regular budget. I am referring to the generous contributions of Argentina, Australia, Denmark, Finland, France, India, Norway, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

Since assuming the Board Chairmanship, I have witnessed IIEP’s commitment to cost-effectiveness and results-based management. As a Board, together with IIEP’s donors, we have been tough, sometimes, on the Institute, prodding it beyond its comfort zones, pushing it for excellence.

As trustee of the General Conference’s policy orientations, IIEP’s Governing Board ensures that, while functioning with a degree of autonomy, IIEP complements, in its areas of strengths and expertise, UNESCO’s education programme to serve you at the highest level of professionalism.

We have received this mandate from you, Member States. And our Governing Board will continue to guarantee the quality of the Institute’s services to you.

Looking ahead, and pending your guidance, we plan to deepen IIEP’s work on gender, looking beyond parity.

The aspirations of youth, and their role as tomorrow’s citizens also call for a shift in our perception of the kind of education we offer. 

We must also plan for learning in new ways, even beyond the classroom. 

We will look into the planning aspects of these and other changing realities.

And I trust, two years hence, to be able to share more of IIEP’s good work with you.

I thank you for your kind attention.