Enhancing financing for global education

Norway and the World Bank have launched Results in Education for All Children (REACH) – a new trust fund to boost financing for education in low-income countries. Education is an important way out of poverty, and good quality education services need to be available in all countries. With this in view, it is important that financing is more closely linked to results. The new trust fund was launched by World Bank President Jim Kim and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos today.

‘I am very pleased that we are able to play a part in increasing knowledge about innovative methods of financing education. Education is a way out of poverty, and the new trust fund can be used to reach the many children who currently only receive a poor education or no education at all. The main focus will be on low-income countries and countries that are or have been in conflict,’ said Ms Solberg.

Norway will provide NOK 60 million in the pilot phase of the trust fund. The objective is to strengthen education systems in low-income countries, so that they are better able to achieve good results. In many low-income countries, education is not given high priority. The trust fund can help to change this by providing incentives and showing that efforts in the education sector can produce results. Effective approaches and thorough evaluations will be important criteria for financing.

‘The World Bank Group is pleased to partner with Norway on results-based financing in education to bring high-quality education to disadvantaged children and youth in developing countries, building on our highly effective collaboration in health,’ said Mr Kim. 

There are many reasons why education is a low priority in low-income countries. Teachers cannot live on their salaries, and parents do not see the point of sending their children to school when they learn so little and their labour is needed elsewhere. In some places, there is ingrained reluctance to send girls to school, and education for girls is not socially accepted. With its innovative financing methods, the trust fund can act as an agent of change.

‘Results-based financing has proved to be effective in the health sector. The new trust fund will help to bring about positive developments in low-income countries’ education sectors by rewarding innovative approaches,’ said Ms Solberg.

The trust fund will focus on motivating teachers, improving their teaching skills, and reaching out to vulnerable groups of children, such as girls in rural areas, and children and young people with disabilities or from minority groups. Education for girls and for children and young people who are excluded from educational opportunities are priorities in the Government’s renewed efforts to promote global education.  

Norway’s contribution to the trust fund is intended as a first step to encourage other partners to join the multi-donor trust fund once the pilot phase is completed in 2016.