Working at the regional or international level
As well as the creation of national level coalitions it is also important to link regionally and internationally. This can help inspire those working at the national level – to feel part of something bigger, more dynamic and exciting, while also offering an opportunity to raise the profile of education, through coordinated action. Moreover, linking across borders helps bring out the common issues which impact on education around the world, as well as increasing the pressure on international and bilateral actors.
The Global Campaign for Education is a coalition of a range of civil society actors, including teachers’ unions, NGOs specialising on education, and those focusing on children’s rights. Its small secretariat focuses on lobbying and advocacy work; organising the annual Global Week of Action; as well as coordinating research on a range of issues in education, such as HIV and education, adult literacy, and teacher training. Every year the GCE links with millions of people around the world for the Global Week of Action, where everyone, from children to teachers to government ministers, is encouraged to campaign for education for all.
Regional bodies such as ANCEFA (Africa), ASPBAE (Asia) and CLADE (Latin America) are also useful reference points for education campaigning, ensuring that countries across a region are able to speak with a collective voice on issues which concern them.
“To answer the question of who acts in the name of the international community in education, most people would point to the United Nations (UN). Within the UN, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is formally recognized as the lead agency in education as its very name indicates. Yet UNESCO has been calling for “greater harmonization and alignment in the approaches of multilateral organizations” (Tomasevski, 2006).