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A Global Education Fund: Toward a True Global Compact on Universal Education

A CUE Working Paper

Author: Gene B. Sperling, Senior Fellow for Economic Policy and Director of the Center for Universal Education

A Global Education Fund: Toward a True Global Compact on Universal Education - a-global-education-fund-toward-a-true-global-compact-on-universal-education

Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date January 2009

40 pages


Around the world, 72 million primary-school-aged children and another 226 million adolescents will not attend school this year. While global awareness of the silent crisis of education in developing nations has been growing, education has not experienced the large increases in resource mobilization that have taken place in support of HIV/AIDS, debt relief, and malaria over the last ten years. This shortfall in funding has raised the question as to whether the world needs a new Global Education Fund to elevate education on the global agenda. In this Center for Universal Education Working Paper, Gene B. Sperling argues that there are important design elements of the existing global education architecture—the Education for All Fast Track Initiative—that reflect a promising model for a coordinated, global effort on education that should be built upon. Yet he also finds that a new Global Education Fund must employ serious reforms and have a major rebranding and relaunching moment by heads of state that mobilizes a greater global commitment to more resources and sound program implementation to make significant steps toward achieving quality universal education for the world’s poorest children.

More About This Publication

Gene B. Sperling is senior fellow for economic studies and director of the Center for Universal Education at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Sperling served as national economic adviser to President Clinton and as deputy national economic adviser from 1993 to 1996. He is coauthor, with Barbara Herz, of the CFR report What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence and Policies from the Developing World.

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