Posted on September 25, 2018

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), has held a series of New York-based roundtables and workshops with education stakeholders, with the aim of accelerating progress towards the fourth UN Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG 4).

The discussions took place in the build-upto WISE@NY, a forum held by WISE in New York City as part of the UN Global Goals Week, which saw over 350 innovators, education experts, and thought-leaders gather to discuss key topics and challenges facing education on a worldwide scale.

With funding being a major elementof ensuring that SDG 4 – which reflects that quality education is the foundation of sustainable development - is met by 2030, WISE believes that connecting the right stakeholders is pivotal to generating productive outcomes in this area. According to a report conducted by the Education Commission, the average annual expenditure on education for low- and middle-income countries is $1.3 trillion, which represents only a third of fundingrequired to achieve SDG 4.

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The organizations involved in the New York discussions hosted by WISE included the Education Outcomes Fund (EOF), the International Education Funders Group (IEFG), and members of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Funders who participated in the roundtables and workshops helped to lead discussions about increasing and improving methods of education financing. “The roundtable discussions organized by WISE enabled conversations to take place on new and better ways of financing education, with the objective of achieving SDG 4,” said Zineb Mouhyi, Policy and Partnership Development Officer, WISE.

“Hosting these discussions in New York City, a day ahead of WISE@NY, enabled a wide range of global expertise and insight to be applied to this issue, with the aim of identifying potential solutions and pathways for progress, and helping to ensure that children around the world have access to the quality education which improves their lives, strengthens their societies, and equips them with the tools to innovate.”

EOF ­was established by the Education Commission– chaired by former UK Prime Minister the Rt Hon Gordon Brown– and the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, and launched at the 2017 WISE Summit in Doha, after which it co-hosted a roundtable in May 2018 for the WISE@Accra forum. Its involvement in the New York discussions hosted by WISE was designed to build connections with potential funders, and these efforts will be continued at the next WISE international forum, WISE@Paris, in February 2018 with the aim of engaging philanthropists to discuss new frameworks needed for increasing impact.

WISE@NY was WISE’s first forum to be held in the US, with previous summits and events being held in Qatar, and regional forums taking placein China, Spain, Tunisia, and Ghana. Past dignitaries who have spoken at the conference include former US First Lady Michelle Obama, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, award-winning author Chimamanda Adichie, and journalist Fareed Zakaria.