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Irish Aid Support to Education

Ireland’s policy on International Development: One World, One Future sets out six priority areas of action that will guide future aid and policy engagement. Improving access to quality essential services (including education) is one of these priority areas. Our specific policy priorities include:

  • Working towards the provision of more and better education, including improving access for marginalised groups.
  • Seeking to address the quality of education, so that all children attending school achieve basic numeracy and literacy skills.
  • Continuing to focus on girls’ education beyond primary school level in the knowledge that girls’ education leads to improved health and nutrition in society.
  • Working to ensure that education systems are responsive to the needs of labour markets.

In 2016 Irish Aid allocated €33 million to education programmes in developing countries. This amount represents approximately 6% of bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA). Irish Aid’s support to education is provided through four complementary channels:

  • Direct aid to the education sectors of selected Key Partner Countries: Uganda and Mozambique. In Uganda much of our support is provided to the Karamoja region, where we work with both UNICEF in terms of Teacher training and development and girls’ education, and the Belgian Technical Cooperation where we are developing a comprehensive approach to technical and vocational education in that region.  In Mozambique, we support both the development of national systems to deliver equitable and inclusive education, and civil society in terms of capacity building empowering citizens to demand improved education services and outcomes.
  • Aid to selected Global Partners working in Education. Currently these are the Global Partnership for Education and the Global Monitoring Report. The Global Partnership for Education is a major partner of Irish Aid to whom we currently provide approximately €4m a year.  The Global Partnership for Education supports 65 developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritising the poorest and most vulnerable, and those living in fragile and conflict-affected countries.
  • Aid from the Emergency and Recovery section of Irish Aid to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) for its support to Palestinian Refugees, and also to the Palestinian Authority for implementation of its education sector plan.
  • Irish Aid also supports selected civil society partners, including Concern and Plan Ireland, who implement education programmes in multiple countries. The education work undertaken by Concern and Plan Ireland focuses on gender equality, inclusivity, and strengthening community demand for accountability in education service delivery. A considerable amount of their work is in fragile states that have high populations of children out of school.