Exploring rights-driven approaches to accountability in education
There are three pillars to address current education challenges:
Increased education financing is the cornerstone of any improvement in education, in particular through improving the 4S (share, size, sensitivity and scrutiny) of education budgets;
These three dimensions are related. For instance, increased financing is facilitated if citizens and donors trust institutions through effective accountability processes, and accountability processes require the necessary financing and institutions to be effective.
Accountability can thus play a crucial role in providing solutions to improve education systems. There are however different ways to bring about accountability, as detailed in the Global Education Monitoring report 2017. One of the most commonly promoted approaches to improve accountability relies on market or performance based accountability, in particular through privatisation of or in education. Nevertheless, these approaches have been proven to largely fail when assessed against human rights standards, in particular because potential improvements in accountability when they exist are at the cost of a major increase of inequalities, labour rights violations, or other fundamental rights.
GI-ESCR is currently researching and exploring what other forms of accountability could be promoted to improve accountability in education in a way that is respectful of human rights. Social or community-drive accountability offers interesting potential, and GI-ESCR is currently putting together a database of evaluated projects that aim at improving accountability through the mobilisation of parents or rights holders. Through these empirical data, and research into the human rights understanding of accountability, a rights-driven approach to accountability can be proposed. Such an approach can be combined with other initiatives to improve transparency and tackle corruption, such as IIEP's ETICO tools.
The following presentation provides more details. It was shown at an event on accountability in education at the World Bank Spring Meetings 2018, and builds on the outcomes of a workshop on accountability held at CIES 2018, as well as other pioneering work such as a Right to Education Initiative's background paper for the GEM report 2017.