Development Cooperation is an essential means of promoting and developing international solidarity, of putting a human face on the impact of economic globalization.
Through strengthening and supporting the institutional capacity of teacher unions, professional solidarity and cooperation becomes a reality between education unions around the world.
The primary objective of Development Cooperation in the education sector is to empower education unions to grow so they become active and powerful partners in the social dialogue and public policy setting in their national context, especially with relation to achieving quality Education for All.
An equally important objective is to enable them to function as independent, autonomous and democratic trade unions, which effectively represent, defend and promote the interests of their members within the framework of modern education systems and socially just, democratic and peaceful societies.
At a time when the enormous wealth generated by globalization is unevenly spread both among and within countries in the developing world, when the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 appears to be a formidable challenge, joint efforts through Development Cooperation are more important than ever.
Development Cooperation is enshrined within the statutes of Education International and its work of fostering networks and strengthening the trade union movement in the education sector is integral to the work across the organisation.
Development Cooperation contributes to the overall objectives of EI which include the following:
Development Cooperation has been at the heart of EI since its foundation in 1993. The evolving context of Development Cooperation has been shaped by the following resolutions adopted at EI’s World Congresses:
The Policy Declaration For a Transparent and Constructive Partnership, adopted by the EI Executive Board in 1997, provides the main guidelines of EI policy in the field of development cooperation. It is the product of numerous discussions over the years with the partners involved: the host and cooperating organisations engaged in specific and regular activities.
In 2007, at the annual EI Development Cooperation meeting, the EI cooperating partners decided to re-examine its existing policy document and to update it to reflect the new global context and meet the challenges with which teacher unions worldwide are confronted. Consultations were made over the last years involving DC partners and EI regional and head quarters’ staff and a Policy Document on Development Cooperation was finally adopted by the EI Executive Board at its 36th meeting held in March 2011. This Policy Document will guide EI and DC partners in their DC efforts.
In addition, discussion and initiatives to further cooperation continue with the Global Union Federations through the Council of Global Unions formed in January 2007.
Development Cooperation should therefore be based on three main principles:
The EI World Congress in 1998 resolved to provide financial support for Development Cooperation activities with member organisation in developing countries from the EI Solidarity Fund. The decision of the EI Congress opened the way for the fund to not only respond efficiently to emergency situations but also to proactively provide assistance to teacher organisations in developing countries and countries in transition.
Each year, EI allocates 0.7 % of its annual income to the Solidarity Fund.
In this transparent and constructive partnership, EI acts primarily as a coordinator. EI also plays a role as a facilitator, convener, clearing-house, problem-solver, mediator and go between. EI encourages the parties concerned to take the general interest into account and to promote activities corresponding to the objectives and decisions of the EI Congress.
In line with its coordinating role, EI, in order to better facilitate cooperation, collects and disseminates information on current development cooperation aims, programmes and activities around the globe, to assist the regional offices and cooperating partners in project coordination and, proposes future activities in response to identified trends and needs. EI offers its expertise in planning, implementing and evaluating projects and formulating technical proposals when required.
You can sign up (http://www.ei-ie.org/developmentcooperation/en/index.php) to receive the quarterly EI electronic Development Cooperation Bulletin by sending EI your email address. You will then be informed on EI and member organisations’ DC current activities.
EI also produces brochures and publications, reports and research papers in the area of Development Cooperation:
EI Resolutions and Policy Documents
EI’s Development Cooperation Programme is shaped by the following resolutions adopted by successive congresses:
In addition the Executive Board adopted policy on
Development Cooperation Bulletin (2003 – 2007)