Cover Image
close this bookWorld Conference on Education for All: Meeting Basic Learning Needs - Final Report (UNICEF - UNDP - UNESCO - WB - WCEFA, 1990, 129 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSponsors of the World Conference on Education for All
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcronyms Used in the Main Text
close this folder1. Education for All: An Overview
View the documentThe EFA Initiative
View the documentThe Conference
View the documentProgramme Structure and Index
close this folder2. Education for All: The Context - Summary of the Opening Session
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentA Unique Opportunity
View the documentExternal Debt, Optimization of Resources
View the documentBasic Education: Broadening the Concept
View the documentVision, Will, Partnerships
View the documentA Focus on Human Development
close this folder3. Education for All: The Consensus-Building - Summary of Interventions in the Plenary Commission
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentConvictions
close this folderConcerns
View the documentMaking a Difference
View the documentEducation for All: Realities
View the documentEducation in Context
View the documentBasic Education - A Foundation
View the documentFocus on Effective Learning
View the documentBalancing Priorities: Basic and Higher Education
View the documentNew Models of Cooperation and Partnership
View the documentOutreach and Equity
View the documentEducational Channels
View the documentResources
close this folderCommitments
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentNational Action, International Support
View the documentCommitments of the Sponsors
View the documentEnlarging the Global Resource Pool
close this folder4. Education for All: The Components - Summary of Roundtables
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe Purpose
close this folderAn Expanded Vision
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIncreasing Access and Equity
View the documentA Focus on Learning
View the documentBroadening the Scope of Basic Education.
View the documentEnhancing the Learning Environment
View the documentStrengthening Partnerships
close this folderThe Requirements
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentBuilding National Technical Capacity
View the documentDeveloping a Supportive Policy Environment
View the documentMobilizing Financial Resources
View the documentStrengthening International Solidarity
close this folder5. Education for All: Call to Action - Summary of Closing Plenary Session
View the documentCommited Partnerships
View the documentCalls to Action
View the documentGuidelines for the Future
View the documentA Beginning, Not an End
View the documentWe Are on our Way
close this folderAppendices
close this folder1. World Declaration on Education for All: Meeting Basic Learning Needs
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreamble
View the documentEducation for All: The Purpose
View the documentEducation for All: An Expanded Vision and A Renewed Commitment
View the documentEducation for All: The Requirements
close this folder2. Framework for Action
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentGoals and Targets
close this folderPrinciples of Action
View the document(introduction...)
close this folder1. Priority Action at National Level
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1.1 Assessing Needs and Planning Action
View the document1.2 Developing a Supportive Policy Environment
View the document1.3 Designing Policies to Improve Basic Education
View the document1.4 Improving Managerial, Analytical and Technological Capacities
View the document1.5 Mobilizing Information and Communication Channels
View the document1.6 Building Partnerships and Mobilizing Resource's
close this folder2. Priority Action at Regional Level
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.1 Exchanging Information, Experience and Expertise
View the document2.2 Undertaking Joint Activities
close this folder3. Priority Action at World Level
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.1 Cooperation within the International Context
View the document3.2 Enhancing National Capacities
View the document3.3 Providing Sustained Long-term Support for National and Regional Actions
View the document3.4 Consultations on Policy Issues
View the documentIndicative Phasing of Implementation for the 1990s
View the document3. Statement on the Follow-Up to the World Conference on Education for All
View the document4. Statement of Principles on the Involvement of NGOs in WCEFA Follow-Up Activities with Non-NGO Bodies
close this folderAnnexes
View the documentA. Conference Schedule
close this folderB. Roundtables
View the documentThematic Roundtables
View the documentIllustrative Roundtables
View the documentC. Exhibits
View the documentD. Documents
View the documentE. Conference Management and Services
View the documentF. Composition of the Inter-Agency Commission
View the documentG. Participant List
View the documentBack cover

The EFA Initiative

In February 1989, the executive heads of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Bank agreed to convene jointly and sponsor the World Conference on Education for All - Meeting Basic Learning Needs (now widely known by its acronym, WCEFA). Scheduled early in International Literacy Year (ILY 1990), the Conference was intended to launch a renewed worldwide initiative to meet the basic learning needs of all children, youth and adults, and to reverse the serious decline in basic education services observed in many countries during recent years.

The four sponsoring agencies established and funded an Inter-Agency Commission (IAC), with an Executive Committee representing the four and a small Executive Secretariat, hosted by UNICEF at its headquarters in New York, to prepare and organize the Conference. The Royal Government of Thailand kindly agreed to host the conference at Jomtien, from 5-9 March 1990. As the initiative became known, eighteen governments and organizations joined in supporting it as co-sponsors and associate sponsors by contributing financial, material and intellectual support. (See inside front cover.)

In order to mobilize support and to consult with governments, major nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other interested parties in countries around the world prior to the Conference, the IAC Executive Secretariat undertook to organize, with the valuable cooperation of the field offices of the four core Sponsors and regional planning task forces, a series of nine regional consultations, as well as a consultation of major funding agencies (see the calendar of these consultations: Box 1.1). The IAC also established an International Steering Group, comprising members nominated by the various sponsors, together with a number of distinguished individuals from each region of the world (see Annex F); this advisory body met once prior to the regional consultations, a second time immediately afterwards, and twice at Jomtien, before and after the Conference.

While each consultation had its own agenda and programme, they all examined the draft text (Draft B) of two working documents, the World Declaration on Education for All (originally entitled "World Charter...") and the Framework for Action to Meet Basic Learning Needs. (The Jakarta Consultation reviewed Draft C). Each consultation formulated comments and suggestions for their revision, and the Executive Secretariat met with the rapporteurs to obtain their advice on the perspectives and major concerns of all the regions that needed to be reflected in Draft C, which was then submitted to the World Conference for final examination and adoption. (See Appendices 1 and 2 for the texts of these two complementary documents as adopted by the Conference.)

Box 1.1 Calendar of Consultations

12-14 October 1989

First International Steering Group Meeting


25 October

Consultation of Major Funding Agencies


30 October - 1 November

Europe Regional Consultation


6-7 November

North America Regional Consultation


13-16 November

Arab States Regional Consultation


21-24 November

Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Consultation


22-24 November

Caribbean Regional Consultation


27-30 November

West and Central Africa Regional Consultation


28 November - 1 December

Latin America Regional Consultation


9-11 December

South Asia Regional Consultation


14-15 December

Second International Steering Group Meeting


15-18 January 1990

Meeting of the Sahelian Countries


22-23 January

East Asia and Pacific Regional Consultation


4 March

Third International Steering Group Meeting


10 March

Final International Steering Group Meeting


Furthermore, many countries established national committees or task forces during 1989, often with the active participation of NGOs, to design or update a national strategy to develop basic education and to prepare for the ILY and WCEFA. A large number of international and regional NGOs were also active in the consultation process, commented on the working documents and helped the IAC to raise awareness of the issues involved in the Education for All initiative. This partnership of governmental authorities, intergovernmental agencies, and nongovernmental organizations is a very significant characteristic of the Education for All initiative.

Although this initiative was initially focussed on the World Conference, there was unanimous agreement in Jomtien that the initiative must continue far beyond the Conference, until the basic learning needs of all children, youth and adults are effectively met in all countries of the world.