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EFA in Asia and the Pacific

The Asia and the Pacific Regional Framework for Action Education for All: Guiding Principles, Specific Goals and Targets for 2015 was adopted by the Asia-Pacific Conference on EFA 2000 Assessment held in January, 2000 in Bangkok, Thailand. The challenges for the region identified in this Framework included:

  • Growing disparities within countries, particularly a persistent urban/ rural gap
  • Persistent gender gap against girls, especially in South Asia
  • Relative lack of emphasis on alternative, non-formal approaches to basic education and lack of interest in workplace education
  • Continuing shortfalls in national education budgets, especially for countries in economic crisis and in transition, and in relation to school-age population growth
  • Continuing shortfalls in international resources for basic education
  • Lack of reliable data and statistics
  • Increasing the visibility of people with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups
  • Disruption or cessation of basic education provisions, facilities and support as a result of national or sub-national armed conflict or emergency
  • Disparities between big countries and small island states

Following the 2000 Dakar Education Forum, a number of UN Agencies and organizations in East and South-East Asia undertook activities to support and promote EFA.

The need to harmonise different agency efforts at national, sub-regional and regional levels was recognized. In 2000, thematic working groups (TWG) were set up as a regional co-ordination mechanism.

A TWG on EFA was formed for East and South-East Asia, which is steered and coordinated through a committee of four agencies, consisting of UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office, the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission of Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and UNESCO Bangkok.

The focus of the East and South-East Asia TWG on EFA is to provide support and assistance in EFA implementation, monitoring and in the continuing process of plan revision towards the achievement of EFA.

Currently, UNESCO Bangkok and UNICEF are spearheading efforts to help countries in the region assess progress and gaps in meeting the 2015 EFA goals, with the TWG on EFA providing advisory services and coordinated support.
The aim is to mobilize national and regional organizations and resources and produce a first draft of national working reports with raw data by the end of 2006, allowing direct input of sub-national assessments into the annual EFA Global Monitoring Report. The Regional Synthesis should be available for a Regional Policy Review in 2008 and for setting the agenda for the remaining period up to 2015.

Know more about the EFA mid-decade assessment or the history of EFA by downloading the EFA background documents. For more information, email: