SDG 4 - Quality Education

On the eve of the (virtual) United Nations 75th anniversary event and the Global Goals Week authors presented this year's global civil society report Spotlight on Sustainable Development.


If you missed the virtual launching event you can watch the recording here.

Find the report & further information here.


Global Civil Society Report on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs

New York, 18 September 

The COVID-19 crisis and the worldwide measures to tackle it have deeply affected communities, societies and economies around the globe. The implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been put at high risk in many countries. COVID-19 is a global wake-up call for enhanced international cooperation and solidarity.

But calls for “building back better” by just pushing the reset button will not change the game. We need structural changes [...]

By Antonia Wulff, Education International


In April 2020, schools and education institutions were shut down in 194 countries, affecting almost 1.6 billion students – 91.3 percent of students globally.[1] A rapid and large-scale shift to remote schooling took place, fundamentally changing the nature and conditions of teaching and learning and exacerbating inequality.

While the school closures were an emergency response to the pandemic, the context and solutions chosen say something about the education sector and what is at [...]

Global civil society report assesses structural obstacles and institutional gaps in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

New York, 8 July 2019: “The world is off-track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most governments have failed to turn the transformational vision of the 2030 Agenda into real transformational policies. Even worse, xenophobia and authoritarianism are on the rise in a growing number of countries.”

“The implementation of the 2030 Agenda is not just a matter of better policies. It requires more holistic and more sweeping shifts in how power is vested, including through institutional and governance [...]

By Antonia Wulff, Education International (EI)

Of all the SDGs adopted in September 2015, the measurement of progress on the education goal – SDG 4 – was arguably among the best prepared. With more than 25 years of a common global agenda, the education sector had an established architecture for cooperation and monitoring, and an obvious lead agency in UNESCO. Yet, four years in, UNESCO is underfunded to the point of incapacitation, leaving a vacuum that a range of other [...]

By Antonia Wulff, Education International

For about 12 hours there was a target on education financing in what was about to become the 2030 Agenda. It was proposed in the very last round of negotiations of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals and it did not take long before it was shot down; Member States said it was not feasible to prescribe percentages of public spending to the different goals, and that it would place the goals in [...]

Civil Society activists critique first week of deliberations at High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

New York City, 14 July 2017: With the first week of deliberations at the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development coming to a close this Friday at the UN in New York, civil society activists are criticizing a piecemeal approach to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Especially worrisome to activists is a growing gap between aspirational goals and a lack of proper and comprehensive means of implementation.

On many occasions – during side-events as well [...]

Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017

New York, 10 July 2017: A global coalition of civil society organizations and trade unions presents today the report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2017. It is published on the opening day of the High Level Political Forum at the United Nations in New York. The report provides the most comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Between corporate capture and public challenges

By Aidan Eyakuze, Twaweza East Africa

A colleague, with a long career in Tanzania’s public education system as a teacher and school inspector under his belt, visited a school in a rural district to check on whether the teachers were present at school and teaching in the classroom. When he walked into a Standard Two class, he found about 50 eight-year olds sitting there, unsupervised and untaught. They did not know where their teacher was. He went to investigate and [...]

By Antonia Wulff, Education International (EI)

SDG 4 on education and target 4.1 to ensure young people “complete free primary and secondary education” has so far been reflected mainly in the mobilization of teachers unions and civil society organizations against so-called ‘low-fee’ private schools – notably those run by Bridge International Academies and against the World Bank’s support for these profiteers in education. Yet, this is only one of the dimensions of privatization and commercialization that requires scrutiny within the [...]