Multilateral cooperation for literacy promotion under stress: governance and management issues

Leslie J. Limage


Abstract

This paper analyses recent organizational change and governance in UNESCO. The Organization has given priority to the promotion of universal literacy since its inception in 1946. It has persisted in its dual approach to universal literacy through both universal primary education and literacy learning opportunities through formal provision and non-formal learning opportunities for adults and out-of-school youth. A major policy shift in 2006 to abandon systematic and programmatic concern for literacy at UNESCO Headquarters drastically changed priorities. That decision is analysed in the broader UN system setting, United States’ policies since its return to UNESCO, and the recent internal governing dynamics of the agency.

Full Text

PDF

References

Bush, George (2002) Speech to the United Nations General Assembly on 12 September2002, http://www.whitehouse.gov.news/releses/2002/09/2020912-1.html

Cuevas, Juan (18 April 2007) Ecuador intervention to Plenary session, 176th UNESCO Executive Board, Summary records in 176 EX/SR, 1-10, p.73 at: http://www.unesco.org

Figaji, Brian (3 October 2006) Intervention by South Africa, in Plenary session, 175th UNESCO Executive Board, Summary records of 175th UNESCO Executive Board. http://www.unesco.org

Figaji, Brian (18 April 2007) Intervention by South Africa, in Plenary session, 176th UNESCO Executive Board, Summary records in 176 EX/SR, 1-10, p.91. http://www.unesco.org

Figaji, Brian (7 April 2008) Statement on behalf of Africa Group Members of the Executive Board, and South Africa's Statement: Executive Board, April 2008, pp 3-4, to be included in Summary records 179th UNESCO Executive Board.

Graff, Harvey J. (1987), The Legacies of Literacy. Continuities and contradictions in Western culture and society, Indiana University Press, Bloomington.

Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme. Under the Chairmanship of Volcker, Paul A. (September 2005) The Management of the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme, Volume IV. Report of Investigation, United Nations Administration, Part II. http://www.iic-offp.org

International Reading Association (April 2007) Reading and Writing and Education for All: Strategy recommendations. Available from: http://www.reading.org

Jones, Phillip (1988) International Policies for Third World Education: UNESCO, Literacy and Development, Routledge, London.

Jones, Phillip with Coleman, Michael (2005) The United Nations and Education. Multilateralism, development and globalization, Routledge, London.

Landymore, Peter (18 April 2007) United Kingdom intervention to Plenary Session, 176th UNESCO Executive Board Summary records 176 EX/SR. 1-10, p.70. http://www.unesco.org

Limage, Leslie (1987) The Right to Literacy, in Tarrow, Norma Bernstein (ed) Human Rights and Education, Pergamon Press, Oxford, pp 81-100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-033415-8.50011-4

Limage, Leslie (1993) A View from the International Literacy Year Secretariat, in Freebody, Peter and Welch, Anthony R (eds) Knowledge, Culture and Power: International Perspectives on Literacy as Policy and Practice, The Falmer Press, London, pp 23-34.

Limage, Leslie (1999). Literacy Practices and Literacy Policies: Where has UNESCO been and where might it be going? in International Journal of Educational Development, Vol 19, pp 75-89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0738-0593(98)00036-4

Limage, Leslie (2005a) The Growth of Literacy in Historic Perspective: Clarifying the role of formal school and adult learning opportunities, Background paper for the EFA Global Monitoring Report: Literacy for Life, 2006, available on EFA web-site and CD-ROM: http://www.unesco.org

Limage, Leslie (2005b) Literacy and Empowerment: Background and issues paper for the Working Group on Education for All session on literacy, July 2005. http://www.unesco.org

Limage, Leslie (2007) Organizational challenges to international cooperation for literacy in UNESCO, in special issue entitled 'Global Governance, Social Policy and Multilateral Education' of Comparative Education, (guest ed) Phillip Jones, Vol 43, No 3, pp 451-468.

Lynch, Colum (2007) US Fights off Bid to Punish UNESCO Official, Washington Post, 6 May. http://www.washingtonpost.com

Mukherjee, Bhaswati (3 October 2006) Intervention by India to the Plenary Session of the 175th UNESCO Executive Board, Summary records of the 175th Session, http://www.unesco.org.

Oliver, Louise (18 April 2007) Intervention of the United States to the Plenary Session of the 176th UNESCO Executive Board, available in the Summary record of the 176th UNESCO Executive Board at 176 EX/SR.1-10, p 96. http://www.unesco.org

Oliver, Louise (8 April 2008) Executive Board Intervention-United States to the Plenary Session of the 179th UNESCO Executive Board, U.S. Permanent Delegation to UNESCO web-site, http://www.unesco.usmission.gov

Ortigao, Ramalho (17 April 2007) Intervention on behalf of the European Union to the Plenary of the 176th UNESCO Executive Board, Summary record of the 176th UNESCO Executive Board in 176 EX/SR.1-10, p 14 – SR.2), http://www.unesco.org

Rausch, Susan (1995) The Quest for Universal Literacy: and who got what from International Literacy Year, Why and How?, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, available from UMI Dissertation Services, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Séguin, Phillipe (23 April 2007) Proposition D'intervention Devant la Commission Financière et Administrative, (in French), limited distribution, reported in summary form in Summary records of 176th Executive Board 176 EX/SR. 1-10 in SR 9, paragraph 1.68, p 142. http://www.unesco.org

Séguin, Philippe (11April 2008) Intervention Devant la Commission Financière et Administrative et la Commission du Programme et des Relations Extérieures, (Intervention to present 179 EX/31, Parts, I, II, III, 7 March 2008. http://www.unesco.org)

Smith, Peter (12 March 2007) Letter of resignation to Director-General of UNESCO. Published on 14 March 2007 in article entitled Former CSUMB Chief Quits UNESCO Post on website of the KSBW Channel.com. http://www.theksbwchannel.com/news/11254042/detail.html

Steensnaes, Einar (17 April 2007) Intervention of Norway to the Plenary Session of the 176th UNESCO Executive Board, Summary record of the 176th Executive Board. http://www.unesco.org

Thoreau, Henry David, (1854), Walden Ticknor & Fields, Boston.

UNESCO internal administrative communications:

DG/Note/00/11, 10 April 2000, (internal memo)

DG/Note/06/37, 12 July 2006 (internal memo)

DG/Note/06/38, 27 July 2006 (internal memo)

DG/Note/08/08, 4 March 2008 (internal memo)

UNESCO (29 July 2005a) 172 EX/10, United Nations Literacy Decade: Progress Report, 2004-2005, http://www.unesco.org

UNESCO (2005b) EFA Global Monitoring Report: Literacy for Life, 2006, UNESCO, Paris.

UNESCO (21 November 2005c) 172 EX/Decisions, Decisions adopted by the Executive Board at its 172nd session, http://www.unesco.org.

UNESCO (June 2006a) United Nations Literacy Decade: Second Progress Report to the United Nations General Assembly for the period 2005-2006, (prepared by Leslie Limage on behalf of UNESCO), final document available on UNGA web-site, http://www.un.org

UNESCO (10 July 2006b) Education for All Global Action Plan: improving support to countries in achieving the EFA Goals. A basis for enhancing collective effort among the EFA convening agencies, http://www.unesco.org

UNESCO (October 2006c) 175 EX/54 and Addendum, Draft decisions recommended by the Programme and External Relations Commissions, and 175 EX/55, Draft Decisions recommended by the Finance and Administration Commission, UNESCO, Executive Board; 175th, 2006, http://www.unesco.org

UNESCO (2006d) EFA Global Monitoring Report 2007. Strong foundations. Early childhood care and education, UNESCO, Paris.

UNESCO (16 March 2007) 176 EX/39 Report by the External Auditor on the Procedures used to hire consultants for the restructuring of the Education Sector, Paris, UNESCO, http://www.unesco.org

UNESCO (16 April 2007) Director-General's written introduction to the General Debate of the Executive Board, 176 EX/INF.17 Rev, http://www.unesco.org

UNESCO (17 April 2007) Draft Decision submitted by Algeria, Benin and India concerning Item 39: Report by the External Auditor on the procedures used to hire consultants for the restructuring of the Education Sector, 176 EX/FA/PX/DR.4, Limited distribution.

UNESCO (27 July 2007) Summary records (of the 176th UNESCO Executive Board, 10-27 April 2007)' SR 1-10, http://www.unesco.org

UNESCO (3 August 2007) United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012): Progress Report 2006-2007, 177 EX/8, Paris, http://www.unesco.org

UNESCO (1 April 2008) Director-General's written introduction to the General Debate of the Executive Board, 179 EX/INF.8, http://www.unesco.org

UNESCO (24 March 2009) Progress made in the implementation of the recommendations of the External Auditor on audits already undertaken, 181 EX/34, Part II, Paris, http://www.unesco.org

UNESCO (8 July 2009) Final Communiqué. World Conference on Higher Education, ED.2009/CONF.402/2 Paris, available at http://www.unesco.org

United Nations Secretariat (30 November 2007) United Nations system-wide application of ethics: separately administered organs and programmes, Secretary-General's bulletin, ST/SGB/2007/11, http://www.un.org

United States State Department (24 April 2006) Press Release, 'Laura Bush Announces Global Literacy Conference', http://www.state.gov.

Vatasayan, Kapila. (18 April 2007) Intervention of India to the Plenary Session of the 176th UNESCO Executive Board, Summary record of the 176th Executive Board in 176 EX/SSR 1-10, page 46, http://www.unesco.org

Vincent, David (2000) The Rise of Mass Literacy: Reading and Writing Modern Europe, Polity Press, London.

White House Fact Sheet (2002): United States Rejoins UNESCO, The White House web-site http://wwww.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/09