Prof. Dr. Marcella Milana
Scholarly attention to global governance in education has given much consideration to core institutionsfor economic and social development, like the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the European Union or the World Bank. Less attention has been paid to institutions such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which hold 'enormous intellectual capacities to deliberate the most complex of global problems related to constructing the defenses of peace in the minds of human beings' (Sigh 2011).
In the field of adult education, the UNESCO in 1976 adopted a Recommendation on the Development of Adult Education, the only international legal instrument in this field to date. Progress on its implementation at country level has been only loosely and sporadically monitored.
A first monitoring occurred in 1993, upon recommendation by the IV International Conference on
Adult Education (Paris, 1985). A new monitoring occurred in 2011, and was based on the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (2009) prepared by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in view of VI International Conference on Adult Education (Belém, 2009). Finally, an additional monitoring resulted in the publication of the 2nd Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (2013).
Although UNESCO recommendations are neither morally nor legally binding, they encourage member states to adopt particular approaches or undertake a certain course of action, and may thus nonetheless exert political influence on national policy.
This raises the question regarding the extent to which membership in UNESCO and increased global monitoring affects adult education developments in selected countries.
During the comparative group work, we will focus on the following aspects (focus of country reports):
1. How have relations between your country and UNESCO evolved over time?
2. Has your country sent delegates to the International Conferences on Adult Education? Which social groups (governments, academics, adult education providers etc.) were represented in the national delegations? Did national delegations change over time (in terms of numbers, social composition, etc.)?
3. What aspects of adult education (policy, programmes, financing streams, etc.) has your country reported in UNESCO's monitoring activities? Have these changed over time? How?
4. Which legislative framework in your country can explain what is being reported to UNESCO on adult education? Did this framework evolve over time? How?
5. What are similarities and differences between the evolution of national legislative frameworks and UNESCO's agendas, action plans and monitoring efforts in the field of adult education?