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Building peace in the minds of men and women

What the Education Sector does

UNESCO leads the coordination and monitoring of the Global Education 2030 Agenda through Sustainable Development Goal 4  and using the Education 2030 Framework for Action as a roadmap.

The UNESCO Education Strategy 2014-2021 has three strategic objectives:



  • Supporting Member States to develop education systems to foster high quality and inclusive lifelong learning for all
  • Empowering learners to be creative and responsible global citizens
  • Leading and coordinating the education 2030 agenda through partnerships, monitoring and research


How we work

UNESCO works by supporting countries in developing their education systems around the key education areas to ensure high quality and inclusive education for all:

  • Laboratory of ideas: anticipating and responding to emerging trends and needs in education, and developing education policies based on research and country priorities.
  • Standard-setter: developing standards, norms and guidelines in key education areas, and monitoring the implementation and dissemination of successful educational policies and practices.
  • Clearinghouse: promoting the development, implementation and dissemination of successful educational policies and practices.
  • Capacity-builder: providing technical cooperation to develop the capacity of Member States to achieve their national education goals.
  • Catalyst for international cooperation: initiating and promoting dialogue and exchange among education leaders and stakeholders.

The services UNESCO offers include:

Policy advice and technical assistance

  • reviewing legal frameworks to enforce the right to quality and inclusive education
  • technical assistance on assessing learning and designed education sector plans, curricula and teaching materials
  • developing and disseminating guidelines and toolkits on specific themes such as technical and vocational training or information and communication technology

Advocacy and mobilisation

  • mobilizing donors to support national educational priorities
  • promoting South-South and North-South-South cooperation
  • contributing to dialogue at country level including through the forming of coalitions connecting public authorities, business, education, training and labour market stakeholders.


See examples of our projects around the world

Priority areas

UNESCO’s Programme and Budget for 2020-2021 highlights two priority areas:

Global Priority Africa
Despite significant progress sub-Saharan Africa still accounts for half of the world’s out-of-school children and lags behind in many important areas of education, hindering socio-economic development. UNESCO’s Priority Africa includes five flagship education programmes with youth and gender as crosscutting priorities.

Global Priority Gender equality
Gender equality in education remains a major challenge and is a global priority for UNESCO. Its Priority Gender Equality Action Plan tightly links gender equality to the right to education for all and the realization of the new global education agenda and pinpoints access, equal learning opportunities, gender sensitive laws, policies and plans and transformative education content.

Other important areas include boosting literacy learning, higher education, enhancing teacher development, improving learning and expanding innovative learning opportunities.