At it's 3rd meeting in June 2017 at UN HQ in NY, the Steering Committee endorsed the following six specific messages related to policies and strategies:
(1) Strengthen national ownership of the SDG 4 targets and commitments and the Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA) through regional and national consultations through the leadership of UNESCO. These consultations should advance the indicative strategies in the FFA and enhance ownership of the 2030 FFA and SDG 4 by Ministries of Education. They should enable strengthened political leadership and coordinating functions (within the sector and inter-sectorally) and promote broad participation of all stakeholders.
- Member States should ensure that national educational laws, policies and action plans are up-to-date and aligned with the Education 2030 Agenda.
- Member States should work with their sub-national levels to disseminate information and train relevant actors to ensure that the Education 2030 Agenda reaches all and is owned in every place of learning.
(2) Strengthen education sector-wide coordination: to ensure truly sector-wide coordination of national/local education development as required for the broad SDG4-Education 2030 Agenda. More specifically:
- Member States should ensure that a governmental department or structure, such as a Ministry of Education, that has the capacity and legitimacy to mobilize the range of ministerial departments involved in the delivery of SDG4 targets and educational targets of the other SDGs, leads education sector coordination.
- Member States should also strengthen/adapt or establish institutional arrangements to ensure truly sector-wide coordination, planning and monitoring that go beyond the Department/Ministry of Education alone and create a sense of ownership at the level of all educational actors.
- Member States should also ensure that SDG 4 focal points are institutionally located in such a way that they have the mandate to convene, mobilise and coordinate the contributions of a wide range of ministerial departments beyond the Ministry of Education.
- Member States should also institutionalise civil society participation, defined broadly, in the national SDG 4 architecture and within broader education policy making.
- Member States should work together to promote coordinated and coherent action by regional organizations. Existing regional fora should be fully utilized as opportunities for countries, regional organizations and civil society to pull together their efforts to address the Education 2030 Agenda.
- Regional organizations should align their own action plans and goals with the SDG4Education 2030 agenda.
- UNESCO, the other co-convenors and partners should identify and share good practices and facilitate peer learning on effective coordination. Co-convening agencies should establish mechanisms for dialogue, coordination and co-operation amongst themselves at regional and national level for taking forward SDG4 implementation.
(3) National approach to intensify implementation: Member States should address the SDG4 targets according to their national policy context and needs. It is essential that they are committed to universal quality education and lifelong learning, equal educational opportunities at all levels and relevant education and training as key principles of the SDG4Education 2030. Member States should also ensure that their approach to the SDG4 targets takes account of gaps that may exist in certain areas and the harder to achieve targets, including those who still lack access at any level.
(4) Partners to develop technical guidance materials to support implementation: UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational planning (IIEP), Development Agencies and other relevant partners, including civil society and the teaching profession, should provide tangible/practical materials including hands-on guidelines to support Member States and other stakeholders in technical dialogue and for integrating or mainstreaming SDG4 targets into education policy and plans taking account of national priorities and contexts. As feasible, the SC should review materials and recommend their use by countries. The SC may call on partners to conduct such reviews.
(5) Strengthen national and sub-national capacities: To strengthen SDG4 implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and the use of data to inform policies and strategies:
- The SC working with UNESCO and its partners will promote coordinated support for capacity building for SDG 4 implementation by governments, the education community (education and training institutions, teachers, students, parents) and civil society, as well as other key actors at country level, and advocate for establishing effective mechanisms for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
- The SC, namely through joint contributions from the PS and RMR WGs, and UNESCO will promote a focus on capacity building in the development and the use of statistical indicators, data collection and availability, reporting, as well as to ensure the necessary framework conditions for efficient implementation.
- Member States supported by UNESCO and other co-conveners should ensure that teachers own the Education 2030 Agenda and are trained to promote Education for Sustainable Development and Education for Global Citizenship.
(6) Special attention for countries affected by conflict and crises: Recognising the particularly difficult circumstances of countries affected by conflict, the SC as a whole and as individual members will promote and advocate for supporting and paying special attention to countries affected by conflict and crises.