Education Sector PlanningCivil society has a rightful seat at the table where governments — alongside donors, international NGOs, and other stakeholders — come together to develop plans for building and strengthening their education systems. Processes promoted by the Global Partnership for Education, which strives to further bring civil society into Local Education Groups and education donor groups, have created new in-roads for civil society involvement in education planning. Civil society can use RTEI analyses, particularly those around cross-cutting themes, as support for evidence-based input into national education planning and the policy remedies that should be included to address the country’s most pressing right to education issues.
Parliamentary EngagementParliamentarians are often key civil society allies that frequently rely on civil society research and inputs to govern education issues either in committees or on the Parliament floor. This is particularly true in regards to formulating legislation, including the national budget. Civil society can use RTEI analyses to identify critical structural gaps that may require new legislation or incorporation into the Education Act and use these findings to engage Parliamentarians to draft a new law or an amendment. Parliamentary channels can also address cases in which a government has not ratified a certain international treaty or convention revealed by RTEI. Budget formulation offers the opportunity for civil society to use RTEI findings and analyses as additional support to inform Parliamentarians of which education aspects, such as a level of education or a certain geographic region, need increased financial attention. RTEI offers additional evidence for the need for certain legislative or budget priorities, and civil society can use this information with their engagement with Parliamentarians.
Education Sector ReviewsCivil society is increasingly gaining access to education sector reviews — annual reviews of the education sector convened by the government with a variety of stakeholders — and is often invited to submit written or verbal testimony. RTEI findings and analysis can be used as evidence of the state of the right to education in the country and to nationally highlight the need for certain interventions.
MediaThe media can also be a key ally of civil society. The biennial release of RTEI findings can garner national media attention as the public will be interested to see their country’s progress on realizing the right to education. Civil society partners of RTEI are well positioned to work with journalists by alert them of upcoming releases of RTEI results, supplying more in-depth information on RTEI, explaining further implications of the results, and providing newspaper, television, and radio interviews.
UN Human Rights MechanismsThere are many human rights mechanisms at the national, regional, and international level that monitor the State’s implementation of the right to education. These mechanisms can be used to report violations of the right to education on an ad hoc basis. States also come under regular, UN convention committees' periodic review, and these offer the opportunity for civil society to report on right to education issues in their countries. For information, see Right to Education Initiative's guidance on how to report to international human rights mechanisms related to the right to education (UN Treaty Bodies, Human Rights Council, UN Special Rapporteur, UNESCO Committee on Conventions and Recommendations) as well as to regional and national human rights mechanisms.
Strategic LitigationCivil society also has a critical role to play in using the courts to uphold the right to education through strategic litigation. RTEI is not a legal document that can be used for adjudication purposes, but its findings and analyses can lead to further evidence that civil society can use to provide expert testimony to such cases. Strategic litigators often need civil society support and even public campaigning around their cases, making them natural allies who can work together around RTEI findings to enrich their efforts.
RTEI Community of Practice
RTEI civil society partners need not be experts in all the above advocacy applications. Civil society organizations often focus on only one or two of the above areas as a means of specialization. By collaborating across organizations, RTEI civil society partners form a Community of Practice where they can learn from each other as they pursue different advocacy strategies. Central to this community and the RTEI initiative is the Global Campaign for Education, a global movement of national education civil society coalitions from nearly 100 countries. Many of these coalitions are supported by the Global Partnership for Education’s Civil Society Education Fund, which seeks to build coalition capacity to engage several of the above leverage points. RTEI civil society partners can collaborate with international and national education organizations working on relevant national issues through these various channels. In total, the RTEI community of practice supports civil society partners to learn from one another and others, develop best practices, and apply RTEI findings and analyses for the greatest impact.