The 4th Educate A Child (EAC) Partners’ Meeting, held in New York on 28 April 2018, was part of celebration related to its collective achievement to enrol more than 10 million out of school children (OOSC) worldwide. This event brought together current and former EAC partners to not only mark this historic moment, but to actively network, engage, share ideas and lessons learned through an expansive, structured meeting linked to three important themes:
1. A Promise Kept: Celebrating our Collective Achievement to Enrol 10 Million OOSC;
2. Sharing Noteworthy Experiences (Approaches, Best Practices, Stories) on Impact; and
3. The Journey Continues: Conversations on Future Strategies.
It is impossible to capture the richness and depth of ideas emanating from an ambitious, devoted and diverse partnership. However, it is possible to summarise some key points. The meeting was crucial because it:
• Allowed EAC and its partners to pause and consider their massive, collective undertaking and recognise their contribution to addressing the global phenomenon of OOSC;
• Validated many of the principles underpinning EAC through the reflections of the implementing partners;
• Provided an opportunity to better understand how change can occur on a global scale;
• Underscored key barriers that are common across continents and partners, such as discrimination, poverty, conflict and a lack of infrastructure;
• Offered hope for progress on the data, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) challenges faced by all who work to increase education access to OOSC;
• Challenged the notions that resources for education are scarce and brought attention to the need to identify a greater range of resources in support of the most marginalised children;
• Served to ground EAC’s work across the spectrum of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and
• Reinforced EAA/EAC thinking with regard to the importance of building on this experience to work more closely with government structures.