Partners around the world are making commitments to achieve the targets of the Global Education First Initiative. For the launch of the initiative, dozens of companies and private foundations made new pledges mobilizing over $1.5 billion to ensure all children in youth have a quality, relevant and transformative education. To make a commitment, contact the Secretariat.

Accenture Development Partnerships will scale up its support to the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia in exploring how to best utilize Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve the quality of education and accelerate progress on the education Millennium Development Goals in Ethiopia. Accenture Development Partnerships will convene over 70 representatives from international and local businesses and civil society with national and regional government representatives to discuss the results of a feasibility study analysing the challenges and opportunities of using ICT to improve the quality and delivery of education, and share experiences of other countries with a context similar to Ethiopia. Through such consultations and other activities, Accenture Development Partnerships will provide a platform for input into a strategic framework and ultimately roadmap on how to utilize ICT in education.

Aviva supports street connected children and young people into education or training and champions their right to education on the global policy agenda. Aviva is forming strong partnerships with non-governmental organizations in 17 countries and finding innovative ways to provide inclusive and relevant education opportunities and to support retention. These interventions include mobile learning centres, transitional services, birth registration, staff training and community mobilization. Aviva is committed to exceeding its previous public commitment of supporting 500,000 children to get off the street and back into education and training, focusing on the most hard-to-reach children.

Braskem, in partnership with Akatu Institute, plans to scale up their student-led interactive learning educational efforts in Brazil that promote behavior change to affect change on a global scale. This will be achieved by building a new platform using interactive technology, including a dedicated website and social media, to provide resources and a communication space for both teachers and students.

Discovery Communications is working to improve the quality of education in marginalized communities through extensive teacher training. Reaching over 1 million students from the Niger Delta to urban Brazil, the initiative is increasing student learning, teacher effectiveness and community involvement in schools. Discovery has committed an additional $7.4 million to these efforts — alongside other partners such as Chevron, Coca-Cola, and Shell — and is seeking other donor partners to help scale-up these successful innovations.

The Global Business Coalition for Education represents a diverse group of global companies coming together for the first time in a collective, coordinated manner to work with governments to support education. The Global Business Coalition for Education commits to supporting the Global Education First Initiative by leading business delegations to meet with government, local business partners and education delivery organizations in countries to see how they can help accelerate progress in education using their core business assets, social responsibility and philanthropy. In 2013, the coalition plans to lead business delegations to meet with leadership of target countries accounting for half of the world’s out of school population. Founding members include Chevron, McKinsey, Lenovo, Dangote Industries, Discovery Communications, Econet Wireless, Pearson, Accenture, Intel, Hess, Reed Smith and Western Union.

ING started the global ING Chances for Children Programme in 2005 because investing in education for all is a profound investment in future economies and societies. ING has chosen a two-pronged approach: to underscore local partnerships and employee involvement in educational projects in the countries where we operate; and secondly, to focus on global educational initiatives through our partnership with UNICEF. Targets include reaching 1 million children by 2015, providing them with access to school, better quality education and safer and healthier living conditions.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is committed to supporting the creation of a Latin American Network of Civil Society, and Private Sector Organizations working to improve the quality of education in the region. The IDB will support the Global Education First Initiative by promoting the exchange of successful experiences among organizations of the network to maximize the potential of civil society groups impact on public policies; informing the dialogue between the public sector and civil society around key education issues to support improvements in quality and equity of schooling with research, analysis, and dissemination events with key public and private stakeholders; and implementing monitoring procedures for educational goals and policies at the regional level and within countries.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation and Douglas B. Marshall Jr. Family Foundation commit to awarding up to $6 million over the year following the launch of the Global Education First Initiative to support innovative secondary education initiatives that provide learning opportunities and life and livelihood skills for underserved youth between the ages of 12 to 19 in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, and India. These projects will focus in areas identified as critical by Education First including strengthening teaching, delivering quality education that provides students with skills that are relevant to life and labor markets, and use of education technologies to bridge gaps in access and quality of learning.

The MasterCard Foundation will launch a new Scholars Program, a $500 million education initiative that will enable 15,000 talented, yet economically disadvantaged students from developing countries—particularly from Africa—to access and complete their secondary and university education. The program provides comprehensive financial and academic support, mentoring, and life skills as well as promotes a “give back” ethos so vital to succeeding in a global economy.

Microsoft/Intel/Millennium@EDU: Millennium@EDU is a multi-stakeholder initiative, bringing together the world’s largest technology companies including Intel and Microsoft, together with local companies and other stakeholders to improve access and quality of education and learning, using information, communication and scientific technologies. The companies will provide their high-value products and services at a significantly reduced price as part of this initiative and create low-cost but comprehensive “Education Solution Packs” including computer devices, software, content and training programs addressing the requirements for education, learning and inclusion for 15 million children in at least 150 countries.

Nestlé is contributing to the Global Education First Initiative through the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Programme as well as the World Cocoa Foundation Schools Project and water and sanitation programmes in schools in Côte d’Ivoire. By 2014, Nestlé plans to reach 55 schools and 65 water points and sanitation facilities to benefit at least 53,000 beneficiaries in cocoa-growing villages. By 2016, Nestlé will build or refurbish 40 schools in four years and promote activities such as adult literacy education, teacher training, livelihoods education, and 140 family support scholarships.

Pearson will support the production of global research, data and metrics on education and learning worldwide. In 2012, Pearson will draw together publically available information on education around the world and make it accessible online through a global education data bank. Pearson will use the lessons learned to inform Pearson’s product and service development, while making the underlying data and conclusions freely and openly available.

Sumitomo Chemical is dedicating a percentage of revenues generated from the sale of Olyset ™ Net production in Tanzania to support the Global Education First Initiative. In collaboration with World Vision Japan and other non-governmental organizations, Sumitomo is building schools and creating jobs, having constructed 12 schools in 8 different countries to date and with goals to build two new schools in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique. By 2013, Sumitomo plans to build an additional two schools in Africa and continue scholarship programmes in different regions.

Western Union and the Western Union Foundation have announced Education for Better, a three-year program to accelerate progress in the sprint to end of 2015. The program will provide up to $10,000 per day in non-governmental organization (NGO) grant funding including support for one million days of school.