Development Cooperation is an essential means of promoting and developing international solidarity; of putting a human face on the impact of economic globalization. Through strengthening and supporting the institutional capacity of teacher unions, professional solidarity and cooperation becomes a reality between education unions around the world. The primary objective of Development Cooperation in the education sector is to empower education unions to grow so they become active and powerful partners in the social dialogue and public policy setting in their national contexts, especially with relation to achieving Quality Education for All.
An equally important objective is to enable them to function as independent, autonomous, and democratic trade unions which effectively represent, defend, and promote the interests of their members within the framework of modern education systems and socially just, democratic, and peaceful societies. At a time when the enormous wealth generated by economic globalization is unevenly spread both among and within countries , and when the full achievement of the UNMillennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015 was not possible, joint efforts through Development Cooperation are more important than ever. Greater progress must be made if the UN Sustainable Development Goals are to be met by 2030
Development Cooperation is enshrined within the statutes of Education International and its work of fostering networks and strengthening the trade union movement in the education sector is integral to work across the organization.
Development Cooperation contributes to the overall objectives of EI which include the following:
To further the cause of organizations of teachers and education employees.
To promote for all people and in all nations, peace, democracy, social justice, and equality.
To promote the right to education for all persons in the world.
To combat all forms of racism and of bias or discrimination in education and society.
To build solidarity and mutual cooperation among member organizations.
To promote unity among all independent and democratic trade unions.
Development Cooperation has been at the heart of EI since its foundation in 1993. The evolving context of Development Cooperation has been shaped by a number of resolutions adopted at EI’s World Congresses.
EI staff and officers work with member organisations to provide solidarity assistance. They work closely with EI regional organisations and often organise seminars and Conferences on a regional or sub-regional basis.
Considerable effort is devoted to union building. That includes issues related to organising and bargaining, improving trade union structures, strengthening democratic governance and other capacity-building activities.
Development cooperation is also a means to assist member organisations to participate in EI global campaigns. These include Unite for Quality Education, the effort to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and activities to oppose privatisation and commercialisation of public education as well as other activities to promote agreed EI global policies. .