Public private partnerships: education unions involved in cross-sectoral activities

Education International and partners have reasserted the need for organisations from the water, housing, education and health sectors to take coordinated action on public private partnerships.

The Equalities in Public Private Partnerships (EQUIPPPS) network met for its final workshop from 17-18 July in Brussels, Belgium. It had formerly met in the UK, South Africa and India.

In her opening address, Education International (EI) Deputy General Secretary Haldis Host drew participants’ attention to the importance of coordinated action in this area of work, emphasising the need to link up unions and academia.

Jasmine Gideon, Coordinator of the EQUIPPPS meetings, also stressed the importance of cross-sectoral work in this area.

The workshop consisted of a presentation of literature reviews on water, housing, education and health, highlighting the impact and role of public private partnerships (PPPs) in India and South Africa, with a focus on challenges in the different sectors as well as cross-cutting issues in all sectors and countries.

Link to EI’s work

The EQUIPPPS network’s work touches on the following issues covered by EI’s activities:

-          The Global Response to the privatisation and commercialisation in and of education campaign: research, advocacy and union capacity development on education privatisation and PPPs;

-          The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the indirect promotion of PPPs in the SDG 17’s targets;

-          The need for strong public systems in education, but also health, housing and water, all of them being essential for educational success and developing prosperous societies. For example, children with disabilities rely on strong public health and education systems.

-          Research as a central part of union work at global and national levels. Education International is currently working on strengthening regional research networks, as well as strengthening affiliates’ capacity to integrate research into their programmes; and

-          Strong focus on rights and equality issues.

To draw attention to country specific and cross-sectoral issues related to PPPs, the EQUIPPPS network will work on several working and research papers.

Background

EQUIPPPS is a strategic network located at the Department of Geography, Birkbeck, University of London, UK. The network is building inter-sectoral and inter-disciplinary collaboration on PPPs to identify and foster future research. Focusing on PPPs in education, health, housing and water, with research hubs located in India and South Africa, it provides a platform for coordinating, facilitating and publicising the research and policy-related activities of those involved in research in PPPs. Education International is part of this network and contributes to the work they do, notably on PPP impact on teachers, quality of education and union resistance.

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