Proven Public Solutions
by Louis Bélanger, Media Officer Oxfam International
Last Thursday we organised a successful panel at the World Bank meetings, to launch the For All campaign, and have a debate on the key messages with the heads of health and education at the world bank. It was clear that there are a lot of issues on which Oxfam and the World Bank agree:
- the fact that rich countries should deliver the aid they promised,
- that rapid progress is possible,
- that education should be free and that education and health are the bedrock of economic growth and poverty reduction.
But it was also clear that there a lot of issues on which we disagree. In particular there is disagreement of the roles of the private and public sector in the provision of servcies. Oxfam’s research shows that an expansion of public provision of education and health by governments has been central to virtually all countries that have achieved rapid increases in education and health – countries like Sri Lanka, who despite being very poor have every child in school and a skilled nurse attending the birth of every child.
Despite this evidence the World Bank continues to think that the private sector has to be central to expanded services. Oxfam will continue to press for the World Bank to pursue proven public solutions instead, and this is a central message of our Health and Education For All campaign.