Discontinuation of Funding for the ACCESS Programme

Dec 1, 2023

In reference to the articles that were published in relation to the Research Agreement between Dubai Cares, the University of Auckland and the University of Auckland Foundation titled “Accelerating Systemic-level Change to Better Support Learning Opportunities for the Out of School Children & Youth”, the views of the authors of the articles do not reflect the views of the University of Auckland. 

One cartoon fox stands in front of a desk with a computer monitor on it. Three cartoon foxes pop out through the monitor to give the first fox a hug

For context, the University of Auckland and the University of Auckland Foundation entered into a Research Agreement with Dubai Cares dated 7 December, 2020. Under the terms of this Research Agreement, Dubai Cares partnered with the University of Auckland to perform a scope of research work, including desk based and field-based research. The research was to be performed during the period 1 March, 2021 to 1 November, 2024.

In October 2022, Dubai Cares took the difficult decision to terminate the Research Agreement. Dubai Cares confirmed that the reasons for the termination were due to the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the increase in oil prices and the rise of inflation rates globally, that had pushed many of Dubai Cares’ donors to put some of their funding decisions on hold. Dubai Cares conveyed to the University of Auckland that this decision was in no way a reflection of a lack of faith in the quality and importance of this project, nor in the critical importance of strengthening evidence for Education in Emergencies.

Dubai Cares’ support to the research project served to contribute towards understanding policy-level barriers to accessing alternative learning opportunities for out-of-school children and youth, as well as generating guidance for addressing such barriers. Through Dubai Cares’ support, the first phase of research project was completed successfully, and five country reports were developed outlining findings from a political economy analysis of the Non­formal and Accelerated Education policy infrastructure and delivery mechanisms in Colombia, Nigeria, Uganda, Pakistan, and Jordan.  

Phase 1 of the research generated a number of important findings that challenge common assumptions about Non-formal and Accelerated Education practices. For example, the research has shown that we cannot automatically assume that: (a) alignment is always predicated on non-formal education integration with formal education systems and structures; and (b) can be achieved through strong national policy frameworks alone; (c) or on standardized or shared modalities of non-formal education delivery, particularly if the aim is to re-engage out-of-school children and youth in some form of learning.

Following its termination of the Research Agreement, Dubai Cares has compensated the University of Auckland and University of Auckland Foundation under the Research Agreement to cover all costs incurred up to the termination date. While the University of Auckland was disappointed to see the Research Agreement terminated, the University of Auckland appreciates the significant contribution of funding and efforts made by Dubai Cares towards this research project.