BCG Wins Award for Work with First Global Fund for Education in Emergencies

Award from Consulting Magazine Hails Firm’s Support of Education Cannot Wait, a UNICEF-Hosted Nonprofit That Helps Children Whose Education Has Been Disrupted by Disaster

NEW YORK, Sept. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has been recognized by Consulting magazine, the industry’s leading trade publication, for its work in helping Education Cannot Wait (ECW), a UNICEF-hosted nonprofit that assists millions of children whose education has been disrupted by conflicts and natural disasters.

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BCG received an Excellence in Social & Community Investment award for its support of ECW, which is the first global fund to make education a priority in humanitarian responses to crises. BCG was one of 18 consulting firms commended at the magazine’s gala awards dinner last night at the University Club in Midtown Manhattan. Now in their fourth consecutive year, the awards recognize “that some of the most satisfying client work that consulting firms are doing these days is for a higher purpose.”

When conflict or crisis erupts, the educational needs of children and youth are often the last to be considered—an afterthought following food, water, shelter, and security. Educational funding receives less than 2% of humanitarian aid. ECW aims to address that deficit. Launched in May 2016 at the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, ECW brings together a variety of private- and public-sector organizations to assist the more than 75 million children and young people (aged 3–18) who cannot attend school in crisis-affected countries.

ECW had a goal of raising $3.8 billion in its first five years. It engaged BCG to support the design of its operating model, governance, and results framework. For four months, the BCG team synthesized existing assessments, analyzed unmet education needs in emergencies, conducted a comparative analysis of 15 funds and peer organizations, and interviewed stakeholders and experts in the humanitarian, development, and monitoring and evaluation fields.

“The team BCG brought had an amazing ability to manage different and diverse stakeholders. They brought challenge and different perspectives, which we really needed, and they brought a great team spirit, even when we kept changing directions,” said Jo Bourne, UNICEF’s global chief of education, when accepting the award with BCG at last night’s dinner. “It was wonderful to work with them, and the result, today, is that the fund is up and running, with over $100 million in its first year.”

“Education Cannot Wait embodies many things that we hold dear at BCG,” explained Lane McBride, a BCG partner based in Washington, DC, who co-led the project, in which BCG made a substantial co-investment. “It marries two of our biggest social-sector priorities—education and humanitarian relief—and focuses on some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. Beyond that, we see ECW as illuminating and responding to a need that has, until recently, gotten little public attention and insufficient investment. Not considered a life-saving activity, education has too often fallen by the wayside in refugee relief initiatives and other emergency responses.”

Olga Berlinksy, a BCG principal based in New York who worked on the project, added: “In our work with ECW, we partnered to take on a massive problem—an $8.5 billion funding gap for education in emergencies. The scale of this project was daunting, but we felt very lucky to have the chance to get involved in ECW’s early stages. It has been extremely rewarding to watch ECW’s rapid development over the past year.”

BCG has received Consulting’s Excellence in Social & Community Investment award every year since the magazine launched the awards in 2014. Last year, the firm was recognized for its work with the Dallas public schools in improving school readiness. In 2015, BCG won for its pro bono support of the United Nations in fighting the Ebola outbreak, and in the prior year, the firm won for its pro bono work with Save the Children.

Coverage of the winning firms, their clients, and the awards gala will appear in the magazine’s October issue ( Consulting is published by ALM, a global leader in specialized industry news and information.

To arrange an interview with one of BCG’s social impact experts, please contact Hanah Heintzelman at +1 646 455 4667 or  

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