To be competitive in today's global economy, developing countries need a workforce with a strong education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). While the post-2015 United Nations development agenda is still under discussion, we propose that a global fund should be set up to back the most effective and innovative STEM programmes in the developing world and to improve the accessibility and quality of STEM education worldwide.

Existing STEM educational initiatives differ in their approach, scope, type, target populations and funding sources. A coordinated global STEM fund would bridge the gaps, provide more teachers, offer wider access to resources and programmes, stimulate innovation and recruit more women and students from minorities.

International organizations, such as the World Bank and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), could help to realize this STEM fund by providing crucial infrastructure, including access to the global educational network and to the management, financial and technical support it would need to begin operations.