Civil Society Education Fund


Civil Society Education Fund

In 2008, the Global Partnership for Education agreed to support the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) to scale up support to national civil society education coalitions in GPE-eligible countries. The Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) was born.

From 2009 to 2011 the Global Partnership for Education provided $17.6 million to the CSEF, coordinated by the GCE at the global level.

Three regional CSEFs were set up in Latin America, Africa, and Asia Pacific to provide grants to national education coalitions with action plans aligned to the objectives and goals of the CSEF.

National education coalitions in 45 countries received grants from the regional CSEFs: 28 in Africa, 4 in Latin America, and 13 in Asia Pacific. Additionally, the GCE provided a capacity support program through the CSEF aimed at building the capacities of national education coalitions to perform as effective partners at the national level.

For the period 2013-2014, the GPE Board has approved an allocation of $14.5 million to the CSEF.


  • Provide support to the core work of national education coalitions so they can fully engage in the development of education sector programs with governments and donors and track the progress of governments and donor in working towards the Education for All goals.
  • Ensure that CSOs can fully assume their roles as effective and knowledgeable advocates for EFA that they are expected to play according to the Dakar Framework for Action and in respect to the Global Partnership for Education country-level processes. This includes:
    • Building the capacity of CSOs in developing, monitoring, and evaluating education sector plans, engaging in policy discussions and strengthening the consensus-building process around education sector plans.
    • Providing resources for training in project development, finance management, policy-oriented research, budget work, and campaign design.


Students participate by showing their slate during math class in a primary classroom in Cambodia. Credit: GPE/Natasha Graham


The Global Campaign for Education carries out overall implementation including capacity support, monitoring and evaluation, global coordination, knowledge sharing and reporting to the Global Partnership for Education Secretariat. It receives the funds from the GPE Fund and transfers them to the three regional CSEFs which make allocations to the national education coalitions based on their proposals. At the global level, GCE coordinates a focused capacity support program to respond to the capacity challenges at the national level.


The Regional CSEF Secretariats help to develop the capacity of national education coalitions and oversee the establishment of national Civil Society Education Funds. The regional CSEF Secretariats, acting as the implementing agencies of the regional CSEFs, are hosted by the African Network Campaign on Education for All (ANCEFA), Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) and Campana Latinoamericana por el Derecho a la Educacion (CLADE).The Regional CSEF Funding Boards are the decision-making bodies for the approval of allocations for proposals from national education coalitions.There are three Regional CSEF Financial Management Agencies that oversee the distribution of the funds and ensure transparency and accountability in using the grants: Oxfam GB (Africa), Education International (Asia Pacific) and ActionAid Americas (Latin America).


National education coalitions (NECs) play a lead role in improving coordination around education across civil society - NGOs, teacher unions, parent groups, students, faith-based groups, activists and social movements. They enable a coherent voice towards the government and donors and hold them accountable for achieving results and effective use of funding in the education sector. The work of NECs includes education budget analysis, monitoring the implementation of education policies and plans, promoting gender equality in education and stimulating public debate. NECs apply for CSEF support with a one-year proposal. When the funding is approved, money is disbursed and spending monitored by the Regional Fund Managers. CSEF coalitions provide quarterly financial reports and biannual progress reports.