Civil society organizations

Civil society organizations’ collaboration with the Global Partnership for Education is essential to keep education a high priority on the development agenda.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) help shape education policies and monitor programs, and hold governments accountable for their duty to fulfill the right to education. CSOs can be small or large, national or international, and include also parents’ associations, children’s and youth organizations, and teacher unions.

GPE works with organized CSO networks such as the Global Campaign for Education and Education International, which help facilitate collaboration among organizations and strengthen national and global linkages.

CSOs actively participate in GPE's governance, with 3 of the 19 seats on the Board of Directors reserved for their constituency.


December 09, 2019
A call for proposals for transnational advocacy grants is launched under Education Out Loud, GPE’s fund for advocacy and social accountability managed by Oxfam IBIS. Civil society alliances...
November 12, 2019
At the Cali forum, some progress is made to advance inclusive education, but it’s not enough.
November 05, 2019
Learn more about the several exchanges and meetings which are taking place to identify common challenges and opportunities for civil society in achieving SDG 4.
September 12, 2019
More initiatives are needed to protect student leaders and youth activists who are at the forefront of progressive social movements.
September 02, 2019
There is not enough reference in Africa’s regional frameworks to protecting and educating children, in particularly girls and women, who suffer the most from displacements and conflicts.

The role of CSOs

In GPE partner developing countries, CSOs help develop, implement and monitor education strategies. They assess progress toward education results by monitoring the allocation, disbursement and use of funds from donors, the GPE Fund, and national governments. The Global Partnership supports CSOs to be active members of their national Local Education Group (LEG), where they make meaningful contributions to policy discussions and education sector planning.

In donor countries, CSOs advocate for adequate support through official development assistance to ensure that developing countries have the resources needed to provide quality education for all children. Working alongside GPE at global level, CSOs mobilize political will to support equitable quality education for all in the international development and financing agendas.

GPE support to CSOs

In an effort to strengthen the role of CSO partners in GPE's global governance and in national education policy processes, GPE provides funding and support to CSOs through:

  • The Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF): Since 2009, the GPE Board has allocated more than US$32 million to the Civil Society Education Fund. GPE is supporting 62 national coalitions or networks around the world through an additional US$29 million for 2016-2018. This support is leading to better informed national policy dialogue and strengthened government accountability to citizens for the achievement of equitable, inclusive and quality public education.
  • Advocacy and social accountability (ASA): In 2019, GPE will launch a new funding mechanism to enhance civil society capacity to advance the goals of GPE 2020 in learning, equity and stronger systems.
  • Global and Regional Activities program: In 2014, the Global Partnership approved US$1.9 million in funding through the Global and Regional Activities program for teacher support and participation in local education groups.
  • Youth engagement: GPE engages with youth advocates, and supports a strong youth voice within the civil society constituency.

CSOs and social mobilization

Happy children in a primary school in Lao PDR.

Credit: GPE/Stephan Bachenheimer

As CSO partners, you can support education for all children by: