Private sector

The Global Partnership for Education engages with the private sector as it recognizes that the business community has the specialized expertise, resources and networks to tackle some of the most urgent problems facing education systems in developing countries.

GPE is committed to working with the business community to address these challenges and build stronger education systems in partner countries.

Working with a shared value proposition, GPE aims to leverage the knowledge assets, capabilities, and advocacy potential of corporate partners and private philanthropy to accelerate progress on common education goals.

GPE is aided in this work by a new Financing and Funding Framework that facilitates investment by new public and private partners and the targeting of financing toward innovation and knowledge and good practice exchange.


GPE aims to improve equitable access to education, better learning outcomes and support more efficient education systems in partnership with the business community as follows:

  • Leverage the private sector's technical expertise and resources
  • Tap into the advocacy power of the business community to increase understanding of, and support for, the work of GPE at global and national levels
  • Deepen the business community's involvement in education planning and policy dialogue at national and global levels
  • Secure new and additional financing for GPE from companies and private organizations through the Financing and Funding Framework.

How GPE works with the private sector

At the global level, the private sector and philanthropic foundations share a seat on the GPE Board of Directors. The GPE Board features a private sector constituency and a shared seat with philanthropic foundations.

GPE works closely with networks and associations such as the Global Business Coalition for Education and the UN Global Compact, to support the business community's involvement in the education sector.

The relationship with private sector partners is governed by:

  • The GPE Charter: highlights the unique and complementary role that the private sector can play in advocacy, policy dialogue and education planning process in partner countries.
  • Corporate Engagement Principles: These principles suggest a number of possible roles for the business community at global and national levels and support transparency and accountability for all engaged in partnerships with developing country governments.
  • Avoiding Conflicts of Interest: Guidelines for Business Engagement: These guidelines set out additional clarifying notes on potential conflicts of interest in relation to business engagement within GPE. 

Opportunities for Engagement with GPE

GPE is exploring the business community's interest in three specific engagement avenues between now and its replenishment in early 2018:

  • The Data Challenge: we know that the quality, timeliness, availability and use of data to inform education planning and policies is a challenge across GPE partner countries. This work is starting at the global level, where we are exploring the potential to develop a new online digital data platform to improve the consistency and timeliness of data from countries.
  • Disaster Risk Finance: GPE hopes to engage the insurance industry as advocates for education inclusion in disaster risk mechanisms, as well as thought-leadership and collaboration to bring this to fruition. This segment of the business community is also called upon to support education sector planning in developing countries.
  • Replenishment Event: Business partners are encouraged to showcase their social impact and innovation capabilities at this global forum comprised of high level GPE partners in government, non-governmental organizations, multilateral banks and agencies, philanthropy, and the civil society. Sponsorship opportunities include: exhibition space, etc.

In addition to these engagement areas, GPE is looking to its thematic work as potential avenues for business collaboration:

  • Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE): Through the Better Early Learning for Development at Scale (BELDS) initiative, GPE is expanding its work in ECCE and in 2018 will reach out to the business community for collaboration in a number of areas, including advocacy.
  • Gender Equality: GPE is keen to work with the private sector in support of the many proven investments that overcome the barriers to gender equality in education. These include ensuring safe and secure schools, hiring more female teachers, developing gender sensitive teacher training and learning materials, providing cash transfers, scholarships or stipends, awareness-raising campaigns and community mobilization, amongst others.

GPE welcomes further discussion and ideas and looks forward to working closely with like-minded business community partners to achieve our mutual goals and to secure a prosperous and safe future for current and future generations.

If interested in discussing any opportunity, please get in touch with Alex Palacios or Lydia Murimi at the GPE Secretariat.