Advocacy and Social Accountability

GPE’s financing and funding framework (FFF), adopted in March 2017, embeds support for civil society into GPE’s operational model through the new Advocacy and Social Accountability funding mechanism.


The goal of ASA is enhanced civil society capacity to further GPE 2020 goals in learning, equity, and stronger systems, by improving their participation, advocacy and efforts to ensure transparency and increased effectiveness in national educational policy and implementation processes.


This goal will be realized through the following three objectives, which correspond to the three windows initially proposed in the FFF:

  • to strengthen national civil society engagement in education sector planning, policy dialogue and monitoring
  • to strengthen civil society roles in promoting the transparency and accountability of national education sector policy and implementation
  • to create a stronger global, regional and transnational enabling environment for civil society advocacy and transparency efforts in education.

Theory of change

Theory of change

Operational components and areas of support

With a total minimum value of $60 million over three years, the ASA mechanism will consist of a competitive call for proposals from national, regional and transnational civil society organizations (NGOs, parental, community-based, and teacher organizations).
At the national level, ASA will invest in:

  • policy analysis, evidence and research
  • coalition building
  • social mobilization of citizens
  • capacity building for civil society, including to inform GPE support.

It will do so through two operational components: support for national civil society coalitions and social accountability grants.
At the global level, ASA will invest in

  • global, transnational or regional advocacy campaigns
  • capacity building for civil society policy advocacy through transnational advocacy grants. 

ASA will also support investments in capacity building with the support of learning partners working directly with grantees to strengthen the impact and sustainability of their work. In addition, the three operational components will be designed to work in close alignment with one another and with the Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) mechanism’s learning exchange platform and funding.

ASA design process and timeline

Phase 1 – March-December 2017

Phase 1 focused on designing the broad architecture and theory of change of the ASA mechanism, which were approved by the Board in December. The Secretariat carried out consultations with all GPE constituencies and other experts from the sector to inform ASA design, and conducted a review of lessons learned from its investments in the Civil Society Education Fund. In addition, a comparator analysis and market analysis were carried out to gain insights about grantmaking practice in the fields of social accountability and advocacy and on GPE’s comparative advantage. These inputs were used to inform the final Board proposal approved in December 2017.

Phase 2 – January-October 2018

Phase 2 involves developing the operational components of the mechanism, with the aim of launching the first call for proposals in early 2019. The Strategy and Impact Committee will meet in July 2018 to deliberate on options for the ASA grant agent, based on the results of a transparent call for expressions of interest from organizations or agencies that would like to play this role. Up to three grant agents may be selected, based on criteria set by the Strategy and Impact Committee to ensure that the selected candidates have strong experience managing grants for civil society.

The Strategy and Impact Committee will meet again in October to deliberate on the call for proposals process and operational roll out of the ASA grant mechanism.  Before each SIC meeting, committee members are expected to hold consultations within their constituencies to elicit the broader views and expertise of the partnership on the key design considerations at hand. By the end of 2018, the grant agent(s) will be in place, and the operational manual and guidelines for grants will be ready to enable a call for proposals early in 2019.

Technical advisory panel

To support the Secretariat’s work on ASA, the SIC has established a technical advisory panel (TAP), consisting of experts from the fields of social accountability, advocacy and grant making, to support this design process. This small group of experts will meet regularly throughout 2018 to discuss good practice in ASA grantmaking, and help to bring a stronger understanding of work in this field to inform GPE’s expanded role in funding civil society. The TAP is chaired by Michael Gibbons of Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and includes Hugh McLean, Rakesh Rajani, Patricia Scheid and Aïcha Bah Diallo.

Terms of reference for the TAP

For more information on the ASA mechanism, please contact: