4 ways GPE’s support transforms education

GPE’s approach to supporting lower-income countries’ education priorities is unique, ensuring that its impact is sustainable and that millions more girls and boys receive the quality education they need and deserve.

May 10, 2021 by GPE Secretariat
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4 minutes read
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A class 2 student at Shree Krishna Ratna School in Chautara, Ward 5, Sindhupalchowk District, Nepal. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
A class 2 student at Shree Krishna Ratna School in Chautara, Ward 5, Sindhupalchowk District, Nepal.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

GPE is both the largest global fund solely dedicated to education and a unique, multi-stakeholder partnership. We have a strong track record: nearly 20 years helping lower-income countries get more girls and boys in school and learning.

By mobilizing billions of dollars and convening hundreds of partners, we help lower-income countries accelerate change to ensure every girl and boy get the quality education they need to unlock their full potential and contribute to building a better world.

GPE’s approach is solidly anchored in these principles:

  • Country ownership: partner countries lead the way on the reforms and support they need.
  • Inclusive partnership: all education stakeholders around the same table have a better chance of achieving meaningful and lasting results, and hold each other accountable.
  • Alignment and harmonization: making aid dollars and education budgets go further.

Here are the four ways through which the GPE approach transforms education systems in partner countries:

  1. Doing the right thing: To create lasting change, GPE focuses on improving education at a systems level to leverage the profound transformations required to deliver at least one year of preschool and 12 years of quality education for every girl and boy. Since 2002, 160 million more children in partner countries have set foot in classrooms for the first time.
    • In Kenya, this means supporting a new information management system that has transformed the delivery of education. The system provides real-time data, allowing the government to monitor indicators such as attendance, enrollment and staffing in a transparent and reliable way.
    • In Sudan, this means supporting the government to strengthen sector planning and conduct the first national assessment of early grade learning.
Doing the right thing in the right places at the right time
  1. In the right places: GPE works in the countries with the greatest needs and we target the children who are hardest to reach. We focus our support on low-income countries and more than 60% of our funding goes to countries affected by conflict and fragility.

    These countries have some of the highest rates of out-of-school children and the lowest levels of learning but lack the resources to sustainably build their education systems.

    In less than two decades, we’ve helped more than 106 million more children enroll in school in GPE partner countries affected by conflict and fragility.

    • In Afghanistan, this means funding accelerated learning centers and community-based education to allow children living in remote areas to learn. It also means training female teachers, so that more girls enroll in school.
    • In Yemen, GPE support has helped 90% of the country’s schools remain open despite years of ongoing conflict and economic collapse. As the largest single provider of external funding to Yemen’s education sector, GPE supported the establishment of temporary learning spaces and provided basic teaching and learning supplies to schools in all parts of the country.
  2. At the right time: Every day of lost education is an emergency, no matter the circumstances. GPE supports educational continuity and helps partners keep their education systems functioning through wars, displacement crises, climate disasters and health emergencies. When a crisis hits, we provide accelerated and flexible support, all the while keeping our focus on transforming education over the long term.
    • Faced with school system shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, GPE reacted swiftly to allocate $500 million in emergency funding to 66 countries to keep children learning remotely, even in places with no connectivity, and ensure schools could reopen safely.
  3. At scale: GPE is one of the largest sources of grant aid for education in low-income countries. We use our direct funding to leverage billions of dollars more in domestic and international financing— creating better opportunities for millions of children, their communities and their countries.
    • In Papua New Guinea, $3.5 million of the GPE Multiplier was mobilized alongside $10.6 million in additional co-financing from Japan. The funding is helping improve early grade learning outcomes in math and science, particularly in low performing provinces.

Doing the right thing, in the right place, at the right time, at scale: that’s GPE’s edge.

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GPE is currently calling on world leaders to “Raise Your Hand” and pledge at least $5 billion for the next five years to help GPE transform education in up to 90 countries and territories, which are home to more than 1 billion children.
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