The GPE 2022 Results Report: Continued effects of COVID with progress in grant implementation

GPE just released its first results report under the implementation of GPE 2025, its strategy for the 2021–2025 period. See what the key results are in partner countries and for the partnership as a whole so far.

December 05, 2022 by Élisé Miningou, GPE Secretariat
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4 minutes read
Rom Raksmey, 6 years old, smiles during a class inChambak Haer Primary School, Puok District in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Credit: GPE/Roun Ry
Rom Raksmey, 6 years old, smiles during a class inChambak Haer Primary School, Puok District in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Credit: GPE/Roun Ry

Each year, GPE produces a results report that provides a comprehensive overview of the progress of the partnership as a whole against its objectives, and in particular how GPE partner countries advance towards the goal of accelerating access, learning outcomes and gender equality in education.

Today, we release our latest results report, which uses data from calendar years 2020 and 2021 and fiscal year 2022 (July 1st, 2021- June 30, 2022) to monitor GPE's progress toward its goal and objectives. We are pleased to have collaborated with the Global Education Monitoring Report team and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics for chapter 1 of the report.

107 million children supported

Overall, the GPE active grant portfolio reached $2.9 billion last fiscal year to support countries’ efforts to strengthen their education systems. The grants reached about 107 million students, supported the distribution of 56 million textbooks, trained half a million teachers and built more than 8,500 classrooms.

GPE active grants allocated a total of US$893 million to mainstream gender equality. About 85% of gender-related objectives are on-track with implementation.

Against a difficult global context of the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, GPE’s 66 emergency grants totaling $467 million continued to support partner countries’ response to the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The COVID-19 grants were accelerated to quickly meet the challenges of remote learning, training teachers and developing education content to keep children learning during the pandemic. The grants also funded water points, hygiene supplies and awareness campaigns to help countries safely reopen schools.

These programs supported distance learning activities reaching 76 million girls and boys, and contributed to training nearly 230,000 teachers.

Despite the knock-on impacts of the pandemic on all other sectors, donors underscored their commitment to GPE by pledging $4 billion during our financing campaign, the largest amount ever raised by GPE and a significant stride toward a fully funded GPE by 2025.

GPE donors also increased their aid to the education sector by nearly $1 billion despite the economic slowdown in many donor countries caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Twenty partner countries signed on to the Heads of States Declaration on Education Financing, committing 20% of their national budgets to education. The implementation of this commitment is crucial to transform education systems, ensure their resilience to future shocks and effectively deliver 12 years of quality education to all girls and boys.

Civil society organizations engaged in projects funded through Education Out Loud have contributed to education planning, policy dialogue and monitoring. The GPE Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) also contributed to strengthening knowledge and skills in GPE partner countries.

COVID put a strain on education progress

Completion rates and learning declined, while the number of out-of-school children stagnated in 2020. The 2022 Results Report shows that the partnership faces challenges in the following areas:

  • Access to education: The number of children not going to school is likely to decline only marginally by 2025 as populations continue to grow rapidly in most partner countries. Furthermore, some children who were forced out of the system when schools during the pandemic closed may not come back. Radical interventions are needed if we want countries to be able to meet SDG 4.
  • Increase in learning poverty: This measures students’ lack of reading and math skills by age 10. The latest data shows that the learning poverty rate has climbed to 70% post-pandemic from 57% in low- and middle-income countries, and learning losses could be more pronounced in the coming years.
  • Sector financing: National budgets are under great pressure. Domestic financing declined during COVID and the average remains below 20% of domestic expenditure in partner countries. GPE donors’ education aid as a share of total education aid disbursements declined from 75% in 2015 to 73% in 2019, and to 68% in 2020. In order to maximize progress, the global community needs to come together and align their efforts and financial resources behind country priorities.
  • Grant implementation: Despite the increase in the volume of the GPE grant portfolio, grant implementation is facing delays mainly caused by pandemic-related disruptions. The pace of implementation needs to pick up to continue supporting partner countries in addressing the impacts of the pandemic on the education sector.
  • Gender equality: The gender gap in access to education narrowed in recent years but gender parity is not yet achieved in many partner countries. Boys and girls are facing low learning outcome levels, particularly in partner countries affected by fragility and conflict. There is a need to devote more attention to gender equality and the intersection of gender with other factors such as poverty, area of living, and ethnic background.
Students from Class 8 take part in a maths class at Marble Quarry Primary School in Kajiado Central on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Credit: GPE/Luis Tato
Students from Class 8 take part in a maths class at Marble Quarry Primary School in Kajiado Central on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya.
Credit:
GPE/Luis Tato

Early stages in GPE’s 2025 operating model

The GPE 2025 operating model, building on lessons learned in the past five years, shows promise of supporting partner countries zoom in on the priority areas with potential for large-scale improvement of their education systems. For example, as of June 2022, five countries out of six had identified “data and evidence” as a key bottleneck to system reform. How these priorities are addressed will become evident as the model continues to roll out.

GPE has instituted a rapid learning framework to make adjustments to the model as it rolls out. In addition, GPE’s robust evaluation program will provide evidence on progress and identify aspects of GPE’s approaches that work and that need improvement. Information from these sources will be covered in the coming results reports.

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Read the 2022 Results Report

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