New 2023 Results Report: Persistent effects of the pandemic and progress in GPE grant achievements

GPE just released its second results report under the implementation of GPE 2025, its strategy for the 2021–2025 period. The report presents an overview of the partnership’s progress against GPE 2025 goal and objectives.

December 04, 2023 by Élisé Miningou, GPE Secretariat
3 minutes read
Grade 4 students do group work during class at school 51 in the town of Kulob. Tajikistan. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
Grade 4 students do group work during class at school 51 in the town of Kulob. Tajikistan.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

GPE 2025, GPE’s strategic plan for 2021–25, aims to deliver quality education for every child by mobilizing partnerships and investments that transform education systems in partner countries.

GPE produces a yearly results report to provide a comprehensive overview of the partnership’s progress against GPE 2025 goal and objectives.

This second edition discusses results framework data for calendar years 2021 and 2022 and fiscal year 2023 (July 2022 to June 2023).

Overall, the report shows that GPE active grants continue to perform and are financing programs that could accelerate recovery from COVID-19 pandemic shocks while supporting GPE priority areas in partner country education systems. For instance:

  • Since the start of GPE 2025, GPE grants have reached 227 million children, representing 35% of all school-age children in 68 countries.
  • Between July 2022 and June 2023, implementation grants financed the distribution of 48 million textbooks, the training of 481,000 teachers and the construction or rehabilitation of 6,664 classrooms.
  • GPE grants, active as of June 2023, are investing a total of $2.7 billion in various education programs, with teaching and learning as a main investment area (also the focus for 33% of implementation grants); 79% (66 out of 84 grants) are mainstreaming gender equality across activities.
  • As of June 2023, the GPE innovative financing mechanisms have raised $1.7 billion in co-financing toward the $2.5 billion target for 2025, and increased to $2 billion by November 2023.

GPE partner countries are still experiencing the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on learning, access and domestic education financing:

  • The severity of the preexisting learning crisis has deepened, exacerbating challenges tied to providing foundational learning in particular. Based on current trends, only 1 out of 17 partner countries is progressing fast enough to achieve its 2025 target for mathematics achievement at the end of primary school. None of the 15 countries that had set a national reading target for 2025 is expected to reach it.
  • Out-of-school rates have declined in recent years, but the pace of improvement is not enough to cope with the increasing school-age population. As a result, the number of out-of-school children of primary- and secondary-school age in partner countries has increased to 154 million in 2020 from 148 million in 2015.
  • Although the volume of domestic financing for education in partner countries increased by an estimated $23.8 billion between 2015 and 2021, the average share of education spending in total government expenditure has been declining since the start of the pandemic.

Despite a slow start, rolling out the GPE 2025 approach to system transformation is expected to pick up in pace thanks to modifications to the model based on lessons learned from the experience of an initial set of partner countries.

As of mid-November 2023, 53 partner countries had completed an analysis of factors that can help accelerate the transformation of education systems (enabling factors), and 33 of them had developed a partnership compact.

Most partner countries that completed a partnership compact included teaching and learning among their priority reforms and suggested plans to address issues related to the volume, equity and efficiency of domestic financing, which were identified as some of the most important barriers to education system transformation.

GPE’s 2023 results report points out areas that require special attention to accelerate progress toward the GPE 2025 goal and to bring Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 within reach.

Specifically, it stresses the need for unprecedented progress in learning outcomes, data availability and education financing. It also highlights the need to accelerate the rollout of GPE’s approach to system transformation to provide timely support to partner countries.

The findings from the results report are shared with the partnership to learn, adapt and accelerate progress toward GPE 2025 goal and objectives.

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