How to apply for grants

GPE offers different types of grants to support education in partner countries and globally. View the eligibility criteria for each grant and access relevant documents to prepare grant applications.

GPE supports countries to plan and prioritize reforms that have the potential to achieve transformation in the education system. When a country lacks sufficient financing to make focused, evidence-based investments in programs that unlock system bottlenecks, GPE can provide financial support in the form of grants.

GPE Multiplier grants also allow partner countries to leverage additional external financing in support of their priorities. In countries and regions where girls’ education has been identified as a main challenge, GPE provides resources to support gender equality.

Beyond support to governments, GPE also allocates grants to promote civil society’s voice and to generate new knowledge on key issues and solutions for the education sector.

View deadlines for grant applications

Education sector grants

System capacity grants

Countries can receive up to US$5 million to support capacity strengthening. Allocations will be capped at US$1 million for small island and landlocked developing states with small school-age populations. The grant supports:

  • Strengthening of gender-responsive planning and policy development for system-wide impact, including system diagnostics and education sector analyses as well as planning for system resilience and inclusion of refugees
  • Mobilizing coordinated action and financing to enable transformative change, such as strengthening sector coordination, including through joint sector reviews, development of pooled funding mechanisms, strengthening budget processes, analysis of efficiency of education expenditure
  • Strengthening of government capacity to adapt and learn, to implement and drive results at scale, including data system strengthening.

The grant can also be used to develop the partnership compact, a policy framework that articulates priority areas for reform.

Eligible countries and indicative allocations

Program development grants

Countries can receive US$200,000 (up to US$400,000 in exceptional cases) for the design of an education program that will help the country implement its priority reform.

Eligibility: Countries eligible to apply for system transformation grants and Multiplier grants.


  • Guidelines for program development grants​ (forthcoming)
  • Application for program development grants (forthcoming)
  • Budget template (forthcoming)

System transformation grants

Countries can receive up to US$162.5 million to finance priority programs that can help unlock bottlenecks and achieve system transformation.

Application for the grant is preceded by the development of a partnership compact. The compact is a policy document that articulates how the country intends to work together with partners around a priority reform that has the potential to catalyze system change.

This system transformation grant is being piloted in five countries (DR Congo, Kenya, Nepal, Tajikistan, Uganda) starting in January 2021. New allocations are currently being considered on a cohort basis.

Eligible countries and indicative allocations

A country is eligible for a system transformation grant if:

  • Its median GNI per capita over the last three years classify it as a low-income country (median GNI per capita below $1,035)
  • It’s classified as a vulnerable lower-middle income country, i.e.:
    • a country with less than $2,290 GNI per capita and a lower-secondary completion rate below 90%, or
    • a country affected by fragility and conflict with a GNI per capita below $3,435 and a lower-secondary completion rate below 90%.
  • It’s classified as an IDA-eligible small island and landlocked developing state.


Please note that some of the documentation for system transformation grants are being developed and will be available in the next few months.

Accelerated funding

To respond to a crisis, a country can request up to 20% of its maximum allocation as emergency funding, with a response from GPE within 8 weeks. The funds are used based on the education cluster needs assessment and agreed by the local education group and the education cluster.

Eligibility: Countries eligible for accelerated funding under these guidelines include those that are:

  • Eligible for system transformation grants
  • Affected by a crisis for which a humanitarian appeal has been launched and published by the UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs, with education as a part of that appeal; and
  • Able to demonstrate that GPE funds will not displace government and/or other donor funds, but will be in addition to other resources.

GPE Multiplier

Multiplier grants are available to countries that can mobilize at least US$3 in new and additional external financing for every US$1 from the GPE Multiplier. Maximum grant levels are determined based on school-age population and can reach up to $50 million.

Eligible countries and indicative allocations

Discover the GPE Multiplier


Debt2Ed is an innovative finance approach. It supports countries to transform sovereign borrowing into new investments in education and can help to unlock supplemental grant finance from the GPE Multiplier.

Eligibility: All countries and territories eligible for GPE support in 2021–2025 can access Debt2Ed.

Learn more about Debt2Ed

Girls' Education Accelerator

Some countries will be able to access grants specifically focused on girls’ education during the process of applying for a system transformation grant or a Multiplier grant.

Eligible countries and indicative allocations

Learn more about the Girls’ Education Accelerator

Advocacy and social accountability grants

Through Education Out Loud, GPE supports civil society’s activities and influence in shaping education policy to better meet the needs of communities, especially of vulnerable and marginalized populations.

Implemented by Oxfam IBIS and financed by GPE, Education Out Loud will allocate up to US$55.5 million through three funding components.

Grants are available for national and international civil society organizations and networks in eligible countries worldwide to support their advocacy and social accountability work between 2019 and 2024.

Learn more about Education Out Loud

Knowledge and innovation grants

With a budget of over US$75 million, the Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) is the largest fund solely dedicated to meet global public good gaps in education.

KIX activities cover 6 thematic areas: early childhood care and education, learning assessment systems, gender equality, strengthening data systems, equity and inclusion, and teaching and learning.

Learn more about KIX