Civil Society Education Fund

The Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) is a global program funded by the Global Partnership to support civil society engagement in education sector policy, planning, budgeting and monitoring.

Managed by the Global Campaign for Education, in close collaboration with regional partners (ANCEFA, ASPBAE, CLADE, ActionAid Americas, Education International and Oxfam GB), the CSEF supports national civil society education coalitions focused on education in developing countries.

The CSEF program aims to build stronger and more effective civil society engagement in education sector processes, and through this ensure improved progress towards education goals.

The CSEF gives grants to national civil society coalitions to support their advocacy activities, build their capacity to strengthen planning, implementation and impact, and promote cross-country learning and networking.

The CSEF program is currently funded by a US$29 million allocation from the GPE Fund for 2016-2018, which will support 62 national coalitions or networks around the world. For the period 2013-2014, the CSEF received US$14.5 million, supervised by UNESCO.


The GPE Secretariat consulted with civil society to fine-tune the design of the advocacy and social accountability funding mechanism. Read their recommendations here.
Here's what you need to know about the Advocacy and Social Accountability (ASA) mechanism, which aims to build a stronger civil society.
The Global Partnership for Education calls for expressions of interest to select grant agents for its new Advocacy and Social Accountability (ASA) and Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) funding...


  1. To support effective civil society representation and engagement in education sector policy dialogue.
  2. To support active public outreach and citizen engagement in the generation / use of research and evidence on quality, equity, financing and education system reform.
  3. To ensure global and regional processes relating to GPE and Global Goal 4 better inform – and are better informed by – national and local civil society.

CSEF principles

  • The CSEF is based on the principle that civil society has a crucial role to hold governments and donors accountable for their commitments, and to ensure relevance and equity within education sector plans, programs and budgets.
  • Coalitions supported by CSEF represent a wide variety of members, including teachers unions, grassroots organizations, women’s groups, parents associations, and youth groups.
  • The CSEF supports national civil society structures, with nationally driven agendas and objectives, which respond to local contexts and citizen priorities.
  • The CSEF supports only one national education coalition in each country.

Key results

These girls share a book outside after school. This is important because what they are reading helps them gather information that they may need in the future. Credit: GPE/ Enkhtulga Enkhbayar

These girls share a book outside after school. This is important because what they are reading helps them gather information that they may need in the future.

Credit: GPE/ Enkhtulga Enkhbayar
  • As of June 2015, coalitions had participated in a total of 310 relevant education sector policy and review forums.
  • The number of coalition members has increased by 50% since 2013.
  • 90% of coalitions include member organizations representing women and girls, youth, and people with disabilities, and all coalitions represent at least two of these groups.
  • 42 coalitions have participated in regional and/or global consultation processes on the post-2015 framework or other regional or global advocacy processes.
  • Out of the 43 coalitions that reported a local education group (LEG) in existence in their country, 37 were engaging with it. 27 out of the 37 coalitions are full members of the LEG.

Source: UNESCO. Biannual Progress and Supervision Report Civil Society Education Fund 2013-2014/5

Progress reports