Stockholm, June 13, 2019 – The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Board of Directors met in Stockholm, Sweden, June 11-13, 2019.
I was delighted to welcome Anna Ekström, Sweden’s Minister of Education, and thanked her for her government’s support. I also welcomed the announcement from Japan of additional financing for GPE. In addition, the partnership welcomed our 68th developing country partner, the Republic of Maldives, continuing the growth of the partnership.
The Board continued to look at improvements to GPE’s operational model, and in this regard approved recommendations emerging from the Effective Partnership Review (EPR). These recommendations will increase the impact of GPE’s work at the country level, specifically by rebalancing the operational model towards context appropriate education sector plans and their implementation, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and helping reduce transaction costs to improve the effectiveness of GPE’s grants. These key changes will be taken forward through the next strategic plan period.
A major focus of the Board was preparing the next strategic plan. The Board agreed the process to be followed, affirming the opportunity to sharpen GPE’s value proposition by further differentiating its approach to ensure the most effective support based on country context and by better leveraging the strategic capabilities of partners. Key areas to drive better equity and learning outcomes were identified, particularly in strengthening approaches to achieve gender equality.
The Board also considered new evidence from a series of country level and summative evaluations and GPE results reporting, in addition to a report by MOPAN, which affirmed the GPE strategic goals and the essential soundness of the operating model, and the overall quality of management of the Secretariat. The Board agreed there is room to evolve and refine the operating model and funding model to strengthen results in the next strategic plan.
The Board approved a new private sector engagement strategy, which establishes a pathway for GPE to engage and leverage private sector expertise, finance, goods and services, advocacy and voice. Other than in exceptional circumstances, no GPE funds can be used to support for-profit provision of core education services. The Board also approved the creation of a new Board seat for the private sector, expanding the reach of the partnership to better deliver SDG 4.
The Board also approved the establishment of a European office in Paris, enhancing the global footprint of the Secretariat to strengthen coordination within the partnership.
Other decisions included approving a workplan and budget for fiscal year 2020 that prioritizes a stronger and more efficient grant pipeline and increased country grant allocations.
The Board also heard from the World Bank Chief Ethics Officer on the prevention of sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment, who commended the GPE Secretariat’s proactive approach and commitment to a culture of respect and high standards of ethical behavior.
We warmly thank our host, the Government of Sweden, for their hospitality and generous support to GPE, including for the Board Meeting.