The Global Partnership for Education Board of Directors met from May 25 to 28, 2021.
The Board endorsed the appointment of Dr. Jakaya Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, as its new Chair-elect, and Dr. Susan Liautaud, Chair of Council of the London School of Economics and Political Science, as its new Vice-Chair elect. They will take up their new roles on September 15, 2021.
Their appointment comes at a critical time in implementing GPE’s new strategy, GPE 2025, and positioning GPE for a strong future. The Board also welcomed Malala Yousafzai as a special observer on the first day of the Board meeting.
Recognizing the lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board expressed appreciation for GPE’s ongoing response to help partner countries mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on the most marginalized children. Initial evaluative findings indicate that GPE’s timely and flexible funding, under national leadership and regional sharing of learning, made a significant impact.
The Secretariat updated the Board on the roll out of the new operating model in five pilot countries, noting the approval of the first system capacity grant to the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the pilot countries.
The Board welcomed the CEO’s report, in particular efforts to advance GPE’s new strategic plan, new operating model, new governance reforms, and new monitoring, evaluation and learning framework under the difficult conditions of the pandemic, all of which will make GPE more flexible and country-driven while sharpening focus on equity and the most marginalized.
The Board noted that the GPE Girls’ Education Accelerator, a funding window dedicated to accelerating progress on girls’ education, is now active, and that GPE is represented by the CEO on the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, helping advance the partnership’s priority on gender.
The Board approved a new evaluation policy and results framework, which will serve as a beacon of learning across the partnership. The Board asked the Secretariat to develop a grant and compact monitoring approach to provide data on the performance of GPE grants under GPE 2025.
The Board approved an increase in funding for the Knowledge and Innovation Exchange with support from the LEGO Foundation for an additional regional call in Africa for proposals to generate scalable knowledge and innovation in the sector. The Board also approved additional funding for GPE’s Education Out Loud fund that supports local civil society to shape national education policy for the most marginalized.
The Board also received GPE’s financial report, noting the strong start to 2021 and that over US$2.7 billion in grants have been approved or are under review in the current financing period, and heard a plan for the allocation of resources post-replenishment. The Board also approved the Secretariat’s budget for the coming fiscal year.
Lastly, the Board heard an update on the forthcoming Global Education Summit on July 28-29, co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. The Board reiterated its thanks for the strong leadership of the two co-hosts, noting several high-profile financing campaign milestones including the launch of the Case for Investment in the Middle East, the G7 foreign and development ministers meeting, the joint BMZ-Malala Fund-GPE event and the recent real-time video-linked school visit by PM Johnson and the Board Chair in the UK and President Kenyatta in Kenya.
The Board expressed appreciation for the support of GPE’s champions and conveyed thanks to the Secretariat for their efforts towards making the Education Summit a success.