“GPE brings together partnership and dialogue and support around sector strategy. There has been better alignment in the support that has been provided by partners. GPE has taught us that we are not to leave out anyone in the policy dialogue. And I believe, too, the technical advice that those groups bring are equally as important – or are sometimes even more important – than the financial support that is being given by partners and others.”
Head, Education Reform Unit, OECS – Organization of Eastern Caribbean State
How governments / ministries of education contribute to an effective partnership
Partner country governments, through ministries of education, are at the core of GPE’s country-level work. They are the primary policymakers and funders of their education systems.
The role of partner country governments in the GPE global governance is led through high-level representation on GPE’s Board of Directors, usually by ministers of education. Their role as representatives of partner country constituencies is supported by government focal points, who are appointed by the ministers of education.
Partner country focal points serve as the official liaison between the education ministry and the GPE Secretariat and often represent their ministers in partner country constituency meetings. They play a critical role in connecting GPE governance to its country-level work, which benefits from them having sufficient time and authority to address GPE matters on behalf of the government.
GPE’s constituency structure is of significant value to partner countries. A dynamic dialogue environment has helped build relationships and opportunities for learning between countries.
Along with supporting GPE’s governance and country-level processes, education ministers play a pivotal role as vocal advocates for education at the global level, championing issues such as increased domestic funding for education and gender inclusion, and advocating for crucial funding to support global initiatives, including through the GPE Fund.
How GPE supports partner countries to develop stronger education systems
GPE recognizes that fragmented, projectized education development aid is inefficient and ineffective.
GPE’s system approach can help improve partner countries’ collaboration with donors and partners and secure better alignment with national priorities for more sustainable and large-scale impact.
GPE seeks to incentivize and support harmonized policy dialogue and aligned donor support for system transformation. It does so in multiple ways, including by helping governments and partners align around a priority reform that has the potential to unlock transformation across the education system and at scale.
The priority reform is outlined in a partnership compact, providing a roadmap for how GPE grants and wider resources will also support the outlined priorities.
The priority reform, partnership compact and sector plan development are discussed and agreed within a government-led local education group, which brings together government, civil society, teacher organizations, bilateral partners, multilateral organizations, and private sector partners and foundations engaged in the education sector.
Because the local education group is central to GPE’s goals, GPE provides tools, guidance and evidence to support the group’s effectiveness, as well as good practices that can be shared between countries.
The Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) offers governments and in-country stakeholders a platform and means to share knowledge, engage research, and inform policy dialogue and practice with evidence.
GPE’s Technical Assistance Initiatives bring targeted expertise, tools and solutions to reinforce partner country capacity for system transformation.
To learn more about the GPE grants available to partner countries, visit the How to apply for grants page
In 2019, GPE’s Board of Directors adopted an Accountability Matrix to clarify what is expected from different GPE stakeholders to enable the partnership to achieve its vision and goals.
The GPE Compact set out in the GPE Charter links harmonized and more aligned donor support for education to GPE partner countries’ policy performance and accountability for results.
Countries that benefit from GPE grants are first and foremost accountable to their citizens but are also accountable to the GPE Board and members of the local education groups.
The partner country role in practice
Partner country governments are central in engaging all stakeholders in inclusive policy dialogue and leading coordinated efforts to transform the country’s education system. Coordinated action can greatly enhance government capacity and effectiveness to lead meaningful change at scale.
Partner countries also manage GPE resources and implement grant activities in accordance with approved programs. They work closely with coordinating agencies to identify the strategic focus of GPE grants, facilitate the selection of a grant agent, development, implementation and monitoring and monitoring.
Although GPE grants are often in focus at country level, the grant processes are meant to have a catalytic effect on coordinated inclusive, evidence-based policy development.
The guidelines for the monitoring of national education budgets and practical guide for effective joint sector reviews in the education sector are helpful resources for governments and its partners to carry out effective monitoring of the education sector.