Government / Ministries of education

Partner country governments play a critical role in GPE, both at global level through representation in the constituency-based Board, and at country level as the primary policymakers and funders of education systems.

Governments are responsible for the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of education sector plans that promote equitable access to quality education for all. The sector plan should be evidence-based and developed through inclusive and broad consultation and policy dialogue. Governments also ensure sufficient and equitable domestic financing for education and effective education management and information systems.

GPE emphasizes the importance of government leadership in effective and inclusive mechanisms for policy dialogue. Coordinated efforts among all stakeholders will help to meaningfully transform education and provide all children with a quality education.

While GPE’s grant funds can be of great value to partner countries, the latter can achieve even greater impact if the partnership aspect of GPE is effectively leveraged.

“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.”
Marcellus Albertin
Head, Education Reform Unit, OECS – Organization of Eastern Caribbean State
“The trademark of GPE and the fact of giving impetus to this movement that aims to bring together local actors in education, particularly civil society in a permanent dialogue for education, is quite appropriate.”
Nesmy Manigat
Chair of the Governance and Ethics Committee, GPE

How GPE partner countries 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.

Government partners who have a good understanding of the partnership aspect of GPE as well as GPE’s grant processes and mechanisms have used their engagement with GPE to strengthen education sector collaboration, resource mobilization and implementation.

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.

How GPE supports partner countries to develop stronger education systems

GPE recognizes that fragmented, projectized education development aid is inefficient.

GPE’s 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. It does so in multiple ways, including by requiring that GPE grants be aligned to government sector plans and discussed and agreed within a government-led local education group.

This group should engage in all stages of the education planning cycle, bringing together bilateral partners, multilateral organizations, teacher organizations, civil society, and private sector partners and foundations engaged in the education sector.

Because the local education group is central to GPE’s effectiveness, GPE provides tools, guidance and evidence to support the group’s effectiveness, and seeks to provide information on good practices that can be shared between countries.

Read the principles towards effective local education groups.

To learn more about the GPE grants available to partner countries, visit the How to apply for grants page

Partner countries’ accountabilities

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.

View accountabilities

The partner country role in practice

Along with leading inclusive policy dialogue and coordinated efforts to transform education, partner countries manage GPE resources and implement grant activities in accordance with approved programs. They work closely with the coordinating agency to identify the strategic focus to be financed by GPE grants, facilitate the selection of a grant agent, and engage the local education group in grant development, implementation, and monitoring.

Although GPE’s grants are often in focus at country level, the grant processes are meant to have an impact beyond the funding.

GPE processes should lead to evidence-based, gender-responsive education systems, based on inclusive policy dialogue and aligned donor support, with a focus on vulnerable and marginalized groups in society.

The above are some of the reasons why GPE grant funding involves requirements and processes that bring local education groups together around sector analysis, planning and monitoring. Nevertheless, these processes are time consuming and can be challenging.

An understanding of the intended value of GPE requirements and processes can help government and local education group partners integrate GPE processes in ongoing policy dialogue in a way that contributes to the overall policy agenda and sector progress without excessive transaction costs.

The role of the partner country governments in the partnership’s global governance are supported by government focal points for GPE (DCP focal points), who are appointed by the ministers of education . DCP focal points serve as the official liaison between the ministry of education 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.