Grant agents

Grant agents play a critical role in delivering GPE’s vision, mission, goals and objectives.

What is a grant agent?

Grant agent is the term used to refer to any GPE partner assigned to receive GPE grant funds, either on behalf of a partner country or for specific programs such as Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) or Education Out Loud. This portal discusses the grant agent role as it pertains to grants to partner countries.

GPE depends on grant agents to ensure efficient and effective program implementation. Grant agents therefore have a critical role to play in GPE’s efforts to strengthen education systems in partner countries.

Grant agent criteria and selection

Grant agents must meet a set of specified minimum standards regarding financial management, institutional capacity and self-investigative powers.

Grant agents are selected by the government assisted by the coordinating agency, through an open and transparent process laid out in GPE’s grant agent selection guidelines and endorsed by the local education group.

Before considering options for who the best grant agent might be, the government and partners must agree on a scope of work for the grant program, as well as preferred implementation modalities to ensure optimal system strengthening.

As such, grant agents are ideally selected once the target reform area is agreed and outlined in the partnership compact.

Grant agent 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.

Grant agents are accountable for their support to program implementation to governments and to the GPE Board via the Secretariat. In addition, grant agents have accountabilities as GPE partners who are represented in GPE’s governance structures.

View key accountabilities

The grant agent role in practice

Grant agents develop a program for GPE financing at the country level and provide fiduciary oversight, technical support, and capacity building to ensure effective implementation. They do this in close collaboration with the government, consistent with the education sector plan, and in consultation with coordinating agency and other LEG members.

GPE grant processes are designed to promote inclusive, results-focused policy dialogue around education sector challenges and strategies, as well as to leverage domestic financing and aligned support from partners.

This is significantly different from a standard project approach and may be more work intensive. It requires additional engagement in policy dialogue and sector coordination.

It is important that grant agents both in-country and at headquarters are aware of GPE principles, processes and requirements in order to ensure oversight of the specific accountabilities assigned to grant agents, and to ensure accurate communication around GPE grant funding.