Knowledge and innovation

The GPE Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KIX) is an exciting way to connect the expertise, innovation and knowledge of GPE partners to help lower-income countries build stronger education systems


With a budget of US$164.5 million, KIX is the largest fund solely dedicated to meet global public good gaps in education.

Through the sharing and funding of proven solutions and innovations, KIX will ensure that:

  • Evidence-based solutions get in the hands of national policy makers and directly feed policy dialogue and planning processes.
  • Capacity is built to produce, integrate and scale knowledge and innovation in partner countries.

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is the grant agent for KIX.

How does KIX work?

KIX consists of regional hubs, where partners come together to share information, innovation and best practices, and a funding mechanism that provides grants at the global and regional levels to invest in knowledge generation and innovation, and to scale proven approaches. The two components are supported by an online platform.

KIX activities:

  • Find, fund and scale up proven solutions to address the key educational challenges identified by partner countries, and ensure these solutions feed into their education sector policy and planning processes.
  • Fund new research to fill gaps and generate innovative solutions to issues identified by partner countries
  • Deepen our understanding of successfully scaled innovations such as products, processes, strategies or approaches to make education systems more effective
  • Expand the ‘learning ecosystem’ by developing the capacity of southern-based organizations to learn, innovate, build and use evidence
  • Strengthen the capacity of governments to innovate and generate and use evidence and data
  • Drive alignment and relevance of education knowledge and innovation funding between international actors.

Response to COVID-19

KIX is responding to shifting national priorities in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic through:

  • Establishing an observatory on COVID-19 responses in Africa. Implemented by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the African Union’s International Center for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa, with technical support of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the observatory focuses on gender, equity and inclusion. It will collect and mobilize evidence on education system issues supporting the continuity of learning, and on the negative consequence of school closures that go beyond learning.
  • Collaborating with UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank through a $25million accelerated grant for the development, dissemination and delivery of global and regional learning approaches. This grant is part of GPE’s COVID-19 response window and is implemented in support of government response plans.
  • Adapting the implementation timeframes and modalities of global grants, especially those with upfront field work or primarily based on in-country work.
  • Supporting IDRC’s rapid response for sharing good practices in distance learning, professional support for teachers, and a longer-term program to build school resilience.

Regional hubs

The regional KIX hubs surface policy challenges and responses, and support knowledge mobilization and exchange through webinars and online meeting tools, online and in person communities of practice, e-learning modules, adaptive learning, after action reviews, international benchmarking tours, and expert peer review.

Following a call for proposals, the organizations below were selected to design and operate the four KIX regional hubs:

Africa 19:

Africa 21:

Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia:

Latin America and the Caribbean:


KIX provides grants at the global and regional levels to invest in knowledge generation and innovation, and to scale proven approaches in the six thematic areas.

KIX grants reinforce and enhance the effectiveness of GPE grants that support education sector planning and implementation.

  • Global grants range from US$1 million to US$2 million for thematic and cross-thematic areas for up to 3.5 years. USD$24 million in global grants have been allocated.
  • Regional grants range from US$0.5 million to US$1.5 million for up to three years. US$21 million is budgeted.

4 regional calls for proposals ran between July and August 2020.

The four regional hubs led consultation and validation processes with countries to identify policy priorities in their region, including across the 6 KIX themes. Each call was then informed by shared priorities. Gender, equity and inclusion considerations are key priorities across the calls. All projects funded through regional calls are multi-country and implemented by southern organizations.

As with the global calls, IDRC issued the regional calls for proposals and manages the independent assessment panels. IDRC also oversees and supports KIX grantees.

Ongoing knowledge initiatives

Knowledge work has been piloted in the areas of early education, gender equality and learning assessment through the following initiatives:

Better early learning and development at scale (BELDS): BELDS encourages GPE partner countries to engage in a cross-national dialogue on early childhood education (ECE). During planning and program design, countries eligible for new GPE grants can share best practices and innovative approaches to addressing ECCE challenges. Countries can also receive small grants to strengthen the inclusion of ECCE in GPE grant applications for sector analysis and planning.

Gender-responsive education sector plans: This work aims to strengthen the capacity of partner countries to advance gender equality in and through their education systems, and contribute to global knowledge on this topic. This includes support to trainings and workshops to roll out the UNGEI-GPE Guidance for developing gender-responsive education sector plans, developing and sharing knowledge products on gender equality in education, and facilitating cross-national knowledge exchange.

Assessment for Learning (A4L): A4L seeks to build capacity for national learning assessment systems to measure and improve learning. A4L provides technical and financial assistance to support sector planning and analysis, capacity building and knowledge exchange at the regional level, as well as promote comprehensive measurements of learning.

Education Data Solutions Roundtable: Launched in early 2018, this initiative leverages partners’ expertise to improve the availability and use of accurate and timely education data. The roundtable will help lower-income countries prepare robust education information systems to target their resources where the need is greatest.

Other knowledge activities

  • The Global and Regional Activities (GRA) program supports education stakeholders in researching and applying new knowledge and evidence-based practices to education challenges in selected areas.
  • Lower-income partner countries meetings are unique global gatherings of education planners from 65+ ministries of education in GPE partner countries, alongside development partners. The meetings are convened ahead of GPE Board of Directors' meetings and serve a dual purpose:
    • a platform for consultation, coordination and communication on GPE governance matters to feed into GPE Board meetings.
    • a platform for peer-to-peer learning. A third of partner countries meetings is dedicated to knowledge exchange, where country experiences are leveraged to drive knowledge and learning about national and global level innovations.
  • The GPE webinar series fosters knowledge exchange and sharing of good practices across the partnership. The series is based on demand from partners and hosts global and nationally-focused webinars on an alternating monthly schedule. For further information contact: @email

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