About the GPE

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is a partnership and funding platform that galvanizes global and national support for education in developing countries, focusing on the poorest and most vulnerable children and youth. It is the only global partnership entirely focused on education in developing countries.

Established in 2002, GPE brings together 60+ developing country governments, 20+ donors, international organizations, civil society, teacher organizations, the private sector and philanthropy to improve the lives of children and youth through quality education. Since 2003, GPE has allocated more than US$4.6 billion to partner developing countries to strengthen education systems— improving access to schools, the quality of education, equity in learning and data collection.

A key function of GPE is to support governments to develop good quality education sector plans and to encourage donors to align their support with these plans, hence reducing aid fragmentation and transaction costs.

GPE leverages the aid it provides by incentivizing developing countries to gradually allocate up to 20% of national budgets to quality education. GPE facilitates budgetary and policy transparency and supports civil society organizations to hold governments accountable for implementing national education plans.

GPE supports the ambition and vision of the new Global Goal for education calling for inclusive, equitable quality education for all by 2030. GPE 2020, GPE’s new strategic plan for the next five years, aligns GPE’s work in support of the new global education goal.

How GPE advances gender equality in and through education

GPE’s operational model works to advance gender equality in education. it does this by locking together three core strategies:

Stronger planning

GPE helps partner developing countries to strengthen their sector planning through grants that support education sector analysis and plan development, as well as through technical support.. For example, grants through the Global and Regional Activities program have helped to fund the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children and a project on addressing school-related gender-based violence.

GPE, together with the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) will soon be releasing a Guidance for Developing Gender-Responsive Education Sector Plans, which provides case studies and recommendations to help policymakers understand and apply the core principles of gender equality to education sector planning.

Mutual accountability and inclusive policy dialogue

Through inclusive policy dialogue, GPE encourages policies that are be rooted in local concerns and address locally relevant issues regarding the most disadvantaged children.

Civil society organizations can be powerful advocates for girls’ education, and including them is particularly important for strong mutual accountability.  With this in mind, GPE has allocated US$29 million to the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF), which is managed by our partner, the Global Campaign for Education.

The CSEF gives grants to 62 national civil society coalitions to support their advocacy activities, including for gender equality, build their capacity to strengthen planning, implementation and impact, and promote cross-country learning and networking.

Effective financing for implementation of sector plans

GPE partner developing countries can receive grants of up to US$100 million to finance a program that supports the implementation of their education sector plan. GPE’s results-based funding model incentivizes governments to improve equity, efficiency, and learning in their education sectors.

Activities currently funded by GPE grants include:

  • School construction and upgrading in areas where there are not enough schools that girls can attend
  • Recruitment of female teachers, particularly in countries where cultural norms require female-only school environments for girls
  • In-service teacher training in gender-responsiveness
  • Encouragement of women in administrative leadership
  • Separate latrines and/or sanitary kits for girls
  • Uniforms and school kits to reduce direct costs of schooling
  • Cash transfers incentivizing girls to attend and remain in school, and/or rewarding high achievers
  • Awareness-raising campaigns and community discussion groups to address sociocultural factors
  • National studies to help develop targeted gender strategies.

Priorities moving forward

Achieving gender equality is one of GPE’s eight principles guiding its current strategic plan. Our Gender Equality Policy and Strategy 2016-2020 lays out key priorities for action, including a focus on building capacity throughout the partnership to advance gender equality, and investigating opportunities for more collaboration with other sectors, such as health, water, sanitation, and hygiene.