Bilateral and
multilateral partners

Bilateral and multilateral partners are critical to GPE.

GPE relies on this diverse group of partners for funding, governance, technical collaboration and support to education sector coordination and grant delivery at country level.

Bilateral and multilateral partners actively guide GPE’s development through participation in GPE’s Board of Directors and governance committees. As such, they are co-owners of GPE alongside other constituency groups.

Although GPE grants are often in focus at the country level, the grant processes are meant to have an impact beyond the funding: harmonized and aligned partner support to strengthen data and analysis, inclusive and evidence-based policy making, and consolidated efforts to build partner countries’ capacity for strengthened education systems.

“A key strength of GPE that matters to us is its inclusion of the most vulnerable at the center of education initiatives. I think all partners recognize GPE’s support is most effective when there’s strong country ownership, and strong flexibility and adaptation to country needs. It’s great to see GPE’s strategic plan is moving solidly in that direction of greater country contextualization.”

Stephen Close Assistant Director
Health & Education Finance Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Government

How bilateral and multilateral partners contribute to an effective partnership

GPE mobilizes partners to act on the belief that harmonized, inclusive collaboration is the most effective way to support countries in achieving a quality education for every child. Bilateral and multilateral partners participate in ‘building’ GPE by weighing in on GPE strategies, policies and grant decisions through representation in GPE’s governance structures.

At country level, they support partner governments in the development, financing, implementation and monitoring of sector plans and policies.

The role played by bilateral and multilateral partners in GPE’s country-level work

Bilateral and multilateral partners provide both funding and technical support to the development, implementation and monitoring of jointly agreed sector policies and strategies.

They also engage in GPE grant processes including discussions on the scope of the grant and implementation modalities, the selection of a grant agent, reviewing and providing feedback on grant proposals, and dialogue and updates on implementation.

Bilateral and multilateral partner 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 accountabilities of bilateral and multilateral partners are defined under the ‘development partner’ category.

Bilateral and multilateral partners engagement in practice

Bilateral and multilateral partners play multiple roles in GPE as donors, decision makers in GPE’s governance structures, members of the local education groups, grant agents and coordinating agencies.

It is important to distinguish between these roles and to be clear and consistent in communication and messaging across them. The Secretariat seeks to manage these multi-faceted relationships in a way that is connected and optimizes collaboration.