Coordinating Agency

As conveners and facilitators of partnership, coordinating agencies play a critical role in delivering on GPE’s vision, mission, goals and objectives.

This can strengthen their relationship with the government partner and position the agency as an influential partner in the local education group. It can also make these relationships more complex.

Clear information on roles, responsibilities, accountabilities, objectives and processes is necessary for coordinating agencies to do their job effectively and to manage expectations from governments, other local education group partners, and the GPE Secretariat.

“GPE’s recommendations for developing education sector plans are really useful because they allow the effective identification of the main needs of the sector. In particular, the fact that all the partners participate in the development of this plan alongside the government allows for a harmonized approach of support and complementarity.”
Laurent Cortese Deputy Manager, Education, TVET, Employment Division
Agence Française de Développement

What is a coordinating agency?

The term ‘coordinating agency’ is used by GPE to refer to country-level partners who support the government with the coordination of education sector policy dialogue. Coordinating agencies are usually appointed through an agreed, country-specific mechanism.

Coordinating agencies play a vital role as facilitators of harmonized policy dialogue by acting as a communication link between government partners and other members of the local education group, as well as between the group and the GPE Secretariat. By mobilizing and including partners from different stakeholder groups, coordinating agencies help build broad and inclusive partnership around education.

The importance of the coordinating agency role for GPE

As a multi-stakeholder partnership, GPE is built on mutual accountability. Effective dialogue is an important foundation for coordination and complementarity, and through these, for optimal use of resources to deliver results.

By supporting governments to convene partners, coordinating agencies play a vital role to help ensure that education plans and reform agendas are built on evidence and have a broad base of agreement and support.

Coordinating agency 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. 

Coordinating agencies play a pivotal role in promoting mutual accountability relative to the GPE Charter in three key areas: sector coordination, GPE grants and related work, and communication. 

Coordinating agencies are accountable as partners to the government and members of the local education group.

The coordinating agency role in practice

Although GPE’s grants are often in focus at country level, the grant processes are meant to have an impact beyond the funding. It is critical for coordinating agencies to have a robust understanding not just of the steps and requirements of GPE grant processes, but of the broader intended impact of these, including:

  • improved harmonization and alignment of development aid
  • mobilization of stakeholders around evidence-based sector plans to improve equity and education quality
  • coordinated partner support to governments to strengthen capacity. 

The work of a coordinating agency requires regular convening with the government, the grant agent, development partners and the Secretariat for negotiations, problem solving and endorsements.

Coordinating agencies hold a leadership role in sector development and can guide relationships and outcomes.

A robust understanding of the intent behind, and desired outcomes of, GPE processes can allow CAs to drive appropriate adaptations to contexts.