Grant Agents

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

Without grant agents, GPE would not be able to provide financial support to countries. Grant agents therefore also provide an essential service to GPE partner countries.

This can strengthen the grant agent’s relationship with the partner government and position the grant agent as an influential local education group partner.

Grant agents must work closely with government and other partners to ensure that grant-funded programs are well designed, effectively implemented and aligned with overall education sector plans, policies and systems. GPE-financed programs should contribute to improve the capacity of the national education system to deliver results.

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.

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.


The grant agent role in practice

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.