Despite significant progress in expanding primary school enrollment in the last decade, 58 million children still remain out of school in developing countries. The challenge is particularly acute in fragile and conflict-affected countries, where half of the out-of-school population reside. Even among those attending school, the quality of education often remains poor. According to the 2012 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, 250 million children are unable to read, write, or do basic mathematics – 130 million of whom are in school. Insufficient financing, particularly by aid donors in recent years, is just one of the main obstacles to achieving the EFA goals. These challenges require coordinated, comprehensive action on the part of the international education community.
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) as the only global partnership devoted to getting all children into school for a quality education, has been a key convener of partners as well as important financer of basic education. Established in 2002, GPE (formerly the EFA Fast Track Initiative) is comprised of 60 developing countries, donor governments, international organizations, the private sector, teachers, and CSOs. GPE supports the development of education strategies, finances the implementation of education sector plans, and provides a unique platform for coordination and knowledge sharing. Since 2002, GPE has disbursed over US$2.4 billion in support of education programs in partner countries, with 40% of total disbursement invested in fragile and conflict-affected settings.
As part of continued efforts to improve its relevance, effectiveness, and efficiency, the GPE Board requested an interim evaluation to inform GPE members about the progress GPE has made towards achieving its strategic priorities and objectives since its last evaluation in 2010. R4D, in partnership with Universalia Management Group (UMG), has been commissioned to undertake such an evaluation.
Over a 14 month period, R4D, along with UMG, will:
- Explore the financial, programmatic and partnership contributions made by the GPE at the global and country level since 2010, including its role and value-added at the country level in terms of the capacity to both formulate and implement education sector policies that improve outcomes in the areas of learning, access and inclusion;
- Develop a model of the organization’s theory of change and use it to analyze how the GPE’s activities meet its strategic objectives and enhance its relevance, effectiveness and efficiency at both country and global levels;
- Assess the GPE’s additionality on the flow of resources for education at the global and country level;
- Determine if the GPE’s global and country level resources and activities are aligned;
- Identify lessons learned and formulate recommendations for improvement.
As a result of this evaluation, R4D will inform the strategic direction of GPE, thus making a critical contribution to the future education aid architecture.