During 2018 – 2019, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) commissioned 28 country-level evaluations (CLE), 20 of them summative and eight prospective. These evaluations aimed to address the following questions: (i) Has GPE support contributed to achieving country-level objectives related to sector planning, sector plan implementation, sector dialogue and monitoring, and more/better financing for education? If so, then how?; (ii) Has sector plan implementation contributed to making the overall education system in the reviewed country/countries more effective and efficient?; (iii) Have changes at education system level contributed to progress towards impact?; and (iv) What are implications of evaluation findings for GPE? In addressing these questions, the CLE also assessed the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of GPE’s country-level theory of change and operational model. CLEs were based on a theory-based contribution analysis. The evaluations assessed the functioning of the full partnership at country level, not just the role of the Secretariat or the use of GPE funds. CLE review periods varied by country, depending on the years covered by the latest fully or largely implemented Education Sector Plan Implementation Grant (ESPIG), falling between 2010 and 2019.
The GPE country-level operational model is composed of (i) national sector planning cycles, (ii) education sector coordination, and (iii) financing, all of which have to work together in ways appropriate and adapted to the respective context. GPE seeks to support all three of these areas through levers that influence development cooperation and financing, and through its financial support. This is reflected in the GPE country-level theory of change developed for the country-level evaluations, which also highlights the central role played by sector plan implementation for progress towards the ultimate goals of improved learning outcomes and equity in education.