Effective financial investments are key to achieving Global Goal 4 on quality education and to ensure the sustainability of developing countries’ education systems.
GPE’s commitment to improving domestic financing is evident in its approach. Since its inception in 2002, GPE partner developing countries have made demonstrable progress toward reaching the education expenditure global benchmarks, of 4 to 6% of the GDP and 15 to 20% of the total public expenditure.
Below are three examples of GPE partner developing countries that have increased their budget to education and improved the effectiveness of this financing.
Democratic Republic of Congo: Renewed commitment to increasing the education budget
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is prioritizing education investments. This is reflected in the share of budget allocated to education, which has almost doubled between 2010 and 2014, increasing from 9% to 17.8% (UNESCO Institute for Statistics).
GPE actively supported DRC to prepare its first transitional education sector plan for basic education for 2012-2014. This plan served as a tool for the ministry of primary, secondary and professional education to request an increase in the government budget allocation for education.
Based on financial projections in the new Education Plan for 2016–2025, developed with the help of a GPE grant, and the support from the World Bank, UNESCO and UNICEF, the ministries of budget and finance have committed to continue increasing the budget allocation to the education sector with the goal of reaching 20% by 2018.
These additional resources are good news for the children of DRC.
Niger: Prioritizing education in the national budget
In the face of formidable challenges-political instability, recurrent droughts and security issues from neighboring conflicts- Niger has been able to maintain its commitment to improve access to education.
Between 2002 and 2014, the government of Niger increased education expenditure from 16.7% of total public expenditure to 21.7%. During this period, education expenditure as a proportion of GDP also increased from 3.1% to 6.8% (UNESCO Institute for Statistics), above the internationally recommended ratio.
A GPE grant allowed all ministries with education sector activities to jointly develop the first sector-wide education plan, endorsed by the country’s development partners.
Thanks to the increase in domestic financing for education, Niger has considerably increased enrollments in primary schools: the primary gross enrollment rate soared from 32.9% in 2002 to 70.1% by 2014 (UNESCO Institute for Statistics).
Zambia: Improving financial management and flow of resources
A GPE grant of US$35.2 million, together with US$60 million from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development funding, provides support to the ministry of general education to fund the implementation of Zambia’s education sector strategies.
One of the key focuses of the GPE/DFID funding in Zambia is to work closely with the ministry to improve financial management and ensure the effective and efficient flow of resources to the school level, in turn improving attendance and learning.
Program funds have also been allocated to provide technical assistance in the implementation of a jointly developed financial management action plan, which aims to improve the education financial management system by improving procurement systems, internal audit, school grants management and the implementation of output-based budgeting.