How effective are school grants?

Building up and sharing knowledge of what works in education

Children in front of a school building (c) AFD / Didier Grebert

What happens when a school in a developing country receives a grant from its government or external donors to improve equity? How is the school budget impacted, what are the trade-offs, and most importantly, does the grant produce the intended results?

Making schools more “equitable” means allowing all children to attend and learn (even those living further away, those who can’t pay for uniforms and supplies, those who have a disability, those who may otherwise be working, etc.)

Candy Lugaz of the International Institute for Education Planning (IIEP) has been researching the effectiveness of school grants with regards to equity and quality, supported by a grant from the Global Partnership for Education’s Global and Regional Activities program and in collaboration with UNICEF.

Through interviews in various countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and East Asia, the research team found out how school grant programs were designed and implemented, and how schools used the funds (for example, did the grants results in eliminating school fees?). The findings will be shared in other regions of the world to help design better interventions at the school level.

With a budget of $31 million, the Global and Regional Activities program has supported 15 research activities since 2013 led by a variety of GPE partners. The three themes of the program are learning outcomes and quality education, education financing and systems building, and out-of-school children, access and equity.

Through this program, the Global Partnership promotes the systematic development of knowledge, which can help partners apply evidence-based good practices to resolve the education challenges they face

Learn more about the research project on IIEP's website.


The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat is headquartered in Washington DC and has approximately 100 staff. The Secretariat provides administrative and operational support to all its partners including 65 developing...

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