Guidelines for Applicants - Component 1 - English

Component 1 (OC1) National Education Coalitions

This call is only for National Education Coalitions. If your organization is not a National Education Coalition, you may be eligible to apply in a future round.

Please read through the entire guide before applying.

The Application Deadline is October 14, 2019 (at 23:59 GMT at the latest).

What is this Call for Proposals about?

Education Out Loud – the Global Partnership for Education’s new funding mechanism for advocacy and social accountability (ASA) - provides funding to support civil society to be active and influential in shaping education policy to better meet the needs of communities, especially of vulnerable and marginalized populations. It is resourced by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and managed by Oxfam IBIS.

The Global Partnership for Education is dedicated to building stronger education systems in the world´s poorest countries in order to ensure inclusive and equitable quality learning. GPE brings together governments from developing countries, donors, international organizations, civil society, teachers´ organizations, the private sector and foundations. It is active in more than 65 countries, and it prioritizes to support fragile and conflict affected countries.

The five-year ‘GPE 2020’ strategic plan includes three goals and five objectives to support the vision of the partnership, with clear roles and responsibilities which embed and promote mutual accountability and transparency for delivery across the partnership. As part of this, GPE actively encourages civil society organizations to participate in the partnership, enabling inclusive, evidence-based policy dialogue, so that they can monitor plans and help ensure democratic oversight of education policy.

The Education Out Loud mechanism builds on the lessons learned from the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) that has supported the Global Campaign for Education, the regional coalitions/secretariats and the National Education Coalitions in the eligible countries since 2009 in their efforts to engage in developing and monitoring the implementation of quality education sector plans.

The Theory of Change underlying the Education Out Loud - mechanism assumes that education outcomes are more likely to be achieved when there is widespread public engagement  and demand for equitable, inclusive, effective and efficient quality education. Education Out Loud intends to build the capacity of civic groups to strengthen the mutual accountability of education policy dialogue and monitoring and a broad diversity of civil society actors. Increasing the effective representation of civil society in institutional policy dialogue, improving the availability of relevant information to enable the development of more informed policy responses, and supporting advocacy to advance the public interest in education, all comprise important strategies to help build strong public education systems.

Education Out Loud, the Advocacy and Social Accountability mechanism has the overall goal  to “enhance civil society capacity to further GPE 2020 goals in learning, equity, and stronger systems, by improving the participation of civil society, their efforts to strengthen advocacy and to ensure transparency and increased effectiveness in national educational policy and implementation processes”.

This goal will be realized through the following three objectives:
Objective 1 (OC1): Strengthen national civil society engagement in education planning, policy dialogue and monitoring

This objective aims at improving inward accountability of governments to their citizens. The participation of a diverse range of civil society groups is vital to prevent ‘elite capture’ of policy spaces, ensure that there is healthy debate and deliberation, and to ensure that civic space is inclusive even of those traditionally lacking in institutional power. Facilitated processes to ensure equitable participation of marginalized groups is critical because the most marginalized people are often the least able to participate due to constraints in terms of time and opportunities costs, but also the norms that influence their relative power and position in society.

Objective 2 (OC2): Strengthen civil society roles in promoting the transparency and accountability of national education sector policy and implementation

This objective aims to ensure that civil society groups are able to undertake strategic multi-level monitoring of education policy and budget implementation, and to use the evidence generated to formulate and act on relevant policy solutions and redress mechanisms. Groups working on transparency, governance and other sectors, on behalf of the public interest may be able to contribute valuable skills, creative strategies, and wider networks for collecting and disseminating information that can be used to strengthen education accountability. Consequently, ASA seeks to diversify the range of actors – and the evidence base – contributing to operationalizing the principle of diversity as a vehicle for increased accountability and transparency in the education sector.

Objective 3 (OC3): Create a stronger global and transnational enabling environment for national civil society advocacy and transparency efforts

This third objective aims to bring together consortia of civil society actors to work collaboratively on transnational initiatives or campaigns that bear on GPE country level work, particularly in the areas of aid effectiveness, financing, and cross-sectoral synergies. This is important because in the current global system, many of the enabling conditions for effective national education policy planning and implementation in low- and middle-income countries remain subject to powerful influences generated outside the national sphere.

Together, these objectives tie in with the theory of change of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), especially objectives 2 and 5, which speak to the need for “supporting mutual accountability through effective and inclusive sector policy dialogue and monitoring” (objective 2, country-level) and “building stronger partnerships” (objective 5, global/cross-national level).

Education Out Loud’s overall goal and three objectives

Education Out Loud’s overall goal and three objectives

The development of strategies and activities through the Education Out Loud funding mechanism has led to the articulation of three funding streams, or “Operational Components” (OCs), to meet each of the three objectives. Each OC has specific emphasis on one of the three objectives.

This Call for Proposals is only related to Component 1: Strengthen national civil society engagement in education planning, policy dialogue and monitoring.

However, in the last quarter of 2019, Oxfam IBIS will launch other Calls for Proposals under Component 2 and 3, respectively, which are open for participation of a broader spectrum of organizations.

Who can apply for this Call for Proposals?

The present Call for Proposals falls under the Operational Component 1 that provides support for National Education Coalitions (NECs). OC1 seeks to further build on and continue the work of coalitions that have been supported through the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF). This call for proposals is by invitation only and to be eligible for funding, national education coalitions must be:

  • previous recipients of CSEF grants
  • based in countries eligible for GPE funding, which are either currently partner countries, or actively seeking to join the partnership.

Eligible countries

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eswatini, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea- Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

What can be funded under this Call for Proposals?

As mentioned, Operational Component 1 (OC1) aims to strengthen national civil society engagement in education planning, policy dialogue and monitoring, by supporting national education coalitions in their core functions of supporting greater coordination and collaboration across civil society in the engagement of national policy setting and monitoring.

It seeks to make the wider national education movement more robust by enabling national education coalitions to engage their members more effectively in conducting innovative and participatory advocacy and representing the voices of civil society organizations and people in policy dialogue.

This Call for Proposals aims to strengthen national civil society engagement in education planning, policy dialogue and monitoring by supporting that:

  • the national education coalitions become more inclusive, particularly for marginalized and local groups
  • the national education coalitions increase their capacities, particularly in relation to engagement in policy dialogue
  • civil society capacities, participation and strategic influence in formal education policy processes increase
  • learning collaboratives are established for generating lessons learned for institutional strengthening of civil society organizations.

Eligible National Education Coalitions - can apply for funds for one single grant that aligns to all of these four areas of intervention.

National Education Coalitions applying for grant from OC1 will be required to design a project including its corresponding results-framework that explains

  1. how the national education coalition will become more inclusive
  2. how it will increase its policy-influencing, technical and organizational capacities
  3. how it will increase its influence in formal education policy processes
  4. how it will contribute to the generation of lessons learned and the establishment of learning collaboratives

Learning Collaboratives are communities of learning and practice which work together to support the realization of learning goals established by National Education Coalitions and other Education Out Loud grantees. Learning collaboratives can be established by clustering grantees around a theme or a learning goal of common interest. A Learning Partner - an organization with specific expertise and knowledge - can be connected to a Learning Collaborative in order to facilitate and deliver the capacity development activities.

National coalitions will have the key role of setting up learning collaboratives and securing learning partners. The Regional Coalitions will provide a support role for coalitions in their particular region, as they identify their learning needs. Learning needs articulated by national coalitions, will be filled in by the assessment of the Independent Selection Panels (ISPs). The regional ISPs have the responsibility to assess and approve all proposals. Regional Coalitions and Oxfam IBIS will support and facilitate learning across the different regions.

For the preparation of the grant proposal, the National Education Coalition will receive technical support from the Regional Coalitions, who are also members of the Global Campaign for Education. The National Education Coalitions are encouraged to work directly with their respective  Regional Coalition, all of which are members of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE).

These are called:

The Regional Coalitions are available and prepared to support the National Education Coalitions with institutional capacity building, in general, and specifically with the development of project proposals.

Education Out Loud OC1 is providing dedicated resources to the Global Campaign for Education Global Secretariat and the Regional Coalitions for their advisory support to program planning and implementation of OC1. GCE and its Regional Members will also be supported through a separate grant specifically for their regional and global advocacy activities.

Which grant amount and duration is it possible to apply for?

Education Out Loud Component 1 (OC1) provides grants with a duration of 24 months (2020-2021) within the range of 100,000 US dollars to 300,000 US dollars for the National Education Coalitions.

The maximum grant that the National Education Coalitions may apply for is the equivalent of their average 2 years total funding. (This does not apply to organizations that have existed less than 1 year).

Coalitions that have had a total funding of less than 200,000 US dollars in the past 2 years (combined) are also invited to apply.

What will we look for in the Project Proposals?

Project proposals that comply with the general criteria for funding and basic requirements will be assessed and scored according to the following weighted areas/topics. The maximum number of points for an application is 100.

Situation analysis of national education policy context (20%)

  • Evidence based project (projects that use relevant and newest qualitative information and quantitative data)
  • Strong and coherent context based situation analysis (analyses all relevant causes and diverse characteristics of the problem)
  • Project Relevance (includes views and interests of beneficiaries and relevant stakeholders)

Theory of Change and Strategic Approach (20%)

  • Appropriate approach (human rights-based approach; gender perspective)
  • Clear presentation of the strategic logic anticipated in the specific Theory of Change.
  • Sustainability (if the project intervention´s benefits continue after funding has ceased)
  • Quality of the strategy (clarity of assumptions and evidence for changes)

Project intervention design (20%)

  • Quality of intervention design (results-based project – coherence between goals, outcomes, outputs and activities)
  • Alignment to national SDG4 plan (coherence with defined goals and strategies in national SDG implementation plans and qualified justification in case not)
  • Alignment to GPE/Education Out Loud-OC1-objective and four outcomes, such as in relation to strengthening the National Education Coalition
  • Realistic proposal (to what extent are the objectives likely to be achieved)
  • Reasonable budget (budget alignment to narrative project proposal)

Presence of learning approach (10%)

  • Proposal demonstrates acknowledgement of institutional learning needs
  • Proposal emphasizes learning for national education coalition (foresees documentation and production of lessons learned)
  • Proposal includes strategies for dissemination and sharing of learnings and utilizing learning collaboratives and learning partners.
  • Proposal foresees adaptive planning and management strategies

Organizational capacities for implementing the project (10%)

  • Experience in the areas of intervention (organizational trajectory in education, policy influencing, partner strengthening)
  • Technical competence available for the implementation (technical skills and work experience of key persons for the implementation of the projects)
  • Organizational past performance (former results achieved, financial trajectory)

Risk assessment (10%)

  • External risks taken into account (clarity of risks and of prevention or remedial actions)
  • Internal risks taken into account (clarity of risks and of prevention or remedial actions)
  • Mitigation strategies are presented, as applicable

Stakeholders (10%)

  • Good stakeholder analysis (mapping of relevant stakeholders)
  • Vulnerable groups´ interests present in the proposal (alignment to vulnerable groups´ plans)
  • Partner views present (Partners participated in elaboration of the project; partners support the project)
How to apply?

All eligible applicants will be invited to apply for funding. You can register as Applicant by chosing the link below and selecting the Call for Proposal that you would like to apply for.

You will afterwards receive an email with a link to your personal application page. At this personal application page you will have to fill in the register form. From this page, you must also download the relevant templates that you must complete.

When you have completed the templates, you must upload the completed templates on your personal application page (that you access through the link you received in the email).

You have only completed the application process when you have uploaded all the documents mentioned in the list below. You are free to choose how many times you want to come back to your personal application page. If you want to change a document that you have already uploaded, you can just delete the first uploaded document before you upload the new document.  Take notice that all your documents must be uploaded before deadline. Your personal application page will close for uploads or changes at deadline. Only applications submitted through your personal application page will be accepted.

A project application consists of the following documents:

  1. Project proposal (completed template)
  2. Logical framework matrix (completed standard format)
  3. Project Budget (completed template)
  4. Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (completed standard format)
  5. Risk Management (standard format
  6. Copy of financial audited report for last two years including management letter. If annual audits (or project audits) have been completed in the past two years, please provide copies of the audit reports and management letters (if project audits, provide an example of maximum 2 reports). If no annual audits have been conducted please state this in an attached letter.
  7. C.v. of 2-3 key project responsible persons

The Application Deadline is October 14, 2019 (at 23:59 GMT at the latest). Take into account that uploading your documents can take up to 30 minutes. No applications will be accepted after this date or time. It is therefore highly encouraged that applicants complete their applications early to avoid any complications.

Go to the Application procedure through this link >>

If the application is finally approved, the applicant will also be required to submit a Due-diligence Self-Assessment Forms and other required documents prior to signing the agreement.

Should an applicant encounter technical problems while registering as applicant or in uploading the application, then the applicant should take a screenshot and send it to from the same email address that you used to register. Afterwards you will be contacted for technical support.

How will the assessment process take place?

All project proposals received within the deadline by October 14, 2019 will be assessed. The proposals will be checked against the general criteria outlined in this document to confirm eligibility for funding and that all required documentation is duly completed. Proposals that do not comply with the general eligibility criteria for funding and basic requirements will be rejected and not reviewed further.


The project proposals that comply with general criteria and basic requirements will in the first instance be assessed by the Oxfam IBIS Education Out Loud Secretariat´s Regional Management Units that will score each project according to the above-mentioned pre-established criteria and weight.

It should be noted that the scoring is only one of the parameters for assessing the proposals. Though applications will be scored individually, they will also be assessed to create a balanced portfolio; there is no guarantee that even a highly scored application will be funded.


After the first assessment and scoring process, the Oxfam IBIS Secretariat´s Global Management Unit (GMU) will review the comments on each of the project proposals. The GMU will identify technically acceptable project proposals for funding and it will attempt to reach a balance of the entire project proposal portfolio. Thus, the final list of projects recommended for funding will take into account all geographical regions, fragile/non-fragile countries and size of projects.


After the GMU has created a list of recommended projects, GMU will send the screened and recommended project proposals to the respective Regional Independent Selection Panel (ISP) so that they can assess and approve those projects that will go forward in the financing process.

What happens after the decision on the grant proposals
Approved project proposals

If a project proposal is accepted for funding, the applicant will have to pass a due diligence process, before a final project agreement can be signed.
After the project agreement has been signed, the applicant has the responsibility to implement the project, carry out the project activities and to monitor that the expected results are achieved. It will also have to collect lessons learned and to present financial and narrative reports to Oxfam IBIS on project progress.

Rejected project proposals

Applicants that did not fully meet the project proposal criteria may be selected to participate in a “Year Zero” process.

Year Zero is an initial period (with a duration of maximum 12 months, but it could be as short as one month), for intensive capacity support for the development of sound theories of change, monitoring, evaluation and learning strategies, and capacity building in core areas for grantees.

Some of the possible activities to be undertaken during Year Zero include:

  • the applicant develops a needs assessment that will be used to establish a Learning Plan/Partnership Development Plan
  • that support is provided to the National Education Coalition/applicant organization for the formulation of an improved proposal or to the development of an improved theory of change related to the problem the organization is proposing to address
  • for relationship building with key partners and allies to enhance the probability of success in the work
  • for strengthening of monitoring, evaluation and learning systems and general governance and administrative capacities of the organization

During such process, Oxfam IBIS would ensure appropriate technical support for National Education Coalitions from Learning Partners, including from the Global Campaign for Education´s Global and Regional Secretariats.

By the end of the Year Zero process, the applicant will report on progress according to their Learning Plan. At this time, the applicant – if it wishes to - can submit an updated/elaborated project proposal for a second round of review and recommendation for approval by the Independent Selection Panels.

There is, however, no guarantee that an applicant who participates in Year Zero will later be selected for funding. Approval for grant funding after Year Zero would depend on demonstrated progress on agreed learning goals and the organizational willingness to invest in learning as well as in presenting a satisfactory project proposal with all attachments.

Guidelines for Applicants - Component 1 for download