Publication Date



Equal education, Citizen participation, Social change, Disadvantage, Program effectiveness, Educational policy, Advocacy, Case studies, Action research, Primary secondary education, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe


This case study is part of a larger body of work funded by the Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE) Education Out Loud (EOL) programme. It explores the advocacy and policy influencing (API) activities of the GEAR Alliance, a transnational alliance of four East African civil society organisations (CSO) receiving funding from EOL, and the process, results and impact of action research project they conducted in partnership with MDF/ Australian Council for Education Research (ACER), an EOL ‘Global Learning Partner’ (GLP). EOL is the GPEs fund for advocacy and social accountability. The fund aims to support CSOs to be active and effective in shaping policy for the communities which they serve, particularly those that are vulnerable or marginalised. As part of EOL’s strategy, they have engaged a number of GLP to enhance the evidence base for effective API and crucially support the CSOs they fund (grantees), to develop their API strategies and become more effective. The MDF/ ACER consortium is one such GLP. They worked closely with a number of grantees in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to develop action research projects, to test key assumptions in their programme theory of change (ToC). The aim of this was to support grantees to engage in adaptive management practices and ultimately improve the effectiveness of their API activities. The GEAR alliance was founded in 2020 and is funded by the EOL as an OC3 grantee, meaning they have a focus on creating a stronger global and transnational enabling environment for national civil society advocacy and transparency efforts. It is made up from four sub-Saharan African organisations, which are Students and Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) in Zimbabwe, Farming Communities Educational Trust (FACET) in Zimbabwe, Girls Activist Youth Organization (GAYO) in Malawi and National Action for Quality Education (NAQEZ) in Zambia.

Place of Publication

København, Denmark


Global Partnership for Education



Geographic Subject

Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe


Article Location