Educate Girls along with UBS Optimus Foundation (UBSOF) and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) launched the world’s first Development Impact Bond (DIB) in education on June 16, 2014. It’s a 3-year pilot that began in the academic year of 2015. For all the tight timelines, challenges- old and new, and adapting to a new funding approach, the results look promising.
In this payment-by-results model, CIFF (as an outcome payer) promises to pay back the investor UBSOF the original investment amount plus extra returns as long as the agreed targets are delivered by Educate Girls (the service provider). The targets are focused on increased enrollment of marginalized girls and the children’s progress in literacy and numeracy outcomes, which will be assessed by an independent evaluator over the course of the three years tenure. Results-based financing consultancy, Instiglio, designed the DIB and provides performance management support to Educate Girls.
Year two results
The Educate Girls DIB program, with a budget of US$ 270,000, works with 166 schools across 140 villages in Bhilwara and aims to benefit 15,000 children, 9,000 of them girls. The program’s ultimate goal is to improve education with an 80% focus on learning gains and a 20% focus on enrollment of girls.
Improving Learning Outcomes with Gyan Ka Pitara
Gyan ka Pitara – Repository of Knowledge – (GKP) kits are designed by Educate Girls along with pedagogy experts Sol’s ARC. Its activity-based tools include easy-to-grasp graphic and activity-based tools and individual practice worksheets that are aimed at improving learning outcomes for all children across Hindi, English and Math. The GKP has been designed to ensure learning is engaging and fun for the students and is being conducted for students in Class 3 to Class 5. It has been pivotal in helping us achieve our DIB learn outcome targets. Take Lata’s* case for instance.
Lata a Class 5 student in Bhilwara got the following grades in a pre-test conducted by Educate Girls in her school: Hindi- C, Math- B, English- E.
From August to December 2016, our teams taught the GKP curriculum in Lata’s school. After 5 months when the post-test was conducted, many students exceeded expectations in the improvement of their learning levels. Lata was one such student. Her post-test (conducted by Educate Girls) scores were as follows: Hindi- A+, Math- A, English- A.
This result was admirable. Lata can now read paragraphs in Hindi without any hesitation. She has even learnt division in Math and can easily read sentences in English. There are many students like Lata who have significantly improved in these subjects.
*Name changed to protect identity of minor