Educate Girls Development Impact Bond delivers impressive results, surpassing both target outcomes
The world’s first-ever Development Impact Bond (DIB) in education provided operational and financial flexibility for Indian NGO Educate Girls to exceed ambitious targets under the three year program. The results show that 92% of all out-of-school girls identified in the program area in the Indian state of Rajasthan were enrolled in school, while the difference in learning gains between Educate Girls students and others quadrupled compared to year one. The DIB measured progress against agreed targets for the number of out-of-school girls enrolled into primary and upper primary schools as well as the progress of girls and boys in English, Hindi and Math. Educate Girls tailored its approach using a performance-management system, while IDinsight, a non-profit evaluation firm, compared results to those of similar schools in the control group, enabling course corrections. Compared to traditional grant-making approaches, this contractually agreed payment-by-results model allowed Educate Girls to innovate and ultimately to achieve a greater impact.
Zurich, 13 July 2018 – The world’s first operational DIB achieved 116% of the enrolment target and 160% of the learning target in its final year. These are impressive results, particularly considering students’ progress on learning was still lagging behind after the first two years of the program. The model has led to a raft of innovations: at the heart of it, an improved child-centric curriculum enabling Educate Girls to quadruple the difference in learning gains between those participating and non-program students compared to year one. Educate Girls also focused on improving the outreach for harder-to-enroll girls by influencing communities’ mindsets toward education.
The model is backed by a strong partnership: The UBS Optimus Foundation, which provided the upfront working capital of USD 270,000, recouped its initial funding plus 15% return from the outcome payer Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). Educate Girls will receive part of the return as a bonus payment, while the rest will be used for other UBS Optimus Foundation programs. The partnership also involved Instiglio, a non-profit, results-based financing advisory organization, which was the technical advisor in the design, providing overall project management and intermediation, while IDinsight conducted a rigorous randomized evaluation to assess students’ learning gains.
The DIB was intended to be a “proof of concept” using a relatively small selection of beneficiaries. Its ultimate goal was to test the feasibility of the DIB overall and improve education for about 7,300 children, across 166 schools and 140 villages.
Phyllis Costanza, CEO of the UBS Optimus Foundation, said: “We must challenge, innovate and create if we are to truly reframe the future for thousands of girls across India. The launch of the DIB demonstrates how we are turning those words into action. It is proving an increasingly attractive approach as people recognize the DIB’s ability to secure new and much needed funding and deliver significant and sustainable social returns.”
Safeena Husain, Executive Director of Educate Girls, said: “It’s been a journey of self-discovery for Educate Girls. The funding enabled us to innovate and apply tailored solutions to enrol the hardest to reach girls in school and significantly improve the learning levels of a large number of marginalized first-generation learners. The final results are a testimony to our efforts and give us the confidence that Educate Girls can deliver quality at scale and value to every single child in the program.”
Kate Hampton, CEO of CIFF, said: “The DIB is a new financing tool that can be used to support and scale innovative local solutions with demonstrable results. CIFF is proud to have partnered with Educate Girls and the UBS Optimus Foundation to deliver an independently verified, real-world impact: getting girls into school and helping them learn. We hope others will build on this learning with further innovations and ambition.”
Following this successful demonstration of the value of the DIB approach and incorporating the many lessons from this experience, the UBS Optimus Foundation is working on a new education DIB, which will be announced later this year.
For more information visit: http://instiglio.org/educategirlsdib/
Notes to the editor
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation is an independent philanthropic organisation, headquartered in London with offices in Nairobi and New Delhi. It works to transform the lives of poor and vulnerable children in developing countries.
Areas of work include children and mothers’ health and nutrition, children’s education and welfare, and smart ways to slow down and stop climate change. The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation places place significant emphasis on quality data and evidence to measure and evaluate progress with partners in order to achieve large scale and sustainable impact. More information at ciff.org
Established in 2007 Educate Girls’ focus is on mobilizing communities and leveraging government’s investment for improving girls’ education in India. The organization is strongly committed to the government’s vision to improve access to primary education for children, especially young girls. By leveraging the Government’s existing investment in school, Educate Girls delivers measurable results to a large number of beneficiaries and avoids duplication or parallel delivery of services. Educate Girls believes that if girls in educationally backward districts are educated, they will have the potential to enter the formal economy, gain employment and lift their families out of poverty. The sustainability and scalability of the model has enabled Educate Girls to consistently expand operations to include more districts. It is now actively working with the government and with rural communities across 16 districts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in India reaching over 25,000 government-run primary schools across 13,000 villages in some of India’s most rural and remote areas.
IDinsight’s mission is to help policymakers and practitioners use rigorous data and evidence to make more socially impactful decisions. We carefully tailor a wide range of quantitative tools to help our clients design better public policies, rigorously test those ideas, and take informed action to improve lives at scale. IDinsight leads learning partnerships across Asia and Africa, working with governments, multilaterals, foundations, social businesses, and innovative NGOs to generate and use evidence to improve their impact. IDinsight works across a range of sectors, including education, financial access, governance, agriculture health, and sanitation. We work in over a dozen countries and have offices in Dakar, Johannesburg, Lusaka, Manila, Nairobi, New Delhi, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Instiglio works to ensure that every cent spent fighting poverty has the greatest possible impact on the lives of the men, women and children impacted by it. Instiglio does this by tying funding to impact in developing countries, providing technical assistance in the design and implementation of results-based financing tools such as social and development impact bonds. By tying the funding of social programs to their impact, Instiglio is shifting away from traditional development funding that focuses on activities and directing it towards results.
UBS Optimus Foundation’s vision is simple: a world where all children reach their full potential. To make this a reality, the UBS Optimus Foundation focuses on high-impact, innovative programs that help ensure children are safe, healthy, educated and ready for their futures. The Foundation can increase the reach of your donation substantially by leveraging through its global network. And 100% of your donation goes to the programs, because UBS covers all the Foundation’s administration costs.