Where do we operate?
We are a global fund, committed to supporting governments across the world to tackle the learning crisis.
Our first programs are launching in Ghana and Sierra Leone. The $30 million Ghana program will target out-of-school children, providing remedial interventions to reintegrate 70,000 children back into school. It will also offer additional support to primary school teachers to improve learning outcomes for approximately 100,000 children across the country. The interventions will respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with distance learning and a focus on protecting girls and other vulnerable populations. Additional payments will be made for girls’ learning.
Our $26.5 million program in Sierra Leone is being used to scale the government’s Education Innovation Challenge. With the new funding, the Sierra Leone Education Innovation Challenge (SLEIC) will focus on improving the literacy and numeracy levels of approximately 200,000 Sierra Leonean primary school children in more than 500 schools. Similar to the Ghana program, additional payments will be made for girls' learning in recognition of their higher levels of vulnerability.
How are we governed?
The Education Outcomes Fund is an independent global trust fund, hosted at UNICEF. EOF has complete operational and programmatic independence, while UNICEF provides a fiduciary platform and legal, procurement, HR, and administrative support.
The EOF Secretariat is governed by 1) the High-Level Steering Group, which acts as a steward for strategic decisions and 2) the Executive Committee, which provides advice, oversight, and governs key decisions on EOF’s operational strategy and programs.
Who are our partners?
We were set up by the Education Commission and the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment in 2018. Over the past several years, we have been privileged to have had the support of donor and philanthropic organizations across the world. They include:
UBS Optimus Foundation
Atlassian Foundation International
Aliko Dangote Foundation
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The ELMA Foundation
Big Win Philanthropy
Sir Ronald Cohen
Don’t we need more money to fix the learning crisis?
The learning crisis can’t be fixed by money alone. If you analyze the learning outcomes by spending level in countries around the world, you find that countries can spend the same amount of money and achieve very different results. For example, Vietnam, which outperforms many wealthy economies, spends the same amount as Tunisia, which has lower results. There are multiple examples where huge sums of money are being spent on innovative programs, but because the right measurement and evaluation are not put in place, we have no idea whether the funding is driving results.
What type of outcomes could be included in an EOF program?
EOF works with donors and governments to identify education priorities for disadvantaged children. Education outcomes might include:
Early Childhood Education outcomes such as school readiness and primary school transition;
Basic Education outcomes such as retention rates, transition rates from primary to secondary schools, re-integration and retention of out-of-school children, and literacy and numeracy levels; and
Workforce development outcomes such as job placements, job retention rates, and increased income.
EOF will measure (and pay for) what matters – both core skills like literacy and numeracy, but also critical 21st Century skills such as socio-emotional skills, ICT skills, and other broader fundamentals of a quality education. Our programs will place a special focus on under-served populations including the hardest to reach rural populations, girls, children with disabilities, and refugees.
Why engage non-state actors?
EOF will work in three areas of education – early childhood education, school management support for basic education, and Technical & Vocational Education & Training (TVET) programs. EOF is not proposing non-state actor involvement in the core delivery of basic education.
Non-state actors are already active in education across low-income countries. They include community schools, faith-based schools, charities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and low-cost for-profit private schools. They play a vital role – extending the educational reach to remote or excluded communities and bringing access and improved learning to classrooms. In places where resources are constrained, this is an important contribution that can help support governments to meet the increasing demand for education as their populations grow.
However, evaluation and regulation of non-state education providers varies. This is an area where EOF can make a difference. By bringing non-state actors into education through outcomes contracts, there is an opportunity to increase oversight and accountability. Outcomes contracts rely on robust evaluation methods to ensure that providers are delivering the learning outcomes and improving educational standards across the board.
By introducing greater accountability and oversight over non-state actors, governments can better assess where they can play the most effective role within their education systems. They can make better strategic decisions, with more access to resources and data.