Dr. Amel Karboul, CEO of the Education Outcomes Fund (EOF) recently spoke with EOF High-Level Steering Group Member and globally respected education leader Mr. Vikas Pota about the power of paying for outcomes.
She explained how EOF is mainstreaming a proven approach to financing education, bringing together governments, donors, implementing partners, and investors to achieve concrete targets for learning, skill building, and employment.
Beginning the livestream session, Mr. Pota asked Dr. Karboul to explain to his international audience how outcomes funding shifts the approach to financing education from paying for inputs and activities to paying for the results achieved, while giving education providers greater flexibility to adapt. Dr. Karboul noted:
“We are not telling people what to do because we trust people on the ground know what needs to be done…In a way, you transfer a lot of the power to the ground, but with high accountability and high transparency. So, you get more freedom to work, but you are also held more accountable for the results.”
She highlighted how this can be a game-changing approach for education providers:
“For NGOs…who have been on the receiving end of contracts, they tell me it has transformed completely the way they work. Because suddenly, they are much more data-driven, they are much more performance driven, they have much more flexibility to do what they need to do…If you are an NGO and you want to transform your organization to deliver better and you want to transform your organization to attract much more funding, do one of these [outcomes contracts]. It will be transformational.”
She also shared how EOF works closely with governments to define the outcomes they want to achieve and align programs and education providers’ efforts with their national agendas. She noted that while the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened challenges for education systems globally, it has also strengthened EOF’s relationships with governments as they seek to keep children learning amid the crisis.
Asked by Mr. Pota how EOF’s model ensures that vulnerable children aren’t left behind, Dr. Karboul noted:
“We actually only work with vulnerable children. We see ourselves as a last-mile fund…but even within that marginalized community, we have developed a new model, which we call a multiplier. So, we can pay more for a girl, we can pay more for a child with disability. We can multiply the price we pay for outcomes…And we can also just strategically set up an outcomes fund that is specifically set up for girls or for refugees. So, there are three levels to how we can navigate that.”
Finally, Mr. Pota concluded by asking Dr. Karboul where she currently sees rays of hope in the crisis. She shared:
"There are two silver linings. One is the role of the teacher…much more respect for the role of the teacher. You can’t just walk into a room and be a teacher. But also a move for the role from someone who brings the content to someone who is a mentor and a coach and helps you understand that content....
The second piece is technology…it can be television and radio and different forms of technology. But I always believe it’s not an add-on to learning, it’s a core part of learning. And COVID has shown that it can, and it should be a core part of learning."
You can watch the full conversation below or on LinkedIn here.