Education Outcomes Fund (EOF) CEO Dr. Amel Karboul spoke with Vibeka Mair at Responsible Investor about how EOF is bringing governments, education providers, and impact investors together to improve learning outcomes for children globally. She also called on investors to help develop the outcomes funding market, creating an ecosystem that can deliver impact at scale.
COVID-19 has compounded the global learning crisis – with 1.6 billion children out of school at the peak of school closures. Even before the pandemic, education systems were struggling to improve learning outcomes, Dr. Karboul explained: “The last number I’ve seen is that 90% of the children in low-income countries will not be able to read and write at the end of primary school.”
She shared how EOF’s model provides investors with the opportunity to help tackle this crisis, while making uncorrelated returns:
“…a focus on outcomes will make sure either taxpayers, aid, CSR or philanthropic funds only pay for outcomes once they are achieved. It creates a whole lot of positive consequences, and space for learning, growth, and innovation for service providers.”
Following EOF’s move to UNICEF as an independent trust fund last month, Dr. Karboul explained how the new partnership, trust structure, and access to UNICEF’s expertise will allow EOF to scale its impact around the world in the coming months and years. She expressed her ambition for EOF to eventually house a “knowledge base, investment templates and outcomes contracts for other organisations to easily draw upon” in the future.
Dr. Karboul issued a call to action to other responsible investors, urging them to get involved in helping to develop the outcomes funding market:
“Institutions…could support the development of the whole ecosystem through knowledge building or creating a taskforce with other fiduciary investors and the ecosystem of dedicated impact bond managers. They have big capacities to bring systematic change, in advocacy and conversation with governments.”
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