What comes next
We have identified broad potential for this approach and strong interest from a number of developing country partners, with a wide range of projects at varying stages of development
Priority countries and
Following a country prioritization process led by the Boston Consulting Group, we are exploring ~10 countries for first projects. These are some of the opportunities we are exploring.
First projects - making progress inclusive in Ghana
After several months of design work, the Government of Ghana now has ambitions to launch an outcomes fund with EOF in 2019, to get 150,000 out-of-school children in the most deprived areas back to school and learning
Although impressive progress has been made towards achieving equitable access to basic education in Ghana, around, 450,000 of 6-14-year-olds remain out of school – most of these in hardest to reach, deprived, rural areas in Northern Ghana.
For children left out of the mainstream system for several years, re-entry seems unreachable – school is far away, catching up in a foreign language is near impossible, and helping family at home seems a better use of time.
Evidence from education research shows that with mother-tongue instructions and community-based learning, these barriers can be overcome. In Ghana, one well-evidenced approach is a 9-month accelerated learning program called Complementary Basic Education (CBE). CBE has already shown great success, supporting 95% of its participants to re-enter the formal schooling system.
Rationale for an outcomes fund for non-state actors
Non-state actors are uniquely well positioned to work closely with communities and develop innovative, locally tailored approaches to addressing the problem of out of school children (OOSC), due to:
Close links with communities and a deep understanding of the local needs,
Flexibility to actively respond and adapt to changing local circumstances,
Ability to innovate and test the effectiveness of different approaches
There is a strong rationale for moving from an input to an outcomes-based approach to:
Incentivize provision for the hardest to reach, including through differential cohort pricing
Drive consistent quality performance across non-state actors
Strengthen linkage with the formal public system, by expanding the focus to include retention and learning outcomes (in addition to transition)
Finally, this approach serves as an innovation platform to generate public knowledge on what works and inform broader policy-making in basic education nationally.
There is a strong ecosystem of non-state actors with at least 10 well-established providers working in this area, some with over a decade of experience in delivering service to out-of-school children.
Open and competitive commissioning process focused on outcomes could also attract high-quality new entrants like Camfed, Varkey Foundation, and Luminos Fund.
The suggested program would run in 3 cycles (depicted below), covering around 40 targeted deprived districts, selected in line with the Government’s Education Strategic Plan in Ghana. Outcomes payments would be made upon:
Student learning gains made during the accelerator program
Successful student transition into primary school
Student retention at school for 12 months after transition
Suggested program cycles to transition 150K OOSC back to formal public education:
Estimated funding requirement
Based on preliminary costing estimates, $32M of funding is required to deliver the above program based on target performance (at roughly $204 per student), and a contract cap of $38M.
Further detailed design work and consultation will be required to validate and refine these estimates.
The road ahead
Following the overall design of EOF in 2018, we are now shifting into mobilization of first projects in 2-3 countries in 2019. Over time, we will continue to deepen and expand our partnerships with countries across the region
Timeline for the establishment of EOF
Building on the design and scoping conducted during 2018, establishment of the first projects will commence in 2019 in 2-3 countries. These first projects will aim to stablish ‘proof of concept’ for outcomes funds at scale ($30M+ per project) in a variety of contexts, with first outcomes payments made in 2020.
Over time, we will:
Deepen the partnership with existing developing country partners, expanding into new areas of the education lifecycle or geographies
Create new partnerships with 5-10 additional country partners and launch first funds
Build EOF in-house institutional capacity, to effectively lead the establishment of new funds, build government capacity, and disseminate best practices and learnings
The expected roll out and phasing of institutional establishment and projects is outlined below: