Why this approach

Why do we need a new approach?

A range of actors play an important role in addressing the global learning crisis.  But too often, the way we fund education organizations is fragmented, restrictive, and not aligned to the national agenda

Our beliefs that underpin
this initiative

We face an urgent global learning crisis, that is most severe in the Middle East and Africa

In the Middle East and North Africa, only half of children and youth reach minimum proficiency in reading and math, and in Sub-Saharan Africa the figure is less than 20%. Without significantly more and better funding, by 2030, 1 billion children worldwide will be denied basic skills, posing a major threat to global prosperity and security.


Governments must be stewards of the national education system and non-state actors can provide valuable support

Government must take the lead in delivering and financing inclusive, quality education for all. Their commitment to reform and appropriate spending will be the single biggest determinant of quality education at scale. However, when aligned with government policy and properly regulated, non-state education organizations can bring much-needed innovation, agility, and capacity to the education sector, both in the provision of ancillary services and core delivery of education.


How we pay for things matters – and the status quo is broken

The system of financing can be a major determinant of its overall impact. Funding and programming for non-state actors today are often highly fragmented. Restrictive grants prevent social entrepreneurs from adapting to conditions on the ground. Donors lack transparency into what interventions work best and their relative cost-effectiveness. This system of funding is too often holding back the results we can and must achieve.


Outcomes funds offer a better way of delivering results

For many (but not all) types of impact, outcomes funds can ensure that scarce public and philanthropic funds are only used for programs that achieve the desired results. They align incentives around results, ensure transparency and accountability, coordinate fragmented efforts, and empower organizations to continuously improve through data-driven adaptive management that responds to each local context.

 A better way of funding
non-state actors in conjunction with government

This approach will be a platform for donors to work together to support long-term, systemic impact, in conjuction with governments – ultimately driving better outcomes at better value

Better outcomes better value

Collective impact


A platform for donor collaboration


Donors can deepen their impact by pooling resources and working together towards a common set of systemic outcomes


Align education organizations to work towards a common set of goals


Fragmented systems of NGOs / education organizations are brought together more effectively in addressing the barriers to learning



Long term, systemic change

Invest in long-term, systemic outcomes through 4-6 year programs


Education organizations  and investors are rewarded for long-term investments over 4-6 years, allowing a long-term focus to strengthen systems


Aligned to government policy, with clear pathway for government adoption


Government alignment and engagement creates a clear pathway for government adoption and scaling of what works




Data-driven performance management and accountability

Greater accountability to outcomes


Improve transparency, accountability, and outcomes-orientation, with systematic program evaluation and aligned funding


Data-driven performance management


Foster innovation and flexibility in service delivery through a data-driven adaptive learning discipline, ensuring that education organizations adapt to local conditions and scale impact, not just interventions




A policy 'learning engine'

Learn more about 'what works' in each context, and at what cost


Different models are tested with rigorous evaluation, creating learning as to what works and the cost efficiency per outcome


A two-way pathway for global public goods in education


EOF will help providers draw on global public goods in education, as well as codify and disseminate lessons from our programs for the global education community.




Strengthening the existing financing architecture

EOF aims to fill a clear gap in the existing architecture, providing multilateral, results-based finance primarily to non-state actors.  EOF will work in coordination with The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and other funding bodies, to ensure a coherent and unified financing framework

Filling a gap in the current financing architecture for education

Over the past decade, the financial architecture for education has seen a much-needed growth in the scope of financing mechanisms.  Most notable entrants include:


  • The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) mobilizes finances from public and private sources around the world to fund governments, encouraging developing country partners to increase their domestic financing for basic education

  • Education Cannot Wait brings together governments, humanitarian actors, and development efforts to rapidly respond to the educational needs of children and youth affected by crises

  • The International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd), currently being launched, will create an attractive, low-interest financing mechanism for governments of lower-middle-income countries, through partnerships with the Multilateral Development Banks and donors


However, there are a number of clear gaps in the existing financing architecture:

  • Fragmentation of funding for non-state actors, from both donor agencies and philanthropy

  • Inconsistent alignment of funding for non-state actors to government priorities

  • Significant funding for non-state actors into programs that lack transparency and accountability, and / or do not demonstrate the desired results

  • Fragmented efforts to develop impact bonds leads to inefficiency in their design and execution


EOF will aim to address these gaps, providing multilateral, results-based finance primarily to non-state actors, reducing fragmentation, increasing the effectiveness of how they are funded, ensuring consistent alignment to government priorities, and improving the efficient use of results-based finance.

Alignment with other initiatives

EOF will closely integrate with existing initiatives, ensuring a coordinated approach and strategy for both donors and developing country partners.  This includes but is not limited to:

  • Coordinating closely with GPE and other development agencies on the development of EOF’s objectives with developing country partners, building on GPE-supported Education Sector Plans and the GPE Private Sector Strategy

  • Partnering with existing Local Education Groups (LEGs) for in-country stakeholder engagement

  • Institutional sharing of expertise and ‘what works’ in education, complimenting the GPE Knowledge and Innovation Exchange and creating pathways for government policy adoption