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Final results of the Quality Education India Development Impact Bond and its relevance to the education sector

Engaging with Evidence is a series of interactive online convenings hosted by the Government Outcomes Lab (GO Lab) and designed to encourage a greater understanding of the latest evidence on the use of cross-sector partnerships focused on outcomes. The sessions are hosted monthly, and attract a diverse range of practitioners from different sectors, as well as researcher from across the world.  

Building independent, high-quality evidence 

At the GO Lab, we believe in the importance of building independent, high-quality evidence and disseminating it effectively to inform policy decisions and improve practice on the ground. As new evidence around the use of outcomes-based approaches is starting to emerge, we hope that with this series of online convenings we can continue to bridge the gap between evidence and practice, and help foster real dialogue between policymakers, practitioners and researchers in an honest, transparent and constructive way. Both veterans and explorers interested in better understanding the latest evidence around the use of outcomes-based approaches are welcome to join these sessions.  

Throughout 2022, Engaging with Evidence will offer an open platform for policymakers, practitioners and researchers around the world to engage with key findings from the latest research and evaluation work in the field. They will have the opportunity to discuss new evidence directly with the authors of research and evaluation studies, hear the practical insights of the partners involved in the development and implementation of the projects under discussion, and reflect on the relevance of the evidence to their own work.  

What to expect

Each session lasts 90 minutes and features contributions from a diverse panel of experts, as well as ample time for contributions and questions from all participants. Discussions at each session are grounded in the findings of a recent evaluation or research study, with additional practical insights brought in by stakeholders directly involved in the work or project under discussion. Each session follows a set format:  

  1. Setting the context & presentation of the evaluation/ research findings
  2. Discussion with the panel and audience questions
  3. Closing remarks 

If you’d like to suggest a topic or highlight a recent study that you’d like to see discussed on a future session, please contact our moderator Ernesto Oyarbide-Magaña.

Session recording

Listen to the audio recording of the session.

Session overview

In this session we will explored the final results of the Quality Education India Development Impact Bond (DIB). This programme was set up in 2018 to support education providers in India to improve learning outcomes for 200,000 primary school children aged 5-11 across Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. This is the largest education DIB deployed in the world. It brings together a broad coalition of private, not-for-profit, and public sector partners in India. According to the final results report, the programme managed to outperform its outcome targets over the last 4 years. It also contributed to further close the learning gap experienced by some students during the pandemic.

For this discussion we were joined by experts involved in the implementation and evaluation of the Quality Education India programme, as well as a range of leading practitioners from the education finance sector. We will explore with our guest speakers what the lessons coming out of the Quality Education India programme can tell us about how to tackle global challenges in funding education and how to improve education systems effectively.

Some key findings from the Quality Education India report include:

  • Increased levels of learning, despite the COVID-19 pandemic: Students in the programme learned 2.5 times more than those in non-participating schools.
  • Shifting to an outcomes-based funding approach can be a catalyst for change: Education providers were able to create a step change in learning outcomes achievement compared to their previous grant programmes. Factors which helped drive this success included robust performance management, regular engagement with each education provider and flexibility in funding and approach.
  • Funders got better impact because they were paying for outcomes: The actual price per outcome was 46% lesser than the original expected price, suggesting that DIBs can provide better value for money for funders.
  • The investor achieved the targeted return: The investor, UBS Optimus Foundation received a return of 8% on its investment, suggesting that impact focussed investors can make a return, whilst assuming the responsibility for implementation and the associated risk in such programmes.

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