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Outcomes-based funding in education: Assessing cost effectiveness and accountability

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 2021, 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 moderators Andreea Anastasiu or Tanyah Hameed.

Session recording

Session recording

Listen to the audio recording of the session.

Session overview

For our tenth Engaging with Evidence session, we explored the use of outcomes-based funding within education interventions in India. Globally, 30 impact bonds have been launched across 12 countries to improve education outcomes. However, approaches to designing and monitoring outcomes metrics vary and there is limited information of cost effectiveness of these innovative models. This session sought to build understanding around effective and efficient ways to support education.

We invited a group of guest panellists to discuss some of the key takeaways from a recent report by the Quality Education India DIB consortium, and discuss broader lessons around the cost effectiveness of outcomes-based funding and its impact on accountability. As the Quality Education India Development Impact Bond (QEI DIB), set up in 2018 to support education providers in India, is coming to an end, this report serves to draw broader lessons for outcomes-based financing ecosystem in education in India. Looking into a number of education interventions, the report suggests that outcomes-based funding mechanisms can indeed accelerate learning, which have shown to increase learning by 50% compared to non-results settings for same interventions. We heard more about the key recommendations from this report during the session.

We also reflected on the challenges of pricing outcomes, the role of outcomes-based funding in education, and alternative approaches beyond impact bonds. As always with these webinar sessions, we discussed implications for policymakers and practitioners and welcome comments and questions from the audience throughout the session.