First year of world's largest education development impact bond reached 600 schools

The Quality Education India bond, launched in September last year in Gujarat and Delhi, has benefited more than 100,000 students between five and 11 years of age

Indian school students (Photograph: Getty Images)
Indian school students (Photograph: Getty Images)

The world’s largest education development impact bond has helped 30 per cent more children achieve basic literacy and numeracy skills in two areas of India in its first year, the British Asian Trust has said.

The Quality Education India bond, which was launched in September 2018 in Gujarat and Delhi, also helped 40 per cent of the schools on the programme meet or exceed their targets in literacy and numeracy when compared with non-participating schools.

The programme has reached 600 schools and more than 100,000 students aged five to 11.

The first round of funding for the bond raised $11m (£8.5m), and the charity hoped the bond would double in size to approximately $22m (£16.9m) over the next four years.

The bond’s steering committee comprises the British Asian Trust, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the UBS Optimus Foundation and Tata Trusts, Comic Relief, the Department for International Development, the Mittal Foundation, BT and the Lawrence Ellison Foundation.

Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the British Asian Trust, said: "In many ways, year one was a start-up year for both the bond and the NGOs that were testing the concept and allowing for adjustments to make improvements along the way.

"The ambition remains that the lessons from the DIB will be used to create an education ‘rate card’, an assessment of costs for tried-and-tested delivery outcomes against funding, to improve the quality of education."

Geeta Goel, country director at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said: "The early signs are that outcome-based funding models, with an incentive attached, have the potential to drive quality in education and attract new forms of capital to sustain it.

"There are a number of key lessons from year one, which will help to inform the remainder of the programme, as well as future DIBs and government policy decisions."

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