AVPN Constellations profile: Quality Education India Development Impact Bond


Alliance magazine


AVPN Constellations highlights the ways in which AVPN members are ‘addressing the complex problems of our times with stellar interconnected solutions, leveraging the power of networks for greater impact’. In addition to our coverage of the AVPN Virtual Conference 2020, Alliance magazine is taking a look at each of the five winners in turn. Today:

Quality Education India Development Impact Bond (QEI DIB)

AVPN Members: British Asian Trust & UBS Optimus Foundation
Estimated total financial contribution: $11 million USD
Country of activity:
Corresponding SDG:
4 – quality education

Alongside enormous progress in education in India, this impact bond has sought to shift the focus to improving the quality of learning and outcomes for children.

Impact bonds are outcome-based contracts where private funding from investors is used to cover the upfront capital required for a provider to set up and deliver a service. The service is set out to achieve measurable outcomes established by the outcome payer. The investor is repaid only if these outcomes are achieved, which places the focus on outcomes and builds on incentives for investors to support performance.
The DIB brings together 15 organisations from the private, public and non-profit sectors for the first time to improve learning outcomes for over 200,000 primary school children from marginalised communities in India. In funding education service providers in this way, the project seeks to reduce school drop-out rates, delay early marriage for girls and ultimately significantly improve the lives of children from low-income communities through progressing the quality of learning.

This is the largest DIB in the world, led by three partners: The British Asian Trust, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the UBS Optimus Foundation. Dell are the anchor outcome funders, BAT convenes the other funders, and UBS Optimus raised the initial working capital investment to start the program.

Through leveraging each partner’s strengths (philanthropy and education, social finance, managing multi-stakeholder programmes), the QEI DIB looks to drive not only the achievement of outcomes at scale towards SDG 4 (Education), but also to raise the profile and improved the ecosystem for impact bonds in South Asia.

An $11m project, this DIB is the largest in the world and will run for 4 years. A collaboration of over 15 actors including philanthropists, investors, education service providers and expert advisors, the focus is on outcomes rather than outputs.

Through the work at the DIB, it has inspired others and promoted new initiatives and collaboration in multiple ways. From DFID to BT, the DIB has inspired multiple leaders in the field to collaborate and share learning and expertise. Momentum is growing globally around impact bonds in low-and-middle-income countries. When the DIB started there were only 6, and now there are 17 across 14 countries.

Read about the other winners:

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