On July 5, the Center for Universal Education at Brookings and the partners of the world’s first development impact bond for education held an online a discussion of the first year’s enrollment and learning results. The impact bond provides financing for Educate Girls, a non-profit that aims to increase enrollment for out-of-school girls and improve learning outcomes for girls and boys in Rajasthan, India. The UBS Optimus Foundation has provided upfront risk capital to Educate Girls and, contingent on program targets being met, will be paid back their principal plus a return by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. Instiglio, a non-profit organization specializing in results-based financing mechanisms, serves as the program intermediary.
The webinar explored the experiences so far, the factors affecting the initial results, the key learnings, and ways these will inform the development of the programs it moves forward. The partners shared both positive and negative learnings to start a transparent discussion of the model and where, and how, it can be most effective.
Chaired by Emily Gustafsson-Wright, a fellow at the Center for Universal Education, the discussion featured Safeena Husain of Educate Girls, Phyllis Costanza of UBS Optimus Foundation, and Avnish Gungadurdoss of Instiglio. For further background on impact bonds as a financing mechanism for education and early childhood development in low- and middle-income countries, please see the Center for Universal Education’s report.
In their recent book, “The New Localism,” Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak argue that cities and counties will be tested as never before in the coming years. They will need to innovate and reform—to pursue new strategies for growth and finance—in a fiscal environment dominated by rising health-care and pension costs. In these circumstances, the quality of metropolitan governance will matter more than ever.