IFE Cases


IFE Cases

Different mechanisms of innovative financing for education have been implemented in diverse contexts, with various purposes and involving many stakeholders.

The case studies here displayed explore and illustrate how these mechanisms work in practice. The cases tell the story behind the design and implementation of various mechanisms, shedding light on the financing challenges they address. The case studies fall into two different categories – short cases and in-depth case studies.

In the coming months additional case studies will be published here.


In-depth case studies

Financing Early Childhood Development: The Impact Bond Innovation Fund, South Africa

In November 2017, in Cape Town, South Africa, a group of unlikely partners came together to launch a financial experiment. The partners included an international NGO, a local community-based organisation, a financial consultancy, two corporate foundations, a local investment house, a Swiss-based private bank, and a provincial government department. Together, these partners were testing a hypothesis: that a Social Impact Bond (SIB), utilising funding from private investors and, if successful, repaid with interest by the government, could deliver more effective and efficient funding for early childhood development (ECD) than traditionally-funded programmes. The pilot project for this financing mechanism was a home-based ECD programme delivering services to a target of 2,000 children in two underserved communities near Cape Town.

Proyectá Tu Futuro: A Social Impact Bond for Education and Employability Training in Buenos Aires

In 2018, “Proyectá Tu Futuro” (PTF), the first Social Impact Bond (SIB) in the country, was launched in Buenos Aires, Argentina, aiming to simultaneously tackle the low graduation rates in secondary education and unemployment among young adults. By October 2020, 1,101 young adults had been enrolled in PTF, of which 751 had finished their training, 304 were in training, and 46 had dropped out. Furthermore, of those who completed the training, 254 (33.8%) had a successful placement in employment (Outcome 2), 141 participants (18.8%) had sustained their job for four months (Outcome 3), and 22 (2.9%) had maintained it for a year thus far (Outcome 4). With a Results-Based Financing arrangement of the PTF SIB, the upfront investment is not pre-determined but subject to training delivery costs. At the same time, repayments are capped at ARS 48,400,000, approximately USD 1,265,028. This case study discusses how the PTF SIB was developed, borrowing the SIB idea from other contexts and analyses its achievements and challenges.

India Education Outcomes Fund

This case study showcases the design and the process of establishing a  catalytic platform, the India Education Outcome Fund (IEOF) of Social Finance India (SF-IND), aimed at providing sustainable and innovative funding at scale to deliver educational outcomes. The IEOF is still under development but readers of this case study can learn about what is involved in setting up such a  platform by understanding the issues encountered, choices made and implementation mechanisms being considered for adoption in the marketplace.

Zaya Learning Labs

Created in 2013, Zaya Learning Labs (Zaya) is an education technology (EdTech) company. Zaya’s headquarters are in Mumbai, India, where it shares office space with its sister organisation, Teach-a-Class. Zaya designs and builds mobile applications, web platforms and hardware-based systems for education organisations. It also provides advisory and consulting services related to innovation in education. With a blended learning approach, its core aim is to improve the learning outcomes of underserved populations by freeing up teachers’ time and improving access to additional learning resources. This case study examines the evolution of Zaya Learning Labs from its initial work as a non-profit organisation to its current format as a for-profit social business, focusing on how its funding has changed over time, leveraging the impact investing ecosystem.

The Skills and Knowledge for Youth (SKY) Project

The Skills and Knowledge for Youth (SKY) project is an example of results-based financing (RBF) in education, where performance-based contracts and financial incentives are used to focus service providers’ attention on quality vocational training, leading to long-term gainful employment of the beneficiaries. Accordingly, the vocational training institutions supported through the project only receive partial payments for the beneficiaries completing the training and full payment once the trainees have found steady and gainful employment (meaning earning at least the minimum wage) or have successfully established their own business. Helvetas has been implementing the SKY project since 2015 in Bahir Dar, Debretabor and Dangila Town of the Amhara National Regional State in the North-West of Ethiopia. The main aim of the SKY project is to increase employability and labour market insertion of disadvantaged youth, to create more jobs (self-employment), and to empower youth in order to escape the ‘low/no skill – no job – no income’ poverty trap.

Short case studies

Blended finance: The Regional Education Finance Fund for Africa 

Corporate Social Responsibility in India 

Inyova’s online impact investment platform 

Self-sufficient agricultural schools: The case of Fundación Paraguaya 

The Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program 

UK Aid Match 

Prodigy Student Financing 

Community-based savings and loans: Save for School programme in Côte d’Ivoire 

Tax justice initiatives to maximise domestic resources mobilisation for quality education 

US International Development Finance Corporation 

USAID Development Credit Guarantees 

Educate Girls Development Impact Bond 

Global Partnership for Education – GPE Multiplier Fund 

International Financing Facility for Education (IFFEd) 

Girls Rising and Global Education Fund 

Education Performance for Results Program in Tanzania 

Education, Youth, and Employment Bond­­—Inter-American Development Bank 

Lumni Income Share Agreement 

Debt-for-education swaps: Cases between Spain and Latin American countries 

IDP Rising Schools Program 

Crowdsourcing student loans: Student financing in Kenya with Kiva and Strathmore University 

Please contact us:

  1. If you would like to develop workshops or talks for education and finance professionals on innovative financing for education using IFE project material.
  2. If you would like to develop additional case studies on an innovative financing project or partner with NORRAG on additional research on the topic.

أطلقت نوراغ مشروع للتمويل المبتكر للتعليم  بإصدار دراسة حالتين جديدتين

كجزء من مشروع التمويل المبتكر للتعليم ، تم نشر دراستي حالة جديدتين. تستكشف دراسة الحالة مختبرات زايا للتعليم وهي شركة تكنولوجيا خاصة بالتعليم  مقرها في مومباي، الهند. وتعمل على تحسين الوصول إلى موارد تعليمية إضافية للسكان المحرومين. إن مشروع المهارات والمعرفة للشباب  بقيادة هيلفيتاس في إثيوبيا. تسلط دراسة الحالة الضوء على استخدامهم للحوافز لتشجيع العمالة المربحة طويلة الأمد للشباب. اقرأ دراسات الحالة:

·       المهارات والمعرفة للشباب (فبراير 2021)

·       مختبرات زايا للتعليم (ديسمبر 2020)

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