IFE Symposium

1 & 3 February 2022: Innovative Financing for Education Symposium: Learnings and future research and practice agendas

This event will bring together education experts from diverse contexts to share their experiences with research and practice on innovative financing for education, take stock of what has been learned so far and engage in discussions on the ways forward in making sure IFE contributes to equitable and quality education for all. The outcomes of the COFER Innovative Financing in Education(IFE) and Development: Case Studies and Multi-Media Material for eLearning project, which has been partially funded by the Swissuniversities Development and Cooperation Network (SUDAC), will be presented to reflect on the learnings to date. The project has produced multiple materials, including but not limited to, a systematic literature review, multiple in-depth case studies,  short case studies and nine animated videos to teach about different innovative financing mechanisms.

The two-day symposium to be held on February 1st and February 3rd from 15:00 – 17:00 (CET) will cover the evolving understanding of IFE and its various mechanisms, with a particular focus on impact bonds on the second day. The event will also feature case studies from distinct contexts in the Global South, such as Argentina, Ethiopia, India, and Nepal. Additionally, avenues for future research on the topic will be explored along with upcoming research activities. With around 30 minutes of each day dedicated to Q&A, discussions with the audience will feature as an important aspect of the event.


The symposium will feature experts from NORRAG (Switzerland), University of Fribourg (Switzerland), Zurich University of Teacher Education (Switzerland), Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai (India), University of Cape Town (South Africa), Volta Capital, UBS Optimus Foundation, as well as other renowned experts in the field.

Brief Agenda:

Day 1  – Innovative Financing for Education – What have we learnt? (February 1st, 2022)

  • Welcome and Introduction – Gita-Steiner Khamsi (NORRAG/IHEID and Teachers College, Colombia University)
  • Introduction to the SUDAC-COFER project – Cathryn Magno (University of Fribourg)
  • What is Innovative Financing and what have we learnt? – Arushi Terway (NORRAG)
  • Helvetas’ Skills and Knowledge for Youth Project: A Case Study of Results-Based Financing for Vocational Education and Training – Markus Maurer (Zurich University of Teacher Education) and Bettina Jenny (Helvetas)
  • Zaya Learning Labs: A Case of Impact Investment – Marina Avelar (NORRAG)
  • The Lending for Education in Africa Partnership (LEAP) – Joseph Di Silvio (Volta Capital)
  • Reflections on the field of innovative financing for education – Aleesha Taylor (Herald Advisors)
  • Future research and capacity building agenda: Theory of Change of innovative financing – Arushi Terway (NORRAG)

Day 2 – Use of Impact Bonds as Innovative Financing for Education (February 3rd, 2022)

  • Welcome and introduction – Moira V Faul (NORRAG)
  • Recap of day 1 and introduction to impact bonds – Marina Dreux Frotte (NORRAG)
  • Financing Early Childhood Development: The Impact Bond Innovation Fund, South Africa – Cynthia Rayner (Bertha Centre)
  • Proyectá Tu Futuro: A Social Impact Bond for Education and Employability Training in Buenos Aires – Felicitas Acosta (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento) and Tomas Esper (Teachers College, Columbia University)
  • India Education Outcomes Fund: A Case Study – Archana Mehendale (Tata Institute of Social Sciences)
  • Lessons learnt on the use of Impact Bonds in education – Sieste Wouters (UBS Optimus Foundation)
  • Future research: Theory of change of innovative financing – Arushi Terway (NORRAG)
  • Closing reflections – Nicholas Burnett (Results for Development)

SUDAC-COFER Consortium Members

Innovative Financing for Education Partners

Funding Partners

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