Advising Education Outcomes Fund in Ghana

Client: Education Outcomes Fund
Location: Ghana
Sector: Education, Development Impact Bond
Dates of service: March to August 2019
IDinsight service: Advisory
IDinsight contacts: Paul Wang, Reagan Odner, Jeffrey McManus, Maxwell Oteng
Status: Ongoing

The Problem

Despite impressive progress in expanding access to Basic Education, as of 2014, 450,000 6- to 14-year-olds in Ghana were not enrolled in school, with out-of- school rates particularly high in deprived, rural areas of northern Ghana.

The Education Outcomes Fund for Africa and the Middle East (EOF) is an initiative of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) and the Education Commission. The EOF aims to pool $1 billion to support governments to pay for results in education and youth employment over the next decade. Together with government, EOF will harness the capacity and capabilities of a range of actors that can strengthen the national education system and help deliver quality education for all. The Ghana Out of School Children (OOSC) Funding Program will be one of the EOF’s first funding windows and will aim to support over 100,000 out of school children into mainstream education over 4- 6 years, with an ambition to launch in 2020. 

EOF is working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Ghana to design an Outcomes Funding Window to support out-of-school children in disadvantaged districts to transition into mainstream primary education. Under outcomes-based contracts, donors and governments pay not for inputs and activities, but for pre-agreed outcomes once they are successfully delivered. Where required, impact investors provide the upfront capital for non-government delivery partners to achieve contractual outcomes, with donors and government paying if agreed targets are met. 

The EOF program is expected to be delivered through a number of non-state providers with a focus on supporting out of school children to develop basic numeracy and literacy skills and to successfully transition into and remain in mainstream education. Social impact will be measured through the academic progress of children enrolled in the programme, and the rate of transition to, as well as retention in, mainstream school. Some improvement in learning outcomes for children in recipient schools in target communities may also be sought. Evidence needs include:

  • Initial proposal for geographic focus and clustering of EOF OOSC Funding Program, based on desk research 

  • Write-up on the results of data validation exercise and recs for OOSC data use

  • Recommendation for OOSC outcomes and metrics with pro-con assessment of a range considered metrics o EOF outcomes slides (preparing EOF for their workshop)  Completed in April

  • Proposal for outcome evaluation methods and tools 

  • Recommendation on baseline data collection and, if relevant, requirements, tools and timing 

  • Design document that outlines all of the design elements (target metrics, geographic selection, evaluation design, payment equation, and evaluation workplan)

Evidence Needs

IDinsight Service

Working as part of an integrated EOF / Government of Ghana team, IDinsight served as the Evaluation Advisor and supported the definition of a detailed outcomes measurement methodology for EOF’s anticipated $30m OOSC Funding Program.

IDinsight followed the scope of work outlined in Evidence Needs. We combined the design of evaluation options with the recommendation for baseline data collection given the inter-dependency of those components. We also recommended a small primary data collection exercise to validate the official OOSC data.


Project is ongoing.


Project is ongoing.

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