Educate Girls

To boost girls’ enrolment in school and foster quality education, Educate Girls - lead by WomenChangeMakers India Fellow Safeena Husain - the UBS Optimus Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) are pioneering the world’s first Development Impact Bond (DIB) in the field of education.

The DIB is a transformative impact-driven funding model that taps into new resources to accelerate social progress. Investors pay for the implementation of a programme and receive a return on their investment if pre-agreed results are achieved. Funds to remunerate investors come from outcome payers, usually a donor or a government agency. Financial returns to investors are commensurate with the level of impact achieved. An independent evaluator verifies results to determine success and re-payment. This approach incentivises innovations that produce durable change, it increases both effectiveness and efficiency of social development organizations, and rewards transparency and accountability.

The new DIB aims to become a ‘proof of concept’ for the funding of large-scale, system-changing programs in the education sector, and beyond. "This Development Impact Bond marks a turning point in the way social investment opportunities will be conceived in the future", explains Phyllis Costanza, CEO of the UBS Optimus Foundation.

In India, 3.7 million girls are out of school. In Rajasthan, 40% of girls drop out before reaching fifth grade, and for those who remain learning quality is low. Under the present DIB, USD 238,000 are made available up-front by the UBS Optimus Foundation to Educate Girls, a non-governmental organisation operating in government-run schools in Rajasthan, to enrol and retain girls, as well as to improve learning outcomes for all children. CIFF will pay for social outcomes achieved by the program. Educating girls provides them with more autonomy, greater opportunities to realise their aspirations and to break out of the cycle of poverty. Peer-reviewed studies have shown that educated girls earn more income, will have healthier and fewer children, and are more likely to educate their own children.

"India has one of the highest numbers of out-of-school girls in the world, with over three million eligible girls missing out on education," explains Safeena Husain. “The Development Impact Bond pilot is a watershed moment for Educate Girls as it will allow us to innovate, adapt and tailor our programs to achieve the best possible results for marginalised girls and ensure that funders only pay for results achieved. This will help us fuel scale as we attempt to reach over a million girls, and with funds paying only for pure impact, help in expediting transformation in the lives of girls and their communities."

Committed to the cause of women’s empowerment, the Womanity Foundation’s WomenChangeMakers Fellowship takes great pride in its collaboration with Educate Girls and is pleased to have facilitated contacts between Safeena Husain and the UBS Optimus Foundation.  “What an exemplary achievement by Educate Girls, we are delighted to be a have played a part in this process!” says Yann Borgstedt, founder and president of the Womanity Foundation. “The purpose of the WomenChangeMakers Fellowship is precisely to foster and support innovative solutions that will accelerate progress for girls and women, and to do so by creating powerful connections.”

About the WomenChangeMakers India Program:

The WomenChangeMakers Fellowship is a program of the Geneva-based Womanity Foundation. WomenChangeMakers focuses on identifying and supporting social entrepreneurs who run successful organisations that work for women’s empowerment, address systemic gender inequalities, and positively transform society. With the overarching goal of enabling social entrepreneurs to scale and/or replicate their program and, ultimately maximise impact, WomenChangeMakers Fellows are provided with the following: i) access to professional resources and partners, such as consultancies and training by Accenture, Booz & Co., Mercuri Urval, Egon Zehnder, and others; ii) connections with investors and other social entrepreneurs working in a similar space; and iii) mentorships, partnerships, and key professional consultations. The WomenChangeMakers program is active in India and Brazil. For more information, please visit: and

About Educate Girls 

Educate Girls works to reform government schools for girls’ education by leveraging existing community and government resources. Along with education, the NGO focuses on improving school infrastructure for girls, bringing about community ownership and advocating girl leadership. Since 2008, the organization has impacted the lives of over 200,000 girls in two districts and aims to positively impact the lives of 1.6 million children by 2016. After tackling the issue of girls’ education in Pali and Jalore districts of Rajasthan, Educate Girls is now scaling in the Sirohi district of Rajasthan. For more information, please visit:


Background information

1.       The key characteristics of a Development Impact Bond are:

·         An outcome payer, which can be a foundation or a government agency, enters into a contract to pay for specific, measurable social outputs and outcomes.

·         A service provider, or a group of service providers, works to deliver these social outputs and outcomes in a flexible manner that is not defined by the outcome payer. 

·         Service providers receive up-front working capital from one or several investors, who can be individuals, foundations or investment firms. 

·         An independent evaluator assesses the outcomes of the program.

2.        The Development Impact Bond model is described in detail in a report by the Center for Global Development, which is available online here:

3.        The DIB model is based on the Social Impact Bond (SIB) model, which has received significant attention in developed economies. At least 10 Social Impact Bonds are in implementation in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and elsewhere, and at least 50 more Social Impact Bonds are being designed around the world.

4.        The World Economic Forum’s 2013 Gender Gap Report ranks India 120 out of 136 on gender gap in educational attainment. According to India’s 2011 census, Rajasthan’s literacy of 67 percent rate is ten percentage points below the national average. At 53 percent, Rajasthan’s female literacy rate is the lowest in the country.

In order to establish the DIB as a credible high-quality development finance model, Instiglio, a nonprofit organization that designs results-based financing programs, will help design and manage the process. The partners will also rely on an independent evaluator to measure the impact, which triggers repayments. In addition, an external advisory board will ensure expert input and promote transparency and good governance.

For more information, please contact:

WomenChangeMakers India: Indrani Sharma –Country Representative, India –


Womanity: Antonella Notari Vischer – Executive Director – - +41 22 544 39 39


Educate Girls:   Maharshi Vaishnav - - +91-99207 55306 / +91-22 26303555

Twitter: #educategirlsnow

Educate Girls
To boost girls’ enrolment in school and foster quality
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