ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank will support the Government of Sindh in developing a program implementation plan for the Sindh Education Impact Bond (SEIB) to address specific challenges in improving the quality of education in the province, we learned here.
The bank has approved technical assistance that will help the government of Sindh explore, validate and then operationalize an “Impact Bond” transaction.
AfDB assistance will improve the institutional capacity of the provincial government and its key implementing agencies to develop an understanding of innovation financing approaches for the education sector.
The bank had commissioned a high-level feasibility study to explore the use of impact bonds in Pakistan, primarily to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of development finance in the country. The results of the feasibility study included proposed recommendations on next steps and identified social sector themes for implementation in Pakistan.
Will also assist in mobilizing additional financing from the private sector
Globally, impact bonds have shown they can unlock new sources of capital and address development challenges; they have not been used in Pakistan to date, says an AfDB report reviewed by Dawn.
Technical assistance will also help explore the mobilization of additional seed funding from the private sector for their project deliverables; assess options for synchronizing efforts under the SEIB with the Sindh Secondary Education Improvement Project (SSEIP); and the internalization of results-based contracts for the delivery of development results such as learning outcomes or improved schooling gains, especially for girls.
The technical assistance will also assess the operationalization of certain deliverables under the SSEIP through a viable impact bond transaction.
The AfDB, through technical assistance, will also develop a validation study, a detailed program implementation plan, a strategic roadmap for business operations and identify possible implementation modalities.
He had endorsed the SSEIP for Sindh in 2020 and highlighted increasing the inclusiveness of the secondary education system in Sindh as one of its key outcomes with the increase in the proportion of women among women by 38%. secondary school enrollments in the project districts and strengthening of learning assessment system in Sindh as one of its key outcomes.
It is expected that during the preparation of the validation study and program implementation plan, all relevant stakeholders including Government of Sindh and AfDB will be ready to make the necessary decisions and approvals to implementation of the proposed SEIB.
AfDB technical assistance will help the Government of Sindh, Pakistan and its key implementing agencies for the education sector, explore the modalities of impact bonds and develop a business case for using impact bonds to achieve their educational goals.
The Government of Sindh’s “School Education Sector Plan and Roadmap for Sindh” (2019-2024) places improving access to quality education for out-of-school children, removing barriers access to education for girls and improving the quality of learning and assessment practices in public schools. their main priorities as well as institutional capacity building of allied SELD institutions and, seek formal collaboration with the private sector.
The AfDB report on the project says that although Pakistan has recorded significant improvements in overall school attendance and educational attainment, it still faces serious challenges in providing high quality education to children, its rate gross primary school enrollment going from 49.1% in 1980 to 94.0. percent in 2019.
Posted in Dawn, January 16, 2022