Pioneering Global Education Funding Model Launches in Sierra Leone, Helping Over 130,000 Students Improve Their Outcomes

David Moinina Sengeh, Sierra Leonean Minister of Education

The Education Results Fund logo

The Education Results Fund logo

Sierra Leone.  Logo of the Ministry of Basic and Upper Secondary Education

Sierra Leone. Logo of the Ministry of Basic and Upper Secondary Education

The Education Results Fund works to attract private capital to invest in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of quality education.

The Government of Sierra Leone is delighted to partner with EOF to launch the Sierra Leone Education Innovation Challenge.

— David Moinina Sengeh: Minister of Basic and Upper Secondary Education

FREETOWN AND LONDON, SIERRA LEONE AND UNITED KINGDOM, September 1, 2022 / — The Education Results Fund (EOF), a UNICEF-hosted trust fund, has launched the largest-ever results fund for education-focused giving, supporting 134,000 children in 325 public primary schools in Sierra Leone. OEF’s funding model is revolutionizing public giving and spending in the education sector.

The challenge of innovation in education in Sierra Leone (SLEIC) is an $18 million program, co-funded by the Government of Sierra Leone and international donors that will fund five child and education-focused organizations to improve children’s literacy and numeracy outcomes in public primary schools , with a particular focus on improving girls’ academic performance.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Education, David Moinina Sengeh, will speak about SLEIC at a ceremony in Freetown on September 1, announcing the launch of the program. Mr. Sengeh said,
“The Government of Sierra Leone is delighted to partner with EOF to launch the Sierra Leone Education Innovation Challenge. The program will directly support children across the country and generate important evidence on which innovative education interventions can help achieve foundational learning outcomes for all children. He is a perfect example of how we are leveraging innovation to transform the delivery and funding of our education services to deliver on the government’s promise of free quality school education for all.”

About the program
● Using a results-based approach, the organizations involved will be paid once their interventions show improvements in children’s literacy and numeracy.
● It is a mix of local and global providers, including the National Youth Awareness Forum, Rising Academies, Street Child, EducAID and Save the Children.
● The program will be rigorously evaluated to understand its impact on learning, allowing evaluators to identify the most effective approaches.
● The approach uses social impact bonds, the model of which has been successfully implemented in other sectors on a smaller scale. EOF has taken steps in its programmatic approach to help increase the production of impact bonds for its programs.
● The program is focused on sustainability. The interventions are designed to be both affordable and scalable so that the government can integrate them into future education policy and scale up the most effective approaches nationally after the program ends in 2025.

Amel Karboul, CEO of EOF said:

“We are facing an unprecedented global learning crisis that requires a different approach to funding education programs and measuring their impact. Access to quality education improves lives and livelihoods. Education is synonymous with opportunity. We work with the Sierra Leonean government to develop evidence-based programs, enabling innovation and, most importantly, measurably improving the quality of education for children and young people in the country.

In 2018, the Sierra Leonean government made education more accessible through its Free Quality School Education (FQSE) policy which eliminated tuition fees in public schools, which helped improve attendance and increase access to school for 700,000 students. They now aim to improve the quality of education through SLEIC and are funding the program to the tune of US$1.5 million.
Although a child in Sierra Leone can expect to complete 8.9 years of schooling, they only acquire 4.5 years of actual learning given the current educational challenges in the country. As recently as 2014, 87% of primary 2 students (aged 7-8) were considered illiterate.
Governments around the world have shown interest in this approach, with EOF developing a wide range of opportunities beyond Sierra Leone to support the learning and employment outcomes of 10 million children and young people in the world.


EOF press contact

Sean Curtis Ward
General director
The Goodwork organization
Such. : +44 (0) 20 8747 1488

For Sierra Leonean government institutions involved, please contact:

Augustin Sankoh
Such. : +232 78 316181


Mariama Rogers
Such. : +232 75 709963


Spokespersons available for an interview

David Moinina Sengeh: Sierra Leonean Minister for Basic and Upper Secondary Education and Director of Innovation for the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation
Dr Amel Karboul: Managing Director, EOF
Max McCabe: Chief Operating Officer, EOF
Miléna Castellnou: Program Director, EOF
Madiana Samba: Country Director of EOF, Sierra Leone

Effectiveness of Development and Social Impact Bonds

For examples of past successful development and social impact bond case studies, please see here

About the Education Results Fund:

There are few greater challenges facing the global community than the twin crises of learning poverty and youth unemployment. In response, the Education Commission (chaired by Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister and UN special envoy for global education) and the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing (chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen ) met with our founding CEO (His Excellency Dr. ) Amel Karboul will create EOF at the end of 2017.

EOF aims to improve education and employment outcomes for 10 million children and young people, by supporting governments to use a range of innovative financing instruments at scale.

EOF is the first results fund hosted by the United Nations within UNICEF, as a scalable platform to partner with governments, donors, implementing partners and investors around the world. The EOF pays primarily on the basis of results, ensuring that national taxpayer-funded resources, aid and philanthropic funds are only used to pay for what works. It is a revolutionary way to finance results in education, focusing attention and realigning systems on the most challenging but most important measure of program performance: whether it improves Lives.

Since its inception in 2018, EOF has: Partnered with the governments of Ghana and Sierra Leone to establish the two largest results funds to date in developing countries (across all sectors).
Established partnerships with leading institutions such as UBS Optimus Foundation, Atlassian Foundation, Bank of America, Dubai Cares and donor governments from the UK (FCDO), Switzerland (Seco) and South Korea (KOIKA), among others
To establish itself as the world’s leading player in results-based financing (OBF), as the only center of expertise dedicated to OBF in education and skills.
Establishing itself as the premier results fund hosted by the United Nations.
Strengthening our institutional capacity to contract and implement large-scale results funds more effectively

Sean Curtis-Ward, General Manager
The Goodwork Ltd organization
+44 20 8747 1488