Education is a powerful driver of development and one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty, raising incomes, promoting economic growth and shared prosperity, and for improving health, gender equality, peace, and stability. It is also central to the development strategies of all WBG clients. With 121 million children not in primary or lower secondary school today and 250 million more not acquiring basic skills necessary for work and life, ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity depend on more and better investments in quality education and learning.
The REACH TF therefore aims to support efforts toward more and better education services, especially to those most excluded, by helping country systems focus more sharply on results. In line with the WBG education sector strategy, REACH will support the Bank’s efforts to build evidence on what works for a systems approach to education reforms and investments, working in complementarity with SABER (the System Approach for Better Education Results).
Results-based financing (RBF) programs are those that reward the delivery of education results through financial incentives, upon verification that the agreed upon result has been delivered, and do so in a manner that can be credibly sustained over time. Performance-based incentives, pay for performance, performance-based contracting, conditional cash transfers, and cash on delivery are all examples of RBF. Choosing the incentive mechanism that best fits an intervention in a particular context and obtains the greatest impact is one of the challenges for the World Bank and its clients. Some evidence exists on the effectiveness of these various schemes, but more research is needed, especially with regards to newer approaches.
The REACH Trust Fund is organized around the following principles:
- Country systems can be strengthened to focus more on results;
- Some approaches are proven to be effective, others are promising;
- Innovation and evaluation are therefore critical to developing the evidence base;
- Results can be broadly defined, including both outcomes and outputs; and
- Efforts must be client-driven to be successful.
Call for Proposals
This is the second call for proposals for activities to be financed under the REACH Trust Fund. A total of up to US$1.5 million is available under the Knowledge, Learning, and Innovation (KLI) stream, and will be competitively awarded.
The objective of the KLI Grants is to strengthen the evidence-base for the impact results-based financing can have on education systems. REACH will fund activities which contribute to this knowledge by:
a) Supporting governments in establishing the conditions required for results-based financing of education systems;
b) Testing/piloting a theory of change about how financing based on results could be an effective innovation in a given context;
c) Conducting impact evaluations on existing RBF activities to determine whether they have succeeded or failed and why
Examples of REACH grantees can be found here. Proposals will be accepted for activities in all Bank client countries. Grants can be either Bank or Recipient-Executed. A Recipient-executed Grant is a Trust Fund Grant that is provided to a third party under a grant agreement, and for which the Bank plays an operational role - i.e., the Bank normally supervises the activities financed.
Deadline for submission is November 16th, 2015, at 6 pm EST.
Activity budgets and expenditures
The maximum budget for an activity financed through this call for proposals is expected to be $200,000.
For Bank-executed activities, the Trust Fund funds may be used to finance:
a. Associated Overheads
b. Consultants Fees Individuals with Indirect Costs and Firms
c. Contractual Services
d. Equipment and Office Premises Lease Cost
e. Equipment Purchased
f. Extended Term Consultants - with Indirect Costs
g. Media, Workshops, Conference and Meeting
h. Staff Costs - with Indirect Costs
i. Temporary Support Staff Costs - with Indirect Costs
j. Travel Expenses
For Recipient-executed activities, the Trust Fund funds may be used to finance:
a. Civil Works
d. Operating Costs
f. Non-consulting services
Management of activities selected for financing
Individual project codes will be established for every activity selected for REACH MDTF financing. A World Bank Task Team Leader (TTL) must be identified for every activity proposed for financing. That TTL will be responsible for the activity implementation and budget and for delivering the results specified in the proposal. The REACH Program Team will be available to provide technical guidance during implementation, but overall responsibility for quality assurance will lie with the TTL’s unit. There is no restriction on TTLs applying for funding for more than one activity. TTLs implementing a REACH-funded activity need to be Trust Fund accredited. External candidates should contact the REACH team directly to be matched with a TTL.
Proposals will be assessed based on the following criteria:
1. Technical soundness.
2. Methodological rigor.
3. Strategic opportunity for long-term engagement.
4. Client commitment.
5. Impact on country systems.
The REACH Review Committee (composed of core REACH team members and other TTLs with sufficient knowledge of results-based approaches, including experts from SIEF) will serve as first found reviewers. Each proposal will be scored independently based on a standardized rubric. The Review Committee will tally the scores for each proposal and then a group review will be conducted.
Proposals with majority votes will be reviewed by the REACH Technical Committee (comprising members of the Education GP management team), who will be responsible for confirming a shortlist.
The REACH Review Committee will then contact the TTLs of all shortlisted proposals to schedule brief interviews. Final selection will be made based on the recommendation of the Review Committee and the decision of the Technical Committee.
The deadline for submissions is 6pm November 16th 2015.
Interviews will take place the week beginning 7th December 2014.
Funding is expected to be available early in 2016.