Application Form (DEADLINE: 5 PM EST July 6, 2017)
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 trust fund 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 fourth 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.
This call will only accept applications that address RBF at the meso-level of the education system. The meso-level of the education system tends to include interventions and stakeholders within district/provincial/regional education offices, which focus more on monitoring school quality and school management. In the previous two calls, the majority of REACH grants addressed actors and activities at the front-line of service delivery, e.g. teacher incentives and performance-based school grants. However, the service delivery system often breaks down before reaching schools. This call seeks to focus on results-based interventions that resolve those obstacles.
This call will also include two additional criteria: (i) the use of administrative data for decision-making, and (ii) equity issues. Proposals should address the use of administrative data systems to assess/evaluate the impact of RBF, given that robust data is such an integral part of results-based approaches. In addition, proposals should also be able to measure the equity impact of RBF given that RBF is often criticized for generating greater inequality by pulling focus away from the most difficult to reach and underserved populations in an effort to produce results in the aggregate.
Examples of eligible activities include:
- Examining how RBF can improve teacher training (in-service or pre-service) programs
- Looking at how RBF could incentivize better performing district/provincial/regional education offices
- Using RBF to better define and strengthen the role of school inspectors
- Developing RBF approaches that improve quality assurance systems for schools, for both state and non-state providers
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
Management of activities selected for financing
Previous grants have been attached to existing World Bank project codes to lessen transactional costs (all grants will be Bank-Executed), which means that 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 or monitoring 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. World Bank 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:
- Technical strength
- Client commitment
- Impact on country systems
- Use of administrative data for informed decision-making
The deadline for submissions is 5 PM EST July 6, 2017.
Interviews will take place the last week of July and first week of August 2017.
Funding is expected to be available in September 2017.