Guidelines for effective funding

  • Investment in education should take government priorities into consideration, and aim to support systemic interventions and pilot innovations.
  • Funders should decide whether to interact directly with the formal education system (e.g. public schools), non-profit or community-based organisations which may deal with state structures.
  • The overall impact of the investment in education will be heavily influenced by the school or institution functionality, which in turn is determined by factors such as governance, teacher competence and regional support systems. Research shows that selecting schools or institutions with some level of functionality and good leadership significantly improves the chances of positive outcomes.
  • It is important that education programmes are combined with social development and other community outreach efforts to address psychosocial issues that impact education outcomes.
  • While there are no fool-proof solutions in the education system, experience shows that sustained and integrated projects that focus on one specific area over prolonged periods of time have a deeper and more lasting impact.
  • Literacy interventions at the foundation phase have been shown to have a particularly positive long-term impact on academic performance. Research also indicates that the outcomes of maths and science programmes can be enhanced by including literacy skills.
  • Long-term teacher development initiatives that improve subject knowledge and teaching methods should be integrated into school-based interventions wherever possible.
  • Studies have proven that investment in infrastructure, facilities and resources can have a positive effect when combined with interventions to improve teaching and school management.