Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) has revealed that the Sierra Leone Education Innovation challenge will be launched in September this year.

The Ministry made this revelation in their weekly new letter issued on Friday 22 July, 2022.

According to MBSSE, the Education Outcomes Fund (EOF) which is an independent Global Trust Fund hosted by UNICEF with an ambitious goal to improve learning and employment outcomes for 10 million children and young people across the world will be launching the Sierra Leone Education Innovation Challenge (SLEIC) in September this year.

EOF matches funding with results using the Results- Based Financing (RBF) model.

Full details of the rest of the news letter is stated below:

In Sierra Leone (one of the first RBF funding in Africa) will see EOF work in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone, Donors and Providers to launch an Eighteen Million Three Hundred United States Dollar ($ 18.3 USD) program on the 1st September 2022. This programme will focus on improving learning outcomes and competency of learners for a period of three years thereby adding quality to the Free Quality Education Project for about 134,000 children across 325 schools across 16 Districts in Sierra Leone. The SLEIC is being funded by the Government of Sierra Leone with a commitment of $1.5m, the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) with $14m, Bank of America, $.500 the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) $1m, Hempel Foundation with $1.179m and the Waterloo Foundation with $.210 to the program. This has been made possible by the visionary leadership of the Government of Sierra Leone under their pioneering Education Minister, Dr Moinina David Sengeh.

The SLEIC will see the Government, donors, schools, and non-state education providers working together to improve literacy and numeracy for students across the participating schools. Following its launch, the program will run for three years, with each of the schools allocated to one of five geographic ‘lots’, each of which will be awarded to a different service provider.

The providers shortlisted for the RFP were identified following a public call for expressions of interest and will be able to form partnerships with each other, or with other organizations and social investors. These providers are EducAid, Street Child, Rising Academy, Save the Children, UK and the National Youth Awareness Forum (NYAF).
At the core of the SLEIC is a focus on improving the educational outcomes for some of the most disadvantaged children in Sierra Leone, in particular the program has a specific focus on girls’ learning, reflected in the 20 percent premium awarded to providers if they secure improvements for girls’ learning.

As an outcomes-based program, the providers’ learning support activities will be monitored and assessed for effectiveness, with payments made only for interventions that demonstrably improve the literacy and numeracy of children.

This monitoring will provide an invaluable evidence base for the Government to identify and scale up the most effective interventions across the country. Critically, the program has been designed with a sustainable and scalable maximum cost-per-outcome of USD$36 per child, creating a ‘program to policy pathway’ to ensure that successful learning support activities are continued following the end of the initial three-year period.

In addition, by diversifying the providers between the five geographic lots, the SLEIC will also help to build provider capacity creating a stronger, more outcomes-focused pool of non-state providers to support the Government to improve quality in the education system across Sierra Leone.

An independent quantitative evaluation by Oxford Policy Management (OPM) will measure the impact of the programme in improving learning outcomes. This will be complemented by a learning agenda and qualitative evaluation to understand the broader impact of the programme.