New Delhi: Britain's Prince Charles, who who will be arriving in New Delhi today as part of his ongoing Asian tour, has backed a new development bond for India which will provide education to marginalised children in the country. The British Asian Trust which is founded by the Prince of Wales to fight poverty in South Asia has instituted a 10-million-dollar Education Development Impact Bond (DIB). The bond is designed so as to improve learning outcomes for thousands of marginalised children in India.
The bond is planned as an innovative and sustainable social impact investment tool. The bond will be tied in with performance and outcomes of educational initiatives. Starting in India, the bond will eventually spread across the trust's other regions of operation.
"I hope that through the trust we can impact the lives of not just children in India but also change the mindsets of philanthropists around the world," said Prince Charles.
UBS Optimus Foundation has worked alongside the trust to create the bond with the objective to transform the future of education in India.
As part of the initiative, the DIB will be funding four not-for-profit delivery partners in India for a period of four years. The initiative will deliver a range of operational models including principal and teacher training, direct school management, and supplementary programmes.
It is expected that the initiative will work toward improving literacy and numeracy learning levels for over 200,000 primary school students from marginalised communities in Delhi, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
As part of a wider partnership, the UK government's Department for International Development (DfID) will provide technical assistance and insights to the project.
"The DfID is exploring new and innovative ways to finance programmes which will transform the lives of some of the world's poorest people. We are proud to support the British Asian Trust as they develop their Development Impact Bond, which will provide access to quality education for hundreds of thousands of children," said DfID minister Priti Patel.
The bond has been described as a step towards a greater focus on social impact financing as a transformational tool for philanthropy.
The main concept of Development Impact Bonds is to create a result-oriented way to attract new capital into development, with a strong emphasis on data and evidence.
Richard Hawkes, who is the Chief Executive of the British Asian Trust, explains the underlying concept behind DIBs, "At the heart of our programme strategy is a real determination to continue applying business principles to the work. We are convinced that only by applying these to philanthropy and to development are you really able to meet the needs of the greatest number of people."
Sir Ronald Cohen, international philanthropist and a champion of global impact investing, has described the British Asian Trust's initiative as "ground-breaking" and said that it was capable of delivering scaled vital social improvement.
In India, Prince Charles will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bilateral talks as part of a series of events planned during his two-day visit with wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
(With Inputs from PTI)
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