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Application to Education

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The authors of Cash on Delivery conducted extensive research to determine how COD Aid could be applied to the education sector and concluded that such an approach would be feasible in several contexts and would likely focus on the shared interest between donor and recipient countries on achieving universal primary school completion (one of the Millennium Development Goals).

CGD developed a proposal in which donors could commit to pay $200 for each additional assessed completer, that is, each additional child who takes a standardized competency test in the final year of primary school. Defining the target as the number of assessed completers, rather than as the achievement of certain test scores, minimizes incentives progress to misreport progress. The country would report the number of additional assessed completers each year and the donor would pay for retesting in a random sample of schools to verify the numbers, after which the COD Aid payment would be made. The country could choose to use the new funds for any purpose: to build schools, train teachers, partner with the private sector on education, pay for conditional cash transfers, or for that matter build roads or implement early nutrition programs. This innovative approach would place full decision-making about the use of funds in the hands of developing country governments, letting them determine the best way to achieve the outcome that recipient and donor both want: a quality education for all.

This page includes links to research, analysis, and discussion of the application of COD Aid to education by CGD staff, external researchers and practitioners.

Cash on Delivery Aid: Implementation of a Pilot in Ethiopia, Nancy Birdsall and Rita Perakis
The UK Department for International Development and the Government of Ethiopia are the first to pilot an aid program that is based on the Cash on Delivery model. This report by Nancy Birdsall and Rita Perakis, following a visit to Ethiopia in March 2012, describes features of the pilot and recommendations for next steps.

Two Ideas for Cash on Delivery Aid for Education in Tanzania: A Briefing Note, Nancy Birdsall, Rita Perakis and William Savedoff
This note by Nancy Birdsall, William Savedoff and Rita Perakis outlines possible ways for Tanzania and its development partners to implement COD Aid for improved education outcomes in primary and secondary schools.

Measuring Progress with Tests of Learning: Pros and Cons for “Cash on Delivery Aid” in Education, Marlaine Lockheed
Marlaine Lockheed analyzes the options for incorporating testing and quality of education into a COD Aid contract between a donor and a recipient.

Audit Options to Certify Results for a “Cash on Delivery” Contract in the Education Sector, Luis Crouch and Jonathan Mitchell
Luis Crouch and Jonathan Mitchell analyze the options for the verification process necessary for the COD Aid approach.

Informal Reflections on Audit Issues Surrounding “Cash on Delivery Aid” in the Education Sector, Luis Crouch
Luis Crouch explores the challenge of overcoming possible gaming and cheating in a COD Aid education program in this note on how to verify the government’s report of progress.

Cash on Delivery Aid: Some Comments/Observations, Maurice Boissiere
Maurice Boissiere explores a number of issues COD Aid would face, including whether pre-financing is needed, the data sources on enrollment and learning outcomes in low-income and post-conflict countries, and how to evaluate a pilot.

Workshop on “Cash on Delivery” – “Apoyo Basado en Resultados,” with the Mexican Ministry of Education
This note summarizes a workshop attended by CGD staff, leaders of the Mexican Ministry of Education, and other education sector experts to discuss how Cash on Delivery Aid could work in a federal system.

Expanding Skills in the Hemisphere: A Proposal for a Partnership for Secondary Education, Nancy Birdsall, William Savedoff, Katherine Vyborny, and Ayah Mahgoub
This note outlines a CGD proposal for a public-private partnership to improve secondary education in the Americas through a COD Aid scheme.

Roundtable Discussion on Cash on Delivery Aid at the United Nations Financing for Development Conference
This note summarizes roundtable discussion on COD Aid hosted by CGD, with President Kikwete of Tanzania, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the African Center for Economic Transformation, the Education for All - Fast Track Initiative (now Global Partnership for Education), and the United Kingdom Department for International Development at the United Nations Financing for Development Conference in Doha, Qatar.

CGD Note: Cash on Delivery Aid for Education: Experiences of Incentive-Based Approaches
Kate Vyborny provides an overview of how experiences with results-based instruments could inform the design of COD Aid pilots in the education sector.