AVPN organized its inaugural India Summit 2017 today in Mumbai, India, which attracted close to 250 thought leaders, practitioners, and innovators who are driving the education system in India. In partnership with Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd, AVPN drove home the theme of “Investing for Impact in Education.”
Sh. Anil Swarup, Secretary, Secondary Education & Literacy, MHRD, GOI, and Sh. Nand Kumar, Principal Secretary, Department of Education and Sports, Govt of Maharashtra, private funders including Unitus Capital and Kaizen Private Equity, and local non-profit organisations like Muktangan and iPRIMED, shared their insights as thought leaders, thus paving the way towards strategic deployment of capital into the education system.
Sh. Anil Swarup, in his keynote address, shared best practices in education from across India and stressed on the need to adopt them to scale. Speakers from civil society, private funders, and the government expressed alike, “The AVPN platform is helping to facilitate essential integrations amongst various critical stakeholders and overcome constraints that often come with implementation and outcomes.”
Indeed, the Summit, packed with a variety of pertinent education-related topics, provided attendees with ample opportunities to learn and share insights and experiences. Topics ranged from innovative technological approaches to education, impact measurements, and evaluations, to innovative hybrid approaches to funding social impact. The event highlighted that there is no one answer to improve the quality of education in India; In fact, it has shown that the whole spectrum of factors and social investment has to be considered to enable more effective strategies.
To deepen engagements amongst stakeholders and incentivize cross-sector collaborations, AVPN released the Funding Education with Impact Report – a guide for investors to ascertain where the critical gaps are in order to deploy funds and resources accurately and maximize impact. The Report, unveiled at the Summit yesterday, examines different education segments and age groups in India, which runs the spectrum from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to vocational education, and inclusive education.
“India has achieved near universalisation with 97% of 3-18-year-olds being in some types of education,” says Kevin Teo, Managing Director of AVPN Knowledge Centre. “However, gaps persist in various education segments, signifying the need for more targeted interventions. We hope the Report – with its recommendations and suggested approaches – will be able to better inform existing and prospective funders.”
Insights from the report showed that while education is one of the most funded causes in India, few models have achieved scale, and quality remains a pressing issue. Holistic development is not given due attention and as such, access to education has not been equitable, and teacher shortages have impeded quality education delivery. To remedy these gaps, the Report observes the critical need for relevant curriculum design, leadership development, and ecosystem interventions that will go a long way in driving the quality and sustainability of the education sector.
The Summit, however, was not a one-off event. The event laid the ground work for AVPN to pilot new Collective Initiatives to harness its convening power and catalyse pooled funding for under-represented causes with high-impact potential. The first Collective – kicked off in partnership with FSG – focuses on Early Childhood Education. Informed by the Education Report, AVPN has identified early learning in affordable private schools in urban India as an underserved opportunity. With the Collective that utilizes funding from philanthropic foundations and corporate CSR in an impactful and targeted manner, AVPN plans to improve the quality of education and early learning outcomes for low-income children in urban India.
“This is an opportunity for the full spectrum of social investors from foundations to corporations, impact funds to incubators to connect around common causes,” says AVPN’s CEO, Ms. Naina Subberwal Batra. “These multi-sector collaborations are the key driver to address social gaps and drive deeper impact.”
AVPN is a unique funders’ network based in Singapore committed to building a vibrant and high impact philanthropy and social investment community across Asia. AVPN’s mission is to catalyse the movement toward a more strategic, collaborative and outcome focused approach to philanthropy and social investing, ensuring that resources are deployed as effectively as possible to address key social challenges facing Asia today and in the future.