Bev Fletcher and Amy Bellinger on Non-Traditional Financing for Education

Education Consultants, Bev Fletcher and Amy Bellinger are the co-authors of the EPS PEAKS Topic Guide on Non-Traditional Financing for Education. In this interview they give an overview of the advantages and challenges of non-traditional financing methods in education.

They outline the problems in financing education, what is meant by ‘non-traditional financing’ and discuss the evidence that these methods work in practice.

Bev and Amy talk about how they evaluate the potential of these instruments, which methods show the most potential to raise funds in education, which show the most potential to spend funds more effectively, what challenges remain in non-traditional financing and what needs to happen next.

Topic guide

The full topic guide is open access and can be downloaded for free here.


Non-traditional financing is nascent and accounts for only a small percentage of current education spending. In terms of what is working, evidence is limited. Some non-traditional financing instruments with a longer history in education, for example cash transfers, vouchers and PPPs have shown signs of success in certain contexts, but there are still many gaps in evidence, especially in Africa. Some have only recently been implemented in education, for example social impact investing and PbR. Some are not in developing countries, for example SIBs, and therefore cannot yet demonstrate when and how they may work most effectively. Other instruments have yet to be implemented in education at all, for example DCDBs and diaspora bonds.

To evaluate the potential of the various instruments, the topic guide presents a high-level assessment, using the following criteria: impact on learning outcomes; equity; enabling governments to deliver on their responsibilities; potential additional funds; sustainability and predictability of funding; innovation; efficiency; and ease of implementation.

About the speakers

Amy Bellinger is an independent international education consultant, and former Head of International Education at Absolute Return for Kids (ARK). You can follow Amy Bellinger on twitter: @AmyFCBellingerBev Fletcher is an independent education and social development consultant, and former Senior Human and Social Development Consultant / Regional Education Lead at Coffey.


EPS stands for Economic and Private Sector and PEAKS stands for Professional Evidence & Applied Knowledge Services. EPS provide the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) advisers and other staff access to specialist consultants and operational support in the areas of economic and private sector development (call-down services). To complement this, EPS PEAKS also provide cutting-edge market-based and economic thought leadership in the design and implementation of development initiatives worldwide (core services). EPS PEAKS services are available whenever DFID requires rapid operational and super-specialist support because of a need for surge capacity, or when specialist expertise is not available in-house.

Along with EPS, there are three other PEAKS:

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