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© 2024 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

USAID CATALYZE EduFinance Activity - Latin America & Caribbean (LAC)

Summary

USAID CATALYZE EduFinance LAC will expand access to non-state schools (low-cost private schools, community or faith-based schools, pre-primary care centers, and tertiary institutions) by mobilizing blended finance and improving education quality, resulting in greater, more equitable access to education opportunities and improved learning outcomes, especially for disadvantaged communities. 

  • Project Duration: Jan 2022 – Sep 2024
  • Geographic Focus: Dominican Republic and Guatemala
  • Implementers: Palladium International, Opportunity International

The Challenge

Learners in Latin America and the Caribbean—especially disadvantaged learners—need access to quality education. Approximately 50% of students in the region do not reach the basic reading proficiency level required in the PISA assessment. 

In Guatemala, the net enrollment rate for primary grades is below 90% (UNESCO 2020) and schools struggle with delivering impactful education. Nationally, students rank below regional averages in reading and mathematics assessments. In the Dominican Republic, only 85% of students complete primary school. 


Our Approach

Using blended finance, the CATALYZE activity aims to mobilize private capital investment into the low-fee non-state sector and support quality improvements. Schools can then expand, add seats, and improve quality, and parents can finance education expenses to keep learners in school. 

Through CATALYZE, we will also: 

  1. provide technical assistance to financial institutions, including market research, product design, staff training, and data sharing and analytics;
  2. provide technical assistance to non-state schools, including peer-to-peer learning and support, self-guided assessment tools, and professional development for school leaders. 

Targets

Mobilize Finance and Increase Access to Education

  • Mobilize US $4.6 million to low-fee non-state schools and parents in the Dominican Republic. 
  • Mobilize US $6 million to low-fee non-state schools and parents in Guatemala.
  • Finance 366 low-fee non-state schools in the Dominican Republic and disburse loans to 5,000+ parents to serve 73,000+ students. 
  • Finance 481 low-fee non-state schools and disburse loans to 7,000+ parents in Guatemala to serve 96,200 students. 

Improve Education Quality 

  • Engage schools in the Education Quality program. 
  • Train school leaders in financial, business management, and instructional leadership skills. 
  • Complete school development plans. 
  • Train teacher mentors in foundational pedagogy and literacy. 

Project Details

Topics

Education

Funders

USAID/CATALYZE, implemented by Palladium

Partners

COOP-CDD, MUDE, COOP-ECLOF, ADOPEM, La Encarnacion, COSAMI, Genesis, COOPSAMA, ADISA, BANRURAL, ADICLA

Status

Active

Keep Reading

Through robust partnerships with organizations, financial institutions, and funders, Opportunity International is implementing a wide range of education initiatives in communities and countries around the world.

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