Education Publications


New Education Finance: Exploring Impact Investment, Networks, and Market-Making in South Asia

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



P. M. Sarangapani, R. Pappu (Eds.), Handbook of Education Systems in South Asia

URL with Digital Object Identifier


Impact investment, typically described as an investment strategy with the intention to generate social and/or environmental returns alongside financial returns, is seen as a new innovative strategy for development sector finance. It is generating considerable optimism in education. Paradoxically, while education is viewed as a “high-impact” sector, naturally allied with producing the social aims of impact investment, early global sectoral data do not show substantial impact capital invested in education relative to other development sectors. Similarly, South Asia has been highlighted as ripe for impact investment but, with the exception of India, has failed to garner “big” impact capital. Nonetheless, optimism remains. Through a detailed analysis, this chapter shows that global, regional, and domestic networks and network service organizations (NSOs) create market opportunities for, and maintain interest in, education impact investment. Market-making activity is deliberate and is legitimized by NSOs through three main activities: (1) incorporating the Sustainable Development Goals as a mobilizing framework; (2) making a niche for themselves to identify and create investment opportunities; and (3) positioning themselves as knowledge experts by providing technical expertise and producing valuable data on the nascent sector.

Citation of this paper:

Srivastava P.,, & Read R. (2020). New education finance: Exploring impact investment, networks, and market-making in South Asia. In, P. Sarangapani & R. Pappu (Eds.), Handbook of education systems in South Asia. Singapore: Springer.