In India and globally, there has been increasing interest in understanding and ensuring effectiveness of education interventions on student learning outcomes. As we live in a world with limited resources, it’s not enough for interventions to simply work. We should ask how we can maximize impact within limited budgets.

However, there is limited information on ‘cost effectiveness’, especially in the Indian context. There is no clear understanding of how much it should cost to achieve learning outcomes. This is a key barrier to outcomes-based funding, necessitating a lot of effort negotiating and benchmarking appropriate prices for outcomes each time.

This study is a starting point in plugging important knowledge gaps around effective and efficient ways to support student learning. It provides guidance on prices to expect per learning outcome for effective education interventions in India to inform decisions on which educational interventions to invest in for how much. Interventions that have not been shown to be effective have been excluded.

The study’s relevance is further enhanced in light of the recent National Education Policy (NEP) that focuses on outcomes. The mobilization of resources around NEP make data on cost-effectiveness important and timely.

As students are getting back to school after many months of school closures due to the pandemic, we hope this guide is useful reference in deciding which interventions to invest in and how much, and understanding the potential of outcomes-based financing. We also provide some lessons from what has worked in the remote context.