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Project Case Study

Supporting local provision of low cost private education in Lagos

Piloting sustainable business models to improve education quality in Lagos’ low cost private schools.

Adam Smith International (ASI) is managing the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)-funded Developing Effective Private Education Nigeria (DEEPEN) Challenge Fund.

This component is designed to pilot sustainable business models to improve education quality in low cost private schools (LCPS) in Lagos.

DFID is committed to understanding what works to improve learning in this market; it will invest up to £2.1 million from 2016 to 2018 to ensure that girls and boys have access to improved education quality and that investments are monitored effectively.

Project info

Developing Effective Private Education Nigeria (DEEPEN) Challenge Fund


  • 2016-2018



  • UK's Department for International Development

This Challenge Fund will take experimental approaches to accelerate quality improvements while also addressing inequities. In Lagos, the private sector provides pre-primary and primary education services for over one million children from all socio-economic backgrounds, including the most disadvantaged. However, many private schools operate without the correct licences. There is therefore a growing need to involve the private sector and help LCPS improve Lagos’ human capital.

While the objective of the Fund is simple – to pilot sustainable business models to improve education quality in LCPS – the approach is not one dimensional. ASI’s solution is based on Making Markets Work for the Poor approaches, which rely on locally sourced innovation, designed and led by those most familiar with the challenges of the LCPS sector.

The Fund selects and implements a portfolio of complementary pilot programmes that leverage local knowledge and innovation to improve the quality and growth of the LCPS sector. Grants may range from classroom teaching support to promoting sustainable school business models. ASI also foster closer links with local education service providers and disseminate case studies of successful educational entrepreneurs to encourage further investment.

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