Social finance

New and innovative approaches to financing development are critical to solving South Asia’s biggest challenges. Social finance is at the forefront of these new ways of working and has the potential to fundamentally improve the way philanthropy and international development are delivered.

The British Asian Trust is a global leader in social finance, pioneering its use in South Asia for seven years, with a strong track record of driving successful collaborations to solve pressing challenges in South Asia. We help leaders shift the focus of development finance from paying for ‘inputs’ to paying for ‘outcomes’.

IJP 9 2 22 BAT Dinner 0031

“I am also immensely proud of the fact that the British Asian Trust continues to be a genuine leader in social finance and development impact bonds – a marvellously imaginative innovation which I have done my best to support and encourage for the past ten years.”

Our Royal Founding Patron, His Majesty The King

Our focus area

Through our social finance programmes, we have built successful multi-stakeholder collaborations to improve education, skilling, and employment outcomes.  

Our award-winning initiatives have: 

  • Unlocked new streams of capital for development 
  • Forged partnerships between private sector, civil society, and government. 
  • Delivered transformative impact through measurable outcomes 
  • Demonstrated the value add that outcomes-based financing brings  

Our proven ability to fundraise and our dedicated focus and networks in South Asia have enabled us to build a strong track record and high market credibility. To illustrate the depth of our work, 3 of India’s 5 outcomes-based impact bonds have been conceptualised and executed by the British Asian Trust.  

Excellent Results For World’S Largest Education Development Impact Bond

Through our outcomes-based approach, we have built partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders:  

  • Government and affiliated bodies such as the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and state governments in India, and the Government of Sindh, Sindh Education Foundation (SEF), and Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) in Pakistan. 
  • Philanthropic partners such as the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Maitri Trust, Dubai Cares, Tata Trusts, and others. 
  • Investors and investment managers such as Bridges Outcomes Partnerships and UBS Optimus Foundation. 
  • CSR partners such as JSW Foundation, HSBC, Reliance Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank. 
  • Multilateral partners and development finance institutions such as the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), USAID, ADB, World Bank.  
  • Design, technical, and evaluation partners such as the Central Square Foundation, Dalberg, ConveGenius Insights, Oxford Policy Management. 
  • Knowledge partners such as the Government Outcomes Lab at the University of Oxford, Brookings Institution, Ecorys.  
  • Leading nonprofit partners across the education and skilling ecosystems. 


What we are doing

  • LiftEd (2022-2027)

    Strengthening foundational learning for up to 4 million children in India over 5 years in alignment with Government of India’s NIPUN Bharat Mission.

    TBAT A Final 83
  • Skill Impact Bond (2021-2025)

    Skilling 50,000 young Indians over 4 years, 60% of whom will be women, by equipping them with skills required to secure and sustain employment.

    British Asian Trust Collaborates With Global Partners To Launch India’S First Skill Impact Bond
  • Pakistan Employment Impact Bond

    Working in partnership with the Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF), we are designing Pakistan’s first impact bond for employment outcomes.

    SAK 8706 (1)
  • Outcomes Readiness Programme (Ongoing)

    Building capacity and training non-profits in India with the guidance and tools needed to access outcomes-based financing.

    Quality Education India
  • Bharat EdTech Initiative (2022-2025)

    Bridging the learning gap for one million students from low-income communities in India by unlocking the power of EdTech.

    young boy holding chalkboard smiling to camera
Ronald Cohen Pjg

“What the British Asian Trust is doing in social finance is truly groundbreaking: it is capable of delivering vital social improvement at scale.”

Sir Ronald Cohen

Past Work


  • Blogs

    Ramping up private sector engagement in secondary education - insights from the Marmalade Festival 2024

  • Blogs

    LiftEd: From conception to launch – Part 2

    TBAT A Final 2 (1)
  • Blogs

    LiftEd: From conception to launch – Part 1

    TBAT A Final 24 (1)
  • News & events

    LiftEd launch - impacting four million children in India across five years

    Private sector and civil society collaborate to transform education...

    Picture Courtesy Language And Learning Foundation (4)
  • Blogs

    Quality Education India Development Impact Bond shortlisted for the Concordia Impact Award

    Quality Education India (1)
  • News & events

    Evidence and insights from paying for outcomes in India

    Go Lab Report
  • News & events

    Skill Impact Bond wins AVPN Constellations Award for creating a more equitable world for women in Asia

    Whatsapp Image 2023 06 20 At 16.06.03
  • Gallery

    The Skill Impact Bond's first in-person event in New Delhi

    May 2023

  • News & events

    India’s first impact bond to drive employment outcomes shows promising trends for young women

  • News & events

    Back-to-School Outcomes Fund to address learning crisis

    Back To School Outcomes Fund To Address Learning Crisis
  • Blogs

    Social finance Why EdTech funding needs to link to outcomes, not numbers

    Social Finance Why Edtech Funding Needs To Link To Outcomes, Not Numbers Card

If you’re exploring outcomes-based finance or want to understand how you can maximise your impact, come talk to us.   

As we continue to grow the social finance ecosystem in South Asia, bringing meaningful partnerships and diverse streams of capital together is our top priority.