Advancing EdTech’s focus on evidence-based impact

A new working group, comprised of leading organizations that fund EdTech ventures and research, is dedicated to advancing the industry’s focus on evidence-based impact. Led by the Jacobs Foundation, the EdFIRST (Education Foundations Investing in Research and Systems Transformation) working group functions as a learning community, collaborating to increase the use of evidence in investment decisions and drive changes in practices and standards within EdTech companies. The ultimate goal of this working group is to strengthen the EdTech ecosystem and promote a significant shift towards evidence-based impact in EdTech, with the aim of influencing global and local education policy by 2030 and beyond.

The members of this group are organizations that invest in education globally, seeking measurable positive impacts as a result and employing a variety of financial instruments, including grant-giving.

The EdFIRST working group members collaborate in the following ways:

  1. Sharing information and knowledge among themselves and with external parties.
  2. Collecting, sharing, and developing tools to assist each other in their work.
  3. Fostering connections within their community to provide support.

The working group holds regular meetings, including at least one in-person event per year, during which they exchange information and insights to enhance their individual work and impact. These gatherings also facilitate trusted communication, strengthen relationships, and create opportunities for serendipity. The most recent meeting took place in October 2023, where members found mutual inspiration and support to continue their distinct yet complementary paths. During this meeting, member organizations collectively crafted a charter outlining their commitment to increasing the use of evidence in their investment strategies.

The Jacobs Foundation serves as the curator and manager of the network, supporting its culture, fostering conversations, and driving initiatives. Learn more about our work to unlock the Impact of EdTech with evidence here.