Arti Dhar, MBA ’19

SOCIAL FINANCE INDIA

The title of Arti’s project for Social Finance India.

Social Finance is an innovative financial intermediary whose mission is to mobilize capital to achieve positive social and environmental outcomes. The organization was first launched in the UK in 2007 and is known for pioneering Social Impact Bonds and Development Impact Bonds. In 2018, Social Finance came to India, with a mandate to first tackle the issue of poor learning outcomes in the Indian education sector. Through the $1 Billion India Education Outcomes Fund (IEOF), the main project I worked on, the goal is to design and launch multiple impact bonds at scale to not only support effective and scalable education interventions, but to also a create an ecosystem of NGOs, private donors, traditional investors, and policymakers that would enable partnerships, develop a knowledge base and further explore ways to create systemic change in the Indian education system. 

In my role as Sr. Consultant at IEOF, my responsibilities included researching and developing a repository of original thought pieces to help support the market building initiative, conduct extensive due diligence on different education service providers (NGOs and enterprises) across India, and create collateral (prospectus, pitch decks) for potential investors.

Social Finance as an institution has tremendous credibility. However, impact investing is in an extremely nascent stage in India. To help introduce the ideas of impact bonds, catalytic capital and innovative financing for social change to the traditional investor and grant giving class (who work in silos and don’t necessary interact with each other) was a great learning experience. Working for a new and cutting edge organization like this not only allows you to work on the back end to help structure the projects, it also allows you to have face time with the larger audience to whom you have to sell new ideas or new instruments to invest in.

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Allyson Rimmer, NPTS ’18

Summer Intern, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies

This summer, I got to live in New Delhi, India and work for the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. This was my first ever experience not only in international security, but also in a think tank environment. I was able to be

 published three times, one article of which has been republished on Indian Defense Review and Eurasia Review. I also learned how to participate in peer edits and how to write a concise and original argument about complex topics. The most rewarding thing about this summer though was the ability to live in India and learn about the India-Pakistan conflict from a domestic perspective.

Working in an Indian think tank changed they way I saw the conflict and taught me about terms preferred in the nuclear community concerning India’s nuclear program. I also traveled to the Wagah border between India and Pakistan in Punjab where I got to see the fence and Indian bases. But the most rewarding part of this trip was attending the Wagah border ceremony between India and Pakistan. It was a wonderful instance of track 2 diplomacy at work and an incredible cultural experience.

My time in India was incredible and the IPL funding was a huge part of making that happen. I encourage other MIIS students to consider the IPCS internship especially if they are interested in South Asia. The IPCS actually publishes your work true to their word. They help shape you into a political writer and help masters students like me, who have little experience coming into the NPTS program, establish a profile of expertise beyond work at MIIS.

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