Ideas to action: independent research for global prosperity
Saving SDG 4.1.1a
December 05, 2023
The UN is about to delete literacy and numeracy in early primary school from the list of Sustainable Development Goals because of a technical debate about measurement and a turf war between testing agencies. It shouldn’t.
Phonics and Foreign Aid: Can America Teach the World to Read?
November 20, 2023
Over two decades and dozens of countries, the United States Agency for International Development has refined a package of support for early-grade reading, often referred to as “structured pedagogy”, which includes textbooks, teacher training, coaching, and lesson plans.
9:30—11:00 AM ET / 2:30-4:00 PM GMT
Phonics and Foreign Aid: Lessons from a Decade of USAID Early-grade Reading Evaluations
November 06, 2023
In this seminar, a team of researchers at CGD and others will present new analysis of USAID's evaluation portfolio, quantifying the impacts on pupils' reading outcomes and examining the cost-effectiveness of American aid. The presentation will be followed by a discussion of policy implications and b...
Why Ending Childhood Lead Poisoning is a Top-Tier Global Development Challenge
October 17, 2023
There’s not a lot of low-hanging fruit in global development. On the issues that matter most, from preventing the next pandemic to expanding migration opportunities, and financing climate adaptation, even minor progress tends to require big financial commitments and often faces deep political resist...
Trends in Education Quality in the Developing World: An Update and a Note on India
September 22, 2023
We’ve updated our 2022 working paper with Laura Moscoviz on long run trends in education quality with several new surveys from around the world. Notably, a new survey round for India (NFHS-5) casts doubt on earlier data (NFHS-3). Dropping the suspect data, India’s current learning levels are unchang...
Can Lead Poisoning Explain Low Test Scores in Poor Countries?
July 30, 2023
In a new paper, we examine the connection between exposure to lead—a dangerous but prevalent neurotoxicant—and children’s learning outcomes. We find that lead poisoning alone could account for more than 20 percent of the learning gap between rich and poor countries. Given the comparative ease of, sa...
How Much Would Reducing Lead Exposure Improve Children’s Learning in the Developing World?
July 30, 2023
Around half of children in low-income countries have elevated blood lead levels. What role does lead play in explaining low educational outcomes in these settings?
CGD in the News
High exposure to lead hits children’s ability to learn, says report
July 30, 2023
Will Raising Test Scores in Developing Countries Produce More Health, Wealth, and Happiness Later in Life?
July 14, 2023
It’s rare to read an education report that doesn’t mention the learning crisis. As data on low learning levels have emerged in recent years, global education aid has swung its focus sharply toward improving test scores among primary school children. Of course, learning to read is a good thing in its...