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CGD Policy Blogs

 

A school in Afghanistan. Photo by UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Keeping Afghan Children in School: Five Recommendations for the International Community

Calls have been made for the international community to protect and support education for Afghan children at home and abroad. Last week Gordon Brown urged the G7 to continue funding education for girls in Afghanistan, as long as the Taliban government allows girls to attend school. We agree, but with caveats. We urge the G7 and the broader international community to step up their own hosting of Afghan refugees, to ensure that education is included in humanitarian responses, and to embrace local solutions as they move to protect education for Afghan girls and boys.

Ester Awo Bartey and her grandson, Kofi Abbey talk about LEAP (Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty) and how it has benefited her families lives, in Abokobi Village

How Did Students Recover Learning Loss During COVID-19 School Closures in Ghana?

How much learning did children lose whilst schools were closed in 2020? Whilst hard data is still scarce, the opinions of parents in Ghana are clear. Our survey of almost 3,700 households carried out from the 8th to 22nd of March in 2021 found that over 85 percent of parents said their children definitely or probably lost learning (Figure 1). (For more from that joint IEPA-CGD survey, see our previous blog post and stay tuned.)

Figure showing men are more likely to say women shouldnt work outside the home than women are

Promoting Gender Equality in Pakistan Means Tackling Both Real and Misperceived Gender Norms

The education gaps that are closing between boys and girls in many countries persist in Pakistan. Our large new household survey on the factors associated with differences in gender norms sheds light on what policymakers can do in the post-COVID world to address the gender gap and improve opportunities for girls. Here are four things we learnt from the survey results.

A girl points at a blackboard covered in writing. Photo by Chau Doan / World Bank

Five Ways That Education Systems Can Support Girls in the Face of Climate Change, Today

In an accompanying blog we argue that girls’ education is unlikely to reduce future emissions, and that we should not think of girls in low-income countries as ‘assets’ to solve a climate crisis. But there is a link between education and climate change—it’s just the other way around. Here are five ways in which climate events are negatively impacting young people, especially girls, and how education systems can help tackle them.

Students in a classroom in Bangladesh. Photo by Dominic Chavez / World Bank

Fund Girls’ Education. Don’t Greenwash It.

You might think girls' education and climate change are quite different issues. But, with money for and political attention on climate change growing, savvy education donors and advocacy organisations are increasingly making links between the two. The UK’s FCDO, for instance, claims girls in poor countries are “among the greatest assets we have in responding to the climate crisis.” 

We argue this strategy is empirically and morally flawed. There is no need to greenwash education.

Figure showing repetition rates between 2020 and 2021 for different demographics. Across the board, rates have risen, except for students in private school

What Happened to Senegalese Students after the COVID-19 School Closure?

CGD in collaboration with the Centre de recherche pour le développement économique et social (CRDES) conducted a face-to-face survey at the national level to measure the adverse effects of the pandemic in schools and among Senegalese students. The survey took place in May 2021 with 984 households and 182 schools surveyed throughout the country. This blog post summarizes some of the key findings of the household survey.

What Happened to Dropout Rates after COVID-19 School Closures in Ghana?

Like most countries across the world, Ghana closed schools for long stretches of 2020. In this blog, we present findings from a nationally representative household survey carried out in March 2021 on the effects of the pandemic on education in the country.

An image of an African mother helping her daughter with school.

How Do Early Child Development Interventions Affect Mothers? In Most Cases, We Don’t Know.

Lots of children in low- and middle-income countries do not receive the nutrition or stimulation in early childhood that will help them thrive later in life. In recent years, many countries (along with their international partners) have increased investments in programs seeking to meet that need: parent training classes, increased access to daycare and preschool programs, nutrition supplementation, cash support, and more.

Chart showing that the actual pass rates and the rates of our sample, with the same students sitting for multiple tests, show almost identical variation year-to-year

Can Ghana Maintain School Quality After Abolishing Secondary School Fees? We May Never Know.

Each year over two million secondary-school students across Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia sit coordinated tests known as the WASSCE. In a new CGD working paper, undertaken by researchers from CGD and IEPA-Ghana, we look at English and maths papers in West Africa’s leading high-stakes exams and show that they can vary significantly in difficulty from year-to-year. If exams are not comparable over time then this has implications for countries that rely on results as they make education policy and for fairness for the candidates who sit them.

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