Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs

 

Peeling led paint on the side of a house

Biden Wants to Eliminate Lead Poisoning in American Children. We Propose an Even More Ambitious Goal: Global Eradication.

We applaud the Biden Administration's effort to address lead poisoning in the US. But we suggest Biden adopt an even more ambitious goal: not just national elimination, but global eradication of lead poisoning, especially in children. A global eradication campaign—modelled loosely on prior and ongoing global efforts to eradicate smallpox, polio, and guinea worm, mixed with inspiration from the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control—would offer a tremendous contribution to global welfare, economic growth, and even world peace. An American-led effort to eliminate lead poisoning globally could be an international moonshot elevating the Biden administration’s international statue and legacy.

A map showing the students who have received the most education in the last year (darker colors represent more education)

It’s Been a Year Since Schools Started to Close Due to COVID-19

Twelve months ago, the world was watching as schools closed across China and millions of students began learning online from their homes. Most of us didn’t think for a moment that just a few weeks later, almost every country in the world would close their schools and the education of more than a billion children would be disrupted. Since then, millions of students have not had any school-based, face-to-face education.

Who Is Going Back to School? A Four-Country Rapid Survey in Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan

To understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on re-enrollment for girls and boys, CGD and Malala Fund collaborated to analyze results from a series of rapid surveys that Malala Fund commissioned in Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. These surveys are among the first (to our knowledge) to elicit children’s self-reported likelihood of going back to school and their experiences during the pandemic.

Chart showing prevalence of private schools in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. The other three have far higher private enrollment than Europe, and pre-primary and high secondary have the highest percentages across all.

The Economic Shock of COVID-19 May Hit Private School and Contract Teachers Hardest

While regular public school teachers may be relatively safe from significant wage reductions following COVID-19 in many parts of the world, the structure of the teacher labor market will likely play an important role in the impact of the shock on the education system as a whole. Private schools and contract teachers are a key part of the education workforce in many developing countries and face disproportionate risks of job loss and salary reductions following the pandemic.

Map of social assistance programs during COVID around the world

A Footballer’s Masterclass in Policy Influence

Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to get the UK government to feed disadvantaged children during the school holidays is a masterclass in campaigning: a single, achievable policy issue, phenomenal use of his platform, backed with good data and an increasingly strong coalition of partners.

Four charts showing that more educated, higher income, and higher skill-level workers are more likely to be accessing distance learning for their kids. The relationship for region isn't as clear.

Three Lessons from a New Phone Survey in Pakistan

After six months of school closures, Pakistan began reopening its schools in a phased manner on September 15. Schools had been shut since March 13, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand the impacts, CGD partnered with TCF in Pakistan and with CERP to survey households with students in TCF schools on how COVID-19 has affected their children’s education, their livelihoods, and health.

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