Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs

 

An image of a map where large-scale interventions to improve girls’ education have been implemented

Girls’ Education: Going from What Works to What Works at Scale

Girls’ education remains a high priority for international organizations and for governments and non-government organizations in low- and middle-income countries, as it should be! There are many countries in the world where girls lag behind boys in either access or performance, and gender discrimination in the labor market may nudge policymakers to boost girls’ education even after parity in educational access has been achieved, in order to get closer to gender equality in later life outcomes.

World Teachers’ Day: The Professional Development That Actually Makes a Difference

What distinguishes a good teacher professional development program from a bad one? We dug through dozens of studies of teacher PD programs to try and figure this out. Then we compared the characteristics of good PD programs to the characteristics of large-scale PD programs implemented by many countries. We document our findings in our recently published paper, “Teacher Professional Development around the World: The Gap between Evidence and Practice.” Here are three things we learned.

A graphic with words related to learning and education.

32 New Findings from the Global Education RISE Conference 2021: Parents, Politics, and the Pandemic—Plus the Education Interventions People Would Trash

Last week was the annual conference for the Research on Improving Systems of Education (or RISE) program, a large scale, multi-country research program developed to answer the question: “How can education systems be reformed to deliver better learning for all?” You can read the full conference program and you can watch videos of all the sessions. But here, I’ve broken down the key findings and takeaways from each presentation

Getting the Best We Can Buy: Three Solutions to Improve the Use of Value for Money Evidence in Global Development

The need for effective evidence-informed priority-setting in global development is more urgent than ever, with widespread global challenges and reduced funding due to both COVID-19 related public spending and economic slowdowns. This blog explores three key barriers to using value for money evidence in global development and offers three solutions to overcome these challenges.

A man on the phone wearing a mask

Tech Plus Teachers: One-on-one Phone Tutorials Didn’t Help Kids Learn During School Closures in Sierra Leone

When schools in Sierra Leone closed last March, the government was more ready than many to respond. We designed a randomised control trial which assigned 4,399 students from 25 government primary schools to receive—in addition to the standard access to the government’s broadcast that all students received—either reminders to tune in or reminders and weekly phone tutorials with teachers.

summer reading book covers

What We're Reading in Summer 2021

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of vaccines and reopening, it was the age of the Delta variant and closing down again. For many of us, the past year and a half has been stranger than fiction, a whirlwind of emotions and uncertainties. We hope this year's summer reading list provides you with new stories, strategies, and distractions to get you through the next few socially-distanced, masked-up months.

An image of books and a laptop on a desk.

The Role of Randomization in Development Research: A Book Review of “Randomized Control Trials in the Field of Development”

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are, at this point, a well-established part of the development research toolkit. Yet policymakers, researchers, and others still debate how best to learn from RCTs, what they can teach us (and what they can’t), what ethical challenges they bring, and how big a part of that toolkit they should be. Late last year, Bédécarrats, Guérin, and Roubaud edited a 450-page volume on the topic—Randomized Control Trials in the Field of Development: A Critical Perspective. Here’s my take, published in the journal Population and Development Review a few days ago.

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.

Slide laying out features of teacher PFP programs, from who and what gets rewarded to the structure of rewards.

Teacher Pay for Performance: Does It Really Work?

We were asked: were teacher pay for performance schemes, where teachers are rewarded for better performance, the way to go? So, we embarked on a comprehensive review of the literature on teacher PFP in low and middle-income countries to help answer the big question—does it really work? Our team’s conditional “perhaps, but possibly not” answer was not very inspiring.

 Figure. Potential pathways from foundational literacy and numeracy to life outcomes

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy Skills Are Important, Obviously. But Are They More Important than All Other Education Investments?

It’s rare to read an education report these days that doesn’t mention the learning crisis. That’s not surprising. Literacy and numeracy skills among children are dismally low: less than half of all children in low- and middle-income countries can read by the time they are 10 years old. As these data have emerged in recent years, the global education community has swung its focus sharply toward learning.

Pages