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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.

Graph showing that vaccination rates will rise much more quickly in wealthy countries, with the gap peaking in early 2022, then eventually closing in 2023

How Biden Can End “Vaccine Apartheid”

Building on spectacular scientific achievements, the rich world’s vaccine response to the pandemic within its borders has been (with notable exceptions) commendable. But the response of the international community has been mystifyingly myopic and unconscionably delinquent. We’re headed toward global “vaccine apartheid.” Visibly leading the charge to vaccinate the world, with significant political and financial commitments, offers the US the chance to regain considerable soft power.

An image of the IMF logo.

Low-Income Countries Need a Boost for the Recovery. Here's How the IMF Can Step Up

Most observers gave the IMF high marks for its initial response to the COVID-19 crisis. It responded quickly with emergency financing to 86 countries, including a fivefold increase in its concessional lending to low-income countries. And its leadership was quick to recognize that the unprecedented nature of the crisis warranted a different approach to macroeconomic and financial policy.

A Latin American mother with her daughter.

The Art of Indirect Measures: Asking about Violence Against Women and Children in Remote Surveys

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers grappled with an ethical and methodological dilemma: should they integrate measures of violence against women and children into remote data collection efforts—and if so, what logistical protocols were required to safeguard participants against harm? Despite decades of good practice guidelines, institutional ethical boards are often ill-equipped to advise or make determinations on violence data collection, and this is especially true for less traditional remote surveys. Thus, researchers may end up making decisions on what to ask—and what ethical protocol to put in place—based on their experience, knowledge of the study population (setting), and their comfort level with including sensitive questions.

An image of a group of women in India wearing masks.

India Needs to Focus on Three Urgent Actions to Mitigate its COVID-19 Humanitarian Crisis

India’s second COVID-19 wave has been explosive, reaching world record totals of over 300,000 daily officially reported cases. The true number is likely to be much higher, with a large number of cases missed as indicated by the delays in testing and rapidly rising positivity rates - currently one in every four people tested are positive for COVID-19 across India. Leading models estimate that there could be over 1 million cases per day. The health service has collapsed, with queues of ambulances parked outside full hospitals, oxygen and drug shortages in multiple states, and life-saving non-COVID services interrupted.

An image of a doctor working on a laptop.

Rapid Priority Setting in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: The Potential of Adaptive Health Technology Assessments

Health budgets are limited and decision makers in all countries face very challenging decisions about which health interventions will be provided, and which will not. COVID has only added to this pressing priority setting problem. In this blog, we highlight key takeaways from our recent commentary in the BMJ Global Health, where we make the case for “adaptive health technology assessment,” or “aHTA.”

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