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Quality education for all children? What works in education in developing countries

  • Howard White

Education is critical to economic and social development. There has been substantial progress in improving education in developing countries, but there are still considerable challenges ahead. In recent years, improvements in enrollment worldwide have slowed down, increasing by only two per cent between 2004 and 2009. Moreover, it is important for children not only to enroll in schools but to also complete their schooling. Although the international community has focused predominately on getting children into school, it is just as important to ensure that children are able to learn and acquire new skills when they do enter classrooms. What works in getting children into school in developing countries, keeping them there, and ensuring that they learn whilst there? Drawing on systematic review evidence, Howard White shows that most interventions intended to get children into school do work, as do those to improve learning outcomes. Some, of course, work better than others.

Howard White leads the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie),which funds impact evaluations and systematic reviews that generate evidence on what works in development programs and why. He is Managing Editor of the Journal of Development Studies and the Journal of Development Effectiveness.

This seminar is part of the new INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION INITIATIVE, a project co-sponsored by the Freeman Spogli Institute, the Rural Education Action Project, the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and the Center for Education Policy Analysis