Ideas to Action:

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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Rwanda Teacher Pay-for-Performance

Attracting the Right Teachers in Rwanda and Four Other New Findings in Global Education

Paying teachers for performance may have very different effects on the effort that current teachers put in and on the kinds of people that choose to become teachers. In a novel experiment by Leaver and others in Rwanda, advertisements in some randomly selected communities offered candidates pay-for-performance contracts, and ads in other communities offered standard, fixed-wage contracts. 

Word cloud of paper titles from RISE conference

30 New Findings in Global Education: RISE Conference 2019

Last week, RISE held its annual conference, which economist Karthik Muralidharan has dubbed “the top conference on education in developing countries in the world.” Over the course of two days, researchers presented over 30 new findings on education systems. If you want a quick taste of this year’s research highlights, read on!

Chart showing the effect of one additional year of schooling on test scores in Peru and Vietnam

Do Your Students Have a Growth Mindset? And Four Other New Findings in Global Education

One intervention to improve students’ performance sought to show them that with hard work, they can “grow” their intelligence, just like athletes can grow their muscles. The result? No impact: no impact on student effort, no impact on student test scores, no impact on dropout rates, no impact on repetition rates, and no impact on plans to continue studying after high school. 

Stock photo of papers and a laptop on a desk.

Yes, Information Alone Really Can Change Behavior

“The fact that giving people information does not, by itself, change how they act is one of the most firmly established in social science,” a recent Washington Post op-ed stated. That’s not true. Here are ten examples where simply providing information changed behavior.

Syrian children present to teachers from the UK, Jordan and Lebanon in Zaatari

The Politics of Leaving Politics Out of the Classroom, and 4 Other New Findings in Global Education

There is a municipality in northeastern Brazil called Sobral, and schools there have the best learning outcomes in all of Brazil. Jaime Saavedra of the World Bank recounts his conversation with Sobral’s current mayor (and former secretary of education). “Mayor Gomes told me that ‘the most important political decision we took, was to keep politics out of education decisions.’ That statement is a deal breaker regarding education reform.

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