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Two teachers lead students in a game at a school in Liberia

Diaries from the Frontline: Preparing for School Reopening

Policymakers making difficult decisions about when to reopen schools are balancing the health concerns of the pandemic against the social and economic repercussions of school closures. Ultimately, schools cannot stay closed forever and governments need to start planning for an eventual reopening, whenever that may be. In this fourth installment of our “Diaries from the Frontline” series, we highlight how TCF and Luminos are preparing their teachers, principals, and children for school reopenings.

A hand holding a mobile phone. Adobe Stock.

COVID-19 Response Underlines the Need for Portable Social Protection Programs

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the need for a universal and portable social protection system that can uniquely verify people and deliver benefits efficiently and at scale. In most cases, existing programs are not portable, meaning those who live and work in a place other than where they are registered—like many who have migrated domestically for work—are unable to access benefits.

Projected IDA allocations under scenario 4, with grants rising to 59%

More World Bank Borrowers Will Need Grants, Not Loans. As a Result, More World Bank Donors Will Need to Pony Up

Rather than providing relief on repayments from existing loans, IDA’s debt sustainability framework adjusts future financing from loans to grants for countries at high risk of debt distress. But what happens to IDA’s loans-to-grants model when a large number of IDA countries trigger the risk thresholds? Can IDA afford its commitment to debt sustainability?

One of the communities served by a Luminos school.

Diaries from the Frontline: Supporting and Engaging Teachers during COVID-19

This week, as part of our “Diaries from the Frontline” series we are looking at how TCF and the Luminos Fund are supporting their teachers and principals. Their experiences show that teachers, not buildings, are the backbone of any school system. And even while schools are closed, there is evidence that teachers are continuing to keep students engaged with learning.

Chart showing a relationship between student answers on the problem of the day and the overall test results

Is It Possible to Measure Learning by Phone?

Using lessons from early movers in Botswana, together with the extensive literature on face-to-face oral assessments, we’re concluding, “yes,” we think it is possible to measure learning by phone. We’ve published some preliminary principles and discussion in a new working paper. Below is a quick summary—five tips which we hope are helpful for those embarking on their own efforts.

Tracking the Gender Impact of COVID-19

We know that the coronavirus pandemic is affecting men and women differently and may exacerbate gender inequalities, and we also know that gender roles will help shape adaptive responses to the pandemic. But do we have the granular information that is needed (on regions, sectors, coverage, and severity) to design effective, gender-informed mitigation and recovery policies?

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