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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.

 

Literacy of Adults in Developing Countries: New Data from a Skills Survey

Recently, Lant Prichett blogged about the latest round of the OECD international assessment of adult skills (PIAAC), which included for the first time measures for Jakarta, showing the dismally low levels of skills even in the capital city of a typical middle income country like Indonesia. This prompted me to look at the World Bank’s new skill survey of working age adults in urban areas of developing countries (STEP) that includes a literacy assessment calibrated to the same scale as PIAAC, thus allowing for comparisons. Two striking findings emerge.

Why School Systems Matter, and How We Can Fix Them

Accountability in school systems is essential to deliver better learning and accelerate progress in developing countries. What is still really lacking—and what RISE is working towards—is a coherent and complete analytical framework capturing the key elements of a system of school accountability that can explain the divergent experiences we have seen in school reform.

The RISE World Tour: What We’ve Been Reading on Education Systems (Education Links)

This periodic summary of what we’re reading from RISE (Research on Improving Systems of Education), CGD’s initiative on education reform in the developing world, is a little late as we’re in the middle of touring the world speaking to potential bidders for RISE Country Research Programs, in London, Dar es Salaam, Abuja, Delhi, Islamabad, and Jakarta. We’re accepting expressions of interest until 27 August; please see the RISE website for more details.