Ideas to action: independent research for global prosperity
Feasibility First: Expanding Access Before Fixing Learning
December 06, 2023
The first SDG4 target is to both expand access to universal secondary school and to ensure that all children achieve minimum learning outcomes in primary school. To the extent that action must be prioritized, this article argues that achieving universal secondary education is both more feasible at s...
Saving SDG 4.1.1a
December 05, 2023
The UN is about to delete literacy and numeracy in early primary school from the list of Sustainable Development Goals because of a technical debate about measurement and a turf war between testing agencies. It shouldn’t.
Why Ending Childhood Lead Poisoning is a Top-Tier Global Development Challenge
October 17, 2023
There’s not a lot of low-hanging fruit in global development. On the issues that matter most, from preventing the next pandemic to expanding migration opportunities, and financing climate adaptation, even minor progress tends to require big financial commitments and often faces deep political resist...
Can Lead Poisoning Explain Low Test Scores in Poor Countries?
July 30, 2023
In a new paper, we examine the connection between exposure to lead—a dangerous but prevalent neurotoxicant—and children’s learning outcomes. We find that lead poisoning alone could account for more than 20 percent of the learning gap between rich and poor countries. Given the comparative ease of, sa...
How Much Would Reducing Lead Exposure Improve Children’s Learning in the Developing World?
July 30, 2023
Around half of children in low-income countries have elevated blood lead levels. What role does lead play in explaining low educational outcomes in these settings?
Improving School Management in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review
June 28, 2023
Improving school quality in low- and middle-income countries is a global priority. One way to improve quality may be to improve the management skills of school leaders. In this systematic review, we analyze the impact of interventions targeting school leaders' management practices on student learnin...
How to Improve School Management
June 28, 2023
In a new systematic review and meta-analysis, we compile the evidence on school management training programs. After combing through more than 2,500 studies, we found 20 experimental or quasi-experimental evaluations of school leader training which reported student learning outcomes.
12:30—7:00 PM ET
Get the Lead Out! A Day Connecting Local and Global Action for a World Free of Lead Poisoning
May 31, 2023
Leaded gasoline is now history. Yet from Flint, Michigan, to Dhaka, Bangladesh—and almost everywhere in between—the silent scourge of lead poisoning is still with us. Join the Center for Global Development and Pure Earth for a comprehensive half-day of learning and planning for collective action to ...
Private Schools: Small Gains, Big Questions
April 13, 2023
A formal meta-analysis of the impact of non-chain private schools on children in low- and middle-income countries.
An AI Wrote this Summary of a New Education Working Paper
March 01, 2023
Last week I was just thinking about writing a blog about a new economics working paper, when I got access to the new Bing AI chatbot, trailed as yet another improvement on ChatGPT and with up to date internet access. It turns out Bing can write a very passable blog summary of a working paper recentl...