An article of faith among development economists is that “evidence-based policy” holds the promise of faster progress. Barbara Bruns set out to find a rigorously evaluated pilot whose evidence had led to a program at scale. It wasn’t easy.
CGD Policy Blogs
Three years after the SDGs were adopted and established goals for education focused on learning, rather than enrollment, there is still no solid global baseline against which to measure progress and 100 countries still do not measure learning at all.
We need an international assessment that will pinpoint educational challenges by providing consistent information on the status of all youth, not just those who have somehow stayed in formal schooling into adolescence. Think of a universal test of nine-year-olds in basic math, reading, and problem solving skills.
Is big money really necessary, or even sufficient, to improving learning outcomes for children in the developing world? CGD’s background research submitted to the Commission has convinced us that the key to faster progress is not incremental money; it is focused action in two critical areas. The first necessary, unavoidable step is for political leaders, education officials, and parents in low-income countries to recognize the depth of the problem (children’s lives and public money wasted) in their country, and have the information to design and implement local solutions. The second is to shift education funding to paying for results, rather than inputs and plans.