With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
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CGD’s work in education focuses on the role education can play in building more equal and prosperous societies.
CGD’s education program focuses on broad welfare goals and seeks to understand the role education can play in addressing inequity. Despite the tremendous progress that has been made in getting girls and boys into school, education has not yet fulfilled its promise of being the great societal equalizer. Gender inequality remains acute and deeply rooted in the economic, political and social spheres in developing countries. Intergenerational mobility is declining, not increasing. Poor children get educated in bad schools where they do not acquire basic numeracy and literacy skills while rich children attend good schools.
Our research examines the mechanisms through which education can give children equal life opportunities and build the human capital that nations need to prosper.
Girls' education is widely recognized as crucial to development. Yet there has been surprisingly little hardheaded analysis about what is keeping girls out of school, and how to overcome these barriers. In Inexcusable Absence, Maureen Lewis and Marlaine Lockheed present new research showing that nearly three-quarters of the 60 million girls still not in school belong to ethnic, religious, linguistic, racial or other minorities. The authors then examine examples of success in helping these doubly disadvantaged girls to attend school and offer concrete proposals for new policies and programs.
The poor quality of education worldwide constitutes a learning crisis; donors and development agencies have been complicit in its creation, but they can and should be part of the solution, not by prescribing changes, but by fostering environments where change is possible.