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Do More Hours Equal More Learning? Probably, But It Isn't Cheap

David Evans's picture
In many countries around the world, universal primary school enrollment has been achieved. But quality remains an ongoing challenge. How do you get students to learn more? One solution that comes up often in Latin America and the Caribbean is to increase the length of the school day. From Mais Educação in Brazil to Jornada Escolar Completa in Chile, many governments are considering or are already rolling out additional hours to the school day.

Will more hours help?

Weekly links June 19: The anthropological argument for just giving cash, slow thinking, what those classic psych experiments really say and more…

David McKenzie's picture

Randomizing Competition: allowing CCT recipients to get more goods for their money

David McKenzie's picture
The Dominican Republic’s Solidaridad conditional cash transfer program provides its monetary transfers to poor families in the form of a debit card that can only be used at a network of grocery stores affiliated with the program (it does this in part to ensure they spend the money on food). The typical monthly transfer is about $36, which is 17% of median monthly food expenditure.

Weekly links June 5: what to read, enhancing trust in your data, what to call those skills, and more…

David McKenzie's picture

Pitch Perfect? An Update on the SME Ideas Competition

David McKenzie's picture
One of the benefits of impact evaluation has been fostering more collaboration between researchers and operational staff implementing projects. However, at present this collaboration largely happens once the project itself has been decided upon. To try and get more researcher ideas influencing what projects get done in the first place, I partnered with the World Bank’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship unit to hold a competition for new ideas for SME projects, financed by DFID under part of a Strategic Research Program (SRP) program grant (I previously blogged about the launch).
As a pilot initiative, our key questions were:
  • Is there a supply of new ideas that researchers have that are not currently being tried? Will researchers take the time to put these ideas forward?
  • Is there a demand from operational teams and governments working on SME projects for new ideas in this space?
  • Can we form matches between this supply and demand?

Starting antiretroviral treatment early: an update

Berk Ozler's picture

Almost four years ago I wrote a blog post titled “Advocating a treatment that may not help the treated?”, which was in response to the news that starting treatment with antiretroviral drugs immediately rather than waiting until the then standard of falling below a CD4+ count of 250 significantly reduced transmission of HIV among HIV-discordant couples. The study also reported effects on the health of the HIV-infected partner and found that the evidence for any beneficial effects for the person being treated were weak at best.