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  • Reply to: There is no easy fix to the dropout problem   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Hi Rafa,

    Thanks for this.

    Of potential interest is the recently completed USAID-funded School Dropout Prevention Pilot (SDPP) Program that tested the effectiveness of dropout prevention interventions in four target countries: Cambodia, India, Tajikistan and Timor-Leste.

    More here:


  • Reply to: The impact of Ebola on education in Sierra Leone   3 weeks 4 days ago

    Readers might also like to know of a complementary radio series in Sierra Leone, an innovation by Child to child, shortlisted as one of the most innovative education programmes in West Africa working in child health, education, and violence prevention by the Center for Education Innovations (CEI) and Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), in collaboration with the UBS Optimus Foundation.

    The programme, Pikin to Pikin Tok (which means Child to Child Talk in the local language Krio) is made up of three different programmes – Story Time, Under the Mango Tree and Messages Through Music – each of which target different age ranges, and are intended to enhance children’s social, numeracy, literacy and life skills. Under the Mango Tree targets the older children and is designed to support them to develop critical life skills. This programme directly addresses the issues that have emerged in the wake of Ebola, including stigma and exclusion, disability, sexual violence and teenage pregnancy and helps children to critically think through how they might best deal with them. Hundreds of solar-powered and wind up radios have been distributed.

    Listeners’ Groups guide the children in their discussion of the topics discussed by their peers on the radio. Children are encouraged to phone in after the radio broadcasts to express their views and opinions, and in line with the ethos to work in partnership with children, groups of children have been recruited and trained as ‘young journalists’. They have helped to identify stories, interview key stakeholders and record audio content. The radio team mixes this audio content into high quality programmes which are then broadcast by local radio station Radio Moa across Kailahun District. The voices and views of women and girls are consistently heard throughout the programmes on Pikin to Pikin Tok. Consequently, girls have increased their understanding of sexual abuse and learned how to keep themselves safer. Girls become more willing to speak out, demonstrating their newly acquired knowledge and outperforming boys in their levels of confidence.

    For more information, go to: . It was also the subject of a feature on it in a BBC World Service December broadcast of ‘Focus on Africa’

    The programme utilized the substantial experience gained by Child to child on the ground in an early childhood education programme (Getting Ready for School) in Kailahun, at the heart of the Ebola crisis, which was forced to close because children had been meeting in groups. The project builds on the Child to Child concept of older children (Young facilitators) teaching/coaching younger children (Young Learners) which in turn, improves their health, knowledge and general well-being. More information on this can be gained from the Child to child website and through the case study currently being finalised by ODI for UNGEI under its initiative to showcase models of good practice in impact on girls’ education.

  • Reply to: There is no easy fix to the dropout problem   1 month 2 days ago

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your comments. The proposed solution is conceptually very different from the previous ones since the diagnostic identifies the problem starting since birth (in many cases) as oppose to being the outcome of a current constraint (income or other). Therefore, the real solution is prevention through ECD and compensatory basic education. But that would only benefit future generations.

    What about the current adolescents? For them the most effective intervention (that I know of) is the one implemented in Chicago. It is not only CBT, it is also one hour of additional math instruction per day and personalized mentoring. Implementing that is far from easy and quite costly indeed. In a way is like trying to fix a lifetime of deficiencies in one year.

    Regarding paying for outcomes, the evidence regarding its effectiveness is not conclusive. Have a look at the following blog post by colleagues here at the Bank.

    What the evidence suggests is that you have to learn more about the "production function", change some of the inputs and help schools use them in an effective way, rather than simply pay for outcomes.

    Happy to discuss further.

  • Reply to: There is no easy fix to the dropout problem   1 month 4 days ago

    Rafael, Thank you for the excellent blog post. A partner of ours, Escalera, (an educational non-profit based out of Chiapas, Mexico) tested a cross-cut combination of scholarships and information in a 4-arm RCT. Early evidence is coming in and starting to show similarly mixed results--working in some places but not others--in short: there's no easy fix!

    So, what can be done? I'm somewhat skeptical of your proposed solution--not because I'm against CBT (I'm quite familiar with the evidence, find it very promising and most certainly worth testing), but mostly because it sounds like the same story as before--back then, there was good evidence that economic constrains were binding and so a scholarship program sounds like an obvious, easy answer. In trying to find the easy fix, are we not falling into the same folly as before?

    Added to this complexity is that from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego (let alone from Chicago to Chiapas), the binding constraints to improving school graduation are likely to be different.

    Is there a better way of thinking about educational financing to more systematically test and adapt interventions to the complex environments we live in? A smarter way to ensure that educational financing achieves educational outcomes?

    There may be one way--paying for educational outcomes directly. Our work with Escalera and the State Government of Chiapas was the first (to our knowledge) of a state government paying providers for educational outcomes. It builds on the experiences of other national governments and donors (CIFF, DFID, WB's REACH program) that have also paid providers based on educational outcomes--putting educational policymaking closer to those to whom it affects.

    Paying for outcomes is not easy, and itself requires a lot of tweaking to get right. But what these early examples are showing is that it is becoming an increasingly popular tool within a broader toolkit that policymakers can use to achieve their educational objectives.

    All the best,
    Partner & RBF Lead,

  • Reply to: Early childhood development: A smart investment for life   1 month 2 weeks ago

    This article identify all the factors and needs which must be accomplished to design the future of children and world destination.Education play pivotal role specially in the development from personal life to modern innovation,without best and modern education ,there will be no innovations because genius people bring new innovation and creativity in the world.In present era there is tremendous challenges and need brilliant minds, education system and way of thinking that will determined the progress of world. Early education is essential to nourish the minds of children to face modern challenges and solutions to the emerging problems of the world.