Education in international development settings, including in conflict and post-conflict contexts: teachers, quality and learning, and inequalities related to poverty, gender and disability.

News: CSW62: How can we improve life choices for women?

08/03/2018
Traditional and cultural expectations, low economic status or lack of access to healthcare and education are persistent and major barriers for women and girls. These barriers remind us that we need to change the structures and policies that continue to hold women back. With this as the backdrop, the Impact Initiative is launching its campaign #Policies4 Improving Life Choices for Women, proposing policy ideas and innovations that could empower women. The campaign will highlight the evidence and research funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Department for International Development (DFID) Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research and the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme that should inform decision making and interventions.
This innovative project examines the causes of low educational outcomes in schools in India where many children fail to achieve basic literacy and numeracy levels, while dropout rates, affecting girls more than boys, are very high. A starting point of this research is that bilingualism and multilingualism have revealed cognitive advantages and good learning skills in children raised in western societies. Multilingualism is the norm in India.
Most interventions to improve education in developing countries require spending significant amounts of money on improving the quality of the inputs to the education system. While this is often a useful approach, in countries with weak governments and low tax collection, little resources are available to invest in schools.
We propose to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of one of the most ambitious recent attempts by a developing country government to improve education governance at scale.
The project will investigate how the accountability of schools differs according the school management model and whether accountability is linked to differences in learning outcomes. Recently, a great deal of attention from international development donors has focused on new models of school management (e.g.

Disadvantaged children in Low Income Countries (LICs) particularly children with disabilities are increasingly accessing schools, but not learning effectively due to social exclusion within the classroom and poor teaching methods, that perpetuate inequality.

Liberia's public education system is moribund. The civil war of 1999-2003 and the Ebola epidemic of 2014 have left the Ministry of Education with little capacity to run a national school system. An effort to clean thousands of ghost teachers from Ministry payrolls was cut short (New York Times, 2016), and while systematic data is scarce, teacher absenteeism appears common (Mulkeen, 2009).
 This interdisciplinary project will carry out innovative, policy-relevant research, focused on addressing the research question: "How do interacting dynamics in the social, political, economic and cultural context enable or inhibit the delivery of quality education in specific developing country contexts?".
 
Section 21 of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (RTE) in India calls for the establishment of a School Development and Management Co

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