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

Blog: Rebuilding trust in a context of suspicion: South Africa’s failing education system

May 2018
With a new President and the promise of a new era in South African democracy, there may be an opportunity to rebuild trust, accountability and capacity across the country. A new ESRC/DfID-funded study on ‘Accountability, trust and capacity to improve learning outcomes’ led by researchers at University College London aims to do just that.

News: Pre-Global Disability Summit Workshop: Inclusive Education

30/04/2018
Hosted by the Impact Initiative and the REAL Centre at the University of Cambridge, a two-day ‘Pre-Global Disability Summit Workshop’ held in Cambridge on 26th-27th April brought together 35 individuals from key bi- and multi-lateral agencies, INGOs and Disabled People’s Organisations to work to help inform discussions at the Summit and to create a collective and sustainable agenda to keep disability a high priority in international discussions.

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.

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