Education is central to improving human welfare—both inherently and instrumentally—and yet there has never been a World Development Report on education. The WDR 2018, Realizing the Promise of Education for Development, represents an opportunity to take stock of what we know and to provide guidance on how to expand the scope and quality of education around the world. It will aim to lay the foundations for a sustained policy focus on learning outcomes and skills for life and work, and to provide guidance on how education systems can be reformed to deliver them.
Through this WDR, the World Bank will try to answer several key questions: How can education drive development in all its dimensions, from employment to health to social cohesion—and how does poor policy sometimes undermine this promise of education? Are students acquiring the knowledge and skills they need to thrive, and if not, why not? What can countries do to promote learning and skills for all children and youth? And how can one ensure that when improvements do happen, they happen systemwide, and not just in localized and often unsustainable interventions? The report will be organized around four main themes to explore answers to these questions.