Education and Skills Development
Teacher Professional Development around the World: The Gap between Evidence and Practice (2021)
An application of the instrument to 33 rigorously evaluated professional development programs shows that programs that link participation to career incentives, have a specific subject focus, incorporate lesson enactment in the training, and include initial face-to-face training tend to show higher student learning gains.
The Impact of Early Childhood Interventions on Mothers (2021)
The evidence from those few studies that measure impacts of early childhood development (ECD) interventions on women suggests that many programs that are good for children also yield benefits for women's financial well-being, mental health, and overall empowerment. The case for ECD interventions may be even stronger than previously believed and may open the door to financing these programs from a wider range of sources.
What We Learn about Girls’ Education from Interventions that Do Not Focus on Girls (2021)
What is the best way to improve access and learning outcomes for girls? This review brings together evidence from 267 educational interventions in 54 low- and middle-income countries – regardless of whether the interventions specifically target girls – and identifies their impacts on girls.
Gender Gaps in Education: The Long View (with Pamela Jakiela and Maryam Akmal 2021)
Although gender gaps in educational attainment are diminishing in most countries, the empirical evidence does not support the hypothesis that reducing the gender gap in schooling consistently leads to smaller gender gaps in labor force participation.
Social Contracts for Development: Bargaining, Contention and Social Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa (2021)
Applying a social contract approach to development policy, the authors provide a framework and proposals on how to measure such a framework to strengthen policy and operational engagements in the region.
Education in Africa: What Are We Learning? (with Amina Mendez Acosta, 2021)
This review examines 145 recent empirical studies (from 2014 onward) on how to increase access to and improve the quality of education across the continent, specifically examining how these studies update previous research findings.
Technology in the Classroom and Learning in Secondary Schools (2020)
This paper studies the impact of a computer-assisted learning program on learning outcomes among high school students in The Gambia. The program uses innovative technologies and teaching approach to facilitate the teaching of mathematics and science. The findings show that the program led to a 0.59 standard deviation gains in mathematics scores and an increase of 15 percentage points (a threefold increase) in the share of students who obtained credit in mathematics and English, a criterion for college admission in The Gambia.
Improving Access and Quality in Early Childhood Development Programs : Experimental Evidence from The Gambia (2019)
Comparisons of observationally similar children across experiments reveal that existing early childhood development centers increased language skills by 0.4 standard deviation relative to the community-based alternative, reflecting differences in program quality.
Financial Constraints and Girls’ Secondary Education: Evidence from School Fee Elimination in The Gambia (2019)
Financial constraints remain serious barriers to post-primary education, and that efforts to expand access to secondary education need not come at the expense of learning in low-income countries like The Gambia.
Realizing the Full Potential of Social Safety Nets in Africa (2018)
This publication provides evidence that positive impacts on equity, resilience and opportunity are growing, and it is clear that social safety net programs can be good investments.
Is Personal Initiative Training a Substitute or Complement to the Existing Human Capital of Women? Results from a Randomized Trial in Togo. (2018)
A psychology-based mindset business training worked equally well for women of different education levels.
Teacher Professional Development around the World : The Gap between Evidence and Practice (2018)
Certain characteristics are associated with more effective teacher professional development. Many country-level programs don’t have those characteristics.
School Costs, Short-run Participation, and Long-run Outcomes: Evidence from Kenya (2018)
Providing school uniforms in Kenya increased student attendance in the short run, but didn’t yield educational gains in the long run.
Can Job Training Decrease Women’s Self-Defeating Biases? Experimental evidence from Nigeria (2017)
There is evidence that women's biases about their own potential can affect their performance and aspirations. Through an experiment in Nigeria, we found that an information and communications technology (ICT) training resulted in university graduates being 26 percent more likely to work in the ICT sector.
Soft skills for hard constraints: evidence from high-achieving female farmers (2017)
This paper documents the positive link between the noncognitive skills of women farmers and the adoption of a cash crop. It finds that a one standard deviation increase in noncognitive ability related to perseverance is associated with a five percentage point (or 33 percent) increase in the probability of adoption of the main cash crop.
Gender Norms and Women's Participation in Radicalization in Northern Nigeria (2020)
The chapter explores the various dimensions of women’s participation in Islamist radicalization in Nigeria in general and in Boko Haram in particular. It examines how gender norms in northern Nigerian society have shaped women’s engagement with Boko Haram–as victims, as perpetrators and as agents of counter-radicalization. The chapter captures the socio-economic, cultural, ideological, as well as structural facets of women’s participation in radical movements.
Assortative matching in Africa: Evidence from rural Mozambique, Côte d’Ivoire, and Malawi (2020)
Marital sorting based on human capital has important implications for the creation, distribution, and inter-generational transmission of welfare. Using unique data from rural Mozambique, Côte d’Ivoire, and Malawi, this article presents novel evidence of positive assortative matching - the tendency of men and women who marry to have similar human capital levels- along cognitive and socio-emotional skills, time and risk preferences, and education.
Gender Bias in SME Lending: Experimental Evidence from Turkey (2019)
Gender disparities in small and medium-size enterprise (SME) lending exist around the world and impede the growth of millions of women-led firms. This paper examines a potential driver of these disparities: gender-biased loan officers. The results suggest that loan officers may use gender bias as a heuristic device given limited information and risk aversion. Helping newly recruited and lesser experienced loan officers to better discern loan application quality may thus improve financing of business loans to women and reduce gender gaps in entrepreneurship.
Measuring Women’s Agency (2019)
Existing frameworks for measuring women’s agency – both disorganized and partial – provide a fragmented understanding of the constraints women face in exercising their agency, thus restricting the design of reliable and valid interventions and evaluation of their impact. This paper proposes a multidisciplinary framework for capturing individual agency, containing three critical dimensions: goal setting, perceived control and ability to initiate action toward goals (sense of agency), and acting on goals.
Taking Power: Women's Empowerment and Household Well-Being in Sub-Saharan Africa (2019)
The results of this study expand the breadth of evidence on the importance of women’s power for economic development. Women’s power substantially matters for health and various family and reproductive outcomes. Women taking power is also better for children’s outcomes, in particular for girls’ health, but it is worse for emotional violence.
The Economic Lives of Young Women in the Time of Ebola: Lessons from an Empowerment Program (2019)
The analysis pinpoints the mechanisms through which the severity of the aggregate shock impacts the economic lives of young women and shows how interventions in times of crisis can interlink outcomes across younger and older cohorts.
Ethiopia Gender Diagnostic Report: Priorities for Promoting Equity (2019)
Differences in simple averages between men and women show that women lag men by 36 percent in agricultural productivity, by 79 percent in business sales, and by 44 percent in hourly wages. This brief describes the costs of these gender gaps and estimates the potential gains from closing them.
Women’s Empowerment in Action: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in Africa (2017)
This study evaluates a multi-faceted policy intervention attempting to jumpstart adolescent women’s empowerment in Uganda, a context in which 60 percent of the population are aged below twenty.
Gender and Property Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of Constraints and Effective Interventions (2017)
There is ample evidence to show that the distribution and control of these key assets are skewed toward men across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Health, Nutrition and Population
Analysis of clinical knowledge, absenteeism, and availability of resources for maternal and child health: A cross-sectional quality of care study in 10 African countries (w/ Di Giorgio, Lindelow, Nguyen, Svensson, Wane, and Welander Tärneberg), 2020)
The findings highlight the need to boost the knowledge of healthcare workers to achieve greater care readiness. Training programs have shown mixed results, so systems may need to adopt a combination of competency-based preservice and in-service training for healthcare providers and hiring practices that ensure the most prepared workers enter the systems.
Lifting bans on pregnant girls in school (2020)
This evidence suggests that allowing girls who have been pregnant to attend school is unlikely to boost fertility. In fact, it might even boost the human capital of these girls.
Practical Lessons for Phone-Based Assessments of Learning (2020)
This article draws on our pilot testing of phone-based assessments in Botswana, along with the existing literature on oral testing of reading and mathematics, to propose a series of preliminary practical lessons to guide researchers and service providers as they try phone-based learning assessments.
Bias in Patient Satisfaction Surveys: A Threat to Measuring Healthcare Quality (2018)
Patient satisfaction surveys usually frame questions positively, e.g. “Do you agree that people treated you respectfully? An experiment in Nigeria shows that this results in inflated measures of satisfaction.
Cash Transfers Increase Trust in Local Government (2018)
In Tanzania, cash transfers increased trust in local government.
Cash Transfers and Health: Evidence from Tanzania (2017)
How do conditional cash transfers impact health-related outcomes? This paper examines the 2010 randomized introduction of a program in Tanzania and finds nuanced impacts.