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What works to improve the quality of student learning in developing countries?

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  • Masino, Serena
  • Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel

Abstract

We conducted a systematic review to identify policy interventions that improve education quality and student learning in developing countries. Relying on a theory of change typology, we highlight three main drivers of change of education quality: (1) supply-side capability interventions that operate through the provision of physical and human resources, and learning materials; (2) policies that through incentives seek to influence behaviour and intertemporal preferences of teachers, households, and students; (3) bottom-up and top-down participatory and community management interventions, which operate through decentralisation reforms, knowledge diffusion, and increased community participation in the management of education systems. Overall, our findings suggest that interventions are more effective at improving student performance and learning when social norms and intertemporal choices are factored in the design of education policies, and when two or more drivers of change are combined. Thus, supply-side interventions alone are less effective than when complemented by community participation or incentives that shift preferences and behaviours.

Suggested Citation

  • Masino, Serena & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2016. "What works to improve the quality of student learning in developing countries?," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 53-65.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:injoed:v:48:y:2016:i:c:p:53-65
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2015.11.012
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    Cited by:

    1. Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, 2015. "Aid, education policy, and development," WIDER Working Paper Series 135, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Niaz Asadullah & Alain Trannoy & Sandy Tubeuf & Gaston Yalonetzky, 2018. "Fair and unfair educational inequality in a developing country: The role of pupil’s effort," Working Papers 474, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Riddell, Abby & Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel, 2016. "The effectiveness of foreign aid to education," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 23-36.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education quality; Student learning; Education policy; Developing countries; Systematic review;

    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • O50 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - General

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