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Books, Buildings and Learning Outcomes: an impact evaluation of World Bank assistance to basic education in Ghana


  • Howard White

    (OED, World Bank)

  • Edoardo Masset

    (OED, World Bank)


This paper demonstrates that the delivery of hardware inputs to Ghana’s basic education system – building classrooms and supplying textbooks – has had a substantial impact on higher enrollments and better learning outcomes. The Bank’s support for school building has been a major factor behind Ghana being on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education. The context for these improvements was a government strongly committed to implementing a program of educational reform that refocused government resources away from secondary and tertiary education and onto the basic sector. But the Bank’s support played a critical role in allowing the government to carry out its plans. Partly because of increased reliance on community contributions, a gap is opening up between the majority of schools and those in poorer communities, particularly in off-road rural areas. Facilities in schools in poorer areas are usually inferior and teacher absenteeism high, so that little learning can take place. Special attention needs to be paid to these least-privileged schools if Ghana is to remain on track to meet the education MDG.

Suggested Citation

  • Howard White & Edoardo Masset, 2005. "Books, Buildings and Learning Outcomes: an impact evaluation of World Bank assistance to basic education in Ghana," Development and Comp Systems 0504013, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0504013
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 200

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lavy, Victor & Strauss, John & Thomas, Duncan & de Vreyer, Philippe, 1996. "Quality of health care, survival and health outcomes in Ghana," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 333-357, June.
    2. Francis Teal, 2001. "Education, incomes, poverty and inequality in Ghana in the 1990s," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-21, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. Christopher Heady, 2000. "What is the Effect of Child Labour on Learning Achievement? Evidence from Ghana," Papers inwopa00/7, Innocenti Working Papers.
    4. King, Elizabeth M. & Lillard, Lee A., 1987. "Education policy and schooling attainment in Malaysia and the Philippines," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 167-181, April.
    5. Francis Teal, 2001. "Education, incomes, poverty and inequality in Ghana in the 1990s," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-21, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    6. Holmes, Jessica, 2003. "Measuring the determinants of school completion in Pakistan: analysis of censoring and selection bias," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 249-264, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sharma, Sabal & Levinson, David, 2019. "Travel cost and dropout from secondary schools in Nepal," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 385-397.

    More about this item


    Impact evaluation; education; Ghana; Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth
    • P - Economic Systems

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