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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


What Really Works to Improve Learning in Developing Countries? Evidence from More than 200 Studies

May 1, 2015, 10:00am - 11:30am

David K. Evans, Senior Economist in the Chief Economist's Office for the Africa Region of the World Bank, will present on May 1st in Room 105 of the Agricultural Administration Building (2120 Fyffe Road) as part of the AEDE Applied Economics Seminar Series. His presentation will focus on his recent research with Anna Popova, also from the World Bank: "What Really Works to Improve Learning in Developing Countries? Evidence from More than 200 Studies."

Abstract:  In recent years, research on what works to improve learning outcomes in low- and middle-income countries has grown enormously, with more than 200 studies conducted around the world. In the past two years alone, at least six reviews have examined this array of research. However, these reviews have sometimes reached starkly different conclusions: Different reviews, in turn, recommend information technology, interventions that provide information about school quality, or even basic infrastructure (such as desks) to achieve the greatest improvements in student learning. In this presentation, David will discuss why these reviews reach different conclusions and where they overlap. Analysis shows that these divergent conclusions are largely driven by differences in the samples of research incorporated in each review. Across the reviews, the three classes of programs that are recommended with some consistency are pedagogical interventions (including computer-assisted learning) that tailor teaching to student skills; repeated teacher training interventions, often linked to another pedagogical interventions; and improving accountability through contracts or performance incentives. He will supplement this with evidence from his own primary research in various countries.

This event is sponsored by the AEDE Graduate Student Association.  It is open to the Ohio State community and RSVPs are not required.