Helping kids get in school and learn while there

Low school attendance, absent or overwhelmed teachers, and underperforming schools are on-going impediments to educational attainment for the poor around the world. While many more children are in school than a decade ago, there are still 58 million children out of school, and even when these kids are in school and complete a few years of education, they are often still unable to read, write, and do basic math. The Education Program Area at Innovations for Poverty Action works to rigorously evaluate programs that aim to improve education outcomes, increase access to and quality of early childhood education, and improve school attendance.

Education is crucial to improving outcomes for the poor. Yet billions of dollars are spent each year around the world with the aim of improving education, with little evidence that these programs have an impact on our ultimate goal: improving kids ability to read, write, and become productive members of society. The Education Program Area at Innovations for Poverty Action aims to solve this gap in evidence of what works for education and to go a step further to ensure that this evidence is used by local decision-makers. In partnership with academic leaders in the field, our work has produced evidence on how to keep kids in school, such as through school-based deworming or sharing information on the benefits of schooling, and on how to make sure kids learn while there, such as in our teacher community assistant initiative in Ghana and through incentives, such as merit scholarships for students.

Learn about funding opportunities for research on education from J-PAL’s Post-Primary Initiative and read their review of the literature on the sector.

Key Findings