Interventions for improving learning outcomes and access to education in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

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Substantial progress has been made in improving access to education in low- and middle income countries (LMICs). However, several challenges still need to be addressed. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on education aim to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning. In this context, there is a need for evidence on the effects of education interventions for informing decisions about how limited funding can be best used to achieve quality education for all children. This review identifies, assesses and synthesises evidence on the effects of education interventions on children’s access to education and learning in LMICs. It synthesises findings from 238 studies evaluating the effects of a range of different education programmes in 52 LMICs. The review finds that programmes typically improve either school participation or learning outcomes, but not both. Cash transfer programmes have the largest and most consistent positive effects on school participation outcomes, but they do not typically improve learning outcomes. Structured pedagogy on the other hand have the largest and most consistent positive effects on learning outcomes, but the (few) studies that measure participation outcomes do not suggest a positive effect.

 

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