Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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  • Publication
    Book Chain: Incentivizing Actors in the Book Chain to Increase Availability of Quality Books for Children
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) World Bank Group
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund builds evidence on results-based financing in education, including by capturing operational lessons around its use. In the PRACTICE series, experts share their experience from working in the field to provide practical advice on how to apply results-based approaches to boost education outcomes. Reports in this series highlight key discussion points from REACH roundtables, backed by direct though anonymous quotes from participating experts to allow for frank discussion.
  • Publication
    Tanzania: A Simple Teacher Incentive System Can Improve Learning
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) World Bank
    Tanzania devotes about one-fifth of government spending to education, focusing much of the funding on expanding school access. Primary school enrollment rates have surged, yet the quality of education services and learning outcomes remain poor, with only 38 percent of children aged 9–13 able to read or do arithmetic at the second grade level. Teachers play a critical role in helping children learn, but in Tanzania, many do not show up to teach. Poor motivation and lack of accountability have contributed to the high absenteeism and commensurate loss of instructional time. One way to strengthen teacher motivation and management is through performance pay. Teacher incentive schemes link bonuses or other rewards to specific targets, whether outputs (e.g., verified classroom presence) or outcomes (e.g., student test score improvement). Performance pay can help achieve learning results at low cost compared to teacher base salaries. In Tanzania, the Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund supported a randomized control trial comparing two types of teacher performance pay systems and their effect on early grade learning.
  • Publication
    South Africa - Results-Based Financing and the Book Supply Chain: Motivating Writers and Publishers to Create Quality Storybooks
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-12) World Bank Group
    Literacy serves as an essential building block for learning, so when children master reading, they are more likely to succeed in school generally. To support the South African government’s campaign to improve literacy rates and foster a love of reading among children, room to read implemented an initiative that included results-based elements to increase the availability of affordable, quality storybooks in African languages. The project brought together public and private sector players in the book supply chain to develop new national standards on storybooks and translations, and helped to identify and build capacity of smaller publishers and writers to publish African-language storybooks. In doing so, the project demonstrated how results-based financing can be effective in the production and procurement stages of the book chain in South Africa. Results-based financing motivated and engaged publishers and writers to participate and stay engaged in the two-year project, which armed them with the skills and knowledge they need to continue to create and publish quality storybooks on their own. The success of the South Africa project underscores the potential of using innovative models such as pooled procurement, open licensing, and one day one book workshops along with results-based financing to increase the availability of quality children’s books in a cost-efficient manner. By strengthening the book chain, the project ultimately helped to foster children’s love of reading and helped them to become better learners.
  • Publication
    Insights from the Household Roster on Demographics and Educational Attainment in Cox's Bazar
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-11-03) World Bank
    Administered to 5020 households, evenly split between Rohingya campsites and host communities, the household roster collects basic information on all members of the household. In addition to basic demographic characteristics, the module includes information on education for all members of the household. The descriptives confirm that the Bangladeshi population living in Cox’s Bazar is vulnerable and poor by national standards; and this was the case even before the influx of the Rohingya into the sub-districts of Teknaf and Ukhia. At the same time, the Rohingya population living in campsites faces high levels of need, and fare worse than the host community across a range of indicators related to household demographics and education.
  • Publication
    Economic Mobility Across Generations in the Developing East Asia and Pacific Region
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-09) Narayan, Ambar
    The pace and success of economic growth in the developing East Asia and Pacific region (EAP) has been described as nothing short of a miracle. Education and its complementarities are often linked and credited significantly for the region's positive story on economic growth. During the early stages of the region's development, education kept pace and complemented labor needs; widespread basic literacy and numeracy met demands in manufacturing and assembling. This led to rapid improvements in educational mobility across generations in absolute terms, where mobility is understood as the rise in education levels from one generation to the next. On the other hand, progress has been slower and uneven in relative mobility, which is more closely linked to inequality in education and income and refers to the extent to which an individual's position in society is influenced by that of his or her parents.
  • Publication
    Colombia: Can a Management and Information System Improve Education Quality?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02-28) World Bank
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund at the World Bank funded the development of a Management & Information System to monitor the quality of the education system in Colombia. This system builds on existing monitoring tools, which focus on outcome measures such as test scores but do not capture intermediate quality indicators that can shed light on how learning outcomes are achieved. The overarching purpose of this system is to foster improvement in the education system by informing the decision-making and everyday activities of education practitioners and policymakers. This can be achieved by: (i) gathering detailed and relevant information about activities within schools and (ii) managing the information efficiently and making it accessible to users to enable them to analyze, understand, and provide evidence-based recommendations on how to improve education quality. This monitoring system is not intended to be an accountability mechanism for schools but rather a management tool for stakeholders to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the education system and take appropriate action.
  • Publication
    Zanzibar: Can Goal-setting and Incentives Improve Student Performance?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02) World Bank
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund at the World Bank funded an evaluation that measured how two different incentive approaches affected the academic performance of grade 9 students in Zanzibar (Tanzania). The first approach allowed students to set personal goals at the beginning of the school year regarding their performance by the end of the year. The second approach combined this goal-setting exercise with non-financial rewards such as certificates or in-kind prizes for students who met their goals. These approaches were designed to answer the following questions: (i) whether students setting goals for themselves has any effect on their performance in school and (ii) whether this effect is strengthened when combined with non-financial incentives.
  • Publication
    Cameroon - Can School Grants and Teacher Incentives be Used to Increase School Access and Improve Quality?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02) World Bank
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund at the World Bank funded a feasibility study and a pre-pilot of performance-based school grants and teacher incentives among 20 rural primary schools in Cameroon. The purpose was to assess whether these RBF mechanisms could feasibly be used to improve transparency, financial management, and monitoring at the school level, increase community satisfaction, and draw lessons from the implementation of these RBF mechanisms to enable the initiative to be scaled up throughout Cameroon. While it is not possible to draw conclusions about the effect of this RBF program on education access or quality given the short time period and small sample size, this pre-pilot demonstrated that RBF is feasible in rural primary schools in Cameroon and highlighted the importance of several critical preconditions that must be in place for RBF to be effective. These preconditions include a simple and context-appropriate design, clear communication with key stakeholders, effective monitoring tools to assess school and teacher performance, and community involvement.
  • Publication
    The Democratic Republic of Congo: Can Incentives to Take Home Textbooks Increase Learning?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-01) World Bank
    The Results in Education for All Children (REACH) Trust Fund at the World Bank funded an evaluation that measured the effectiveness of both financial and non-financial incentives at the student, classroom, and school levels in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). A new classroom routine was designed to encourage all grades 5 and 6 students to take home a classroom textbook and use it to study for a weekly quiz. Students and schools were incentivized to adopt the routine through a combination of both financial incentives at the group level and non-financial incentives at the individual level. These incentives were implemented by Cordaid (Caritas Netherlands), a Dutch NGO that has operated an RBF project in the South Kivu region of the DRC since 2008. The evaluation found that the incentives given to encourage students to take home textbooks raised their French language test scores by 0.27 to 0.30 standard deviations (SD) but had no significant impact on math test scores.
  • Publication
    Framing the Future of Work
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-10-17) Christensen, Luc; D’Souza, Ritika; Gatti, Roberta V.; Valerio, Alexandria; Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura; Palacios, Robert J.
    Digital technologies affect employment through complex channels: automation, connectivity, and innovation. Labor-saving technologies coupled with reshoring may disrupt labor markets in developing countries and result in job losses. Yet, technological change drives productivity gains in both white-collar and blue-collar jobs either through ICT uptake or modern mechanical technologies. The ‘gig economy’ changes the traditional employer-employee relationship as it introduces new types of work. Digital platforms increase flexibility and labor market transparency, but delink workers from employers and from social benefits and protections making them more vulnerable. Policymakers in rich and poor countries alike should rethink social protection mechanisms. Technology diffusion has created divided worlds varying by region and income level. Job automation is likely to have a greater impact on less skilled workers than those with a university education (40 percent versus 5 percent in OECD countries). Moving towards a digital economy will reward those with access to broadband connectivity, strong institutions, and digital literacy. Future workers must acquire basic IT skills together with socio emotional skills that adapt to a lifelong learning environment in a changing jobs landscape. Technology can also increase labor market access for women and persons with disabilities, given the right ‘analog’ complements are in place. Technological change will affect the number, quality, and distribution of jobs across the world. In developing countries, the future workforce should be ready to embrace technology, digital literacy, and connectedness—bringing everyone closer to the technological frontier.