Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Education, Health, Nutrition, Labor, Poverty, Risk
Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, World Bank
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Last updated September 15, 2023
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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Nguyen, Quynh ; Raju, DhushyanthPrivate schooling is an important feature of the educational landscape in Pakistan and is increasingly a topic of public and government discourse. This study uses multiple rounds of national household sample surveys to examine the extent and nature of private school participation at the primary and secondary levels in Pakistan. Today, one-fifth of children -- or one-third of all students -- go to private school in Pakistan. Private school students tend to come from urban, wealthier, and more educated households than do government school students and especially out-of-school children. Important differences exist across Pakistan s four provinces with respect to the characteristics of private school students relative to government school students, as well as in the composition of private school students. Private schooling is highly concentrated, with a few districts (situated mainly in northern Punjab province) accounting for most of the private school students. Private school participation among children varies largely from one household to another, rather than within households, and to a greater extent than does government school participation. The spatial patterns of private school supply are often strongly correlated with the spatial patterns of private school participation. In the 2000s, private school participation rates grew in Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces and across socioeconomic subgroups, contributing in particular to the growth in overall school participation rates for boys, children from urban households, and children from households in the highest wealth quintile. Nevertheless, the composition of private school students has become less unequal over time. This trend has been driven mainly by Punjab province, which has seen declines in the shares of private school students from urban households and households in the highest wealth quintile.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe ; Raju, DhushyanthThis paper presents evidence from the first three years of a randomized controlled trial of a government-administered pilot teacher performance pay program in Punjab, Pakistan. The program offers yearly cash bonuses to teachers in a sample of public primary schools with the lowest mean student exam scores in the province. Bonuses are linked to three school-level indicators: the gain in student exam scores, the gain in school enrollment, and the level of student exam participation. Bonus receipt and size are also randomly assigned across schools according to whether or not the teacher is the school’s head. On average, the program increases school enrollment by 4.1 percent and student exam participation rates by 3.4 percentage points, both in the third year. The analysis does not find that the program increases student exam scores in any year. Mean impacts are similar across program variants. The positive mean impact on school enrollment is mainly seen in urban schools and the positive mean impact on student exam participation rates is only seen in rural schools.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04) Raju, DhushyanthSri Lanka is increasingly seeking to ensure that its public school system not only delivers greater shares of students who have completed higher secondary and tertiary education, but also that all students obtain a much better education. Raising teacher effectiveness is considered as crucial for achieving these aims. This paper reviews the literature on teacher management in Sri Lanka, and points to what may be critical teacher management issues. The paper also outlines considerations and options for addressing these issues, informed by international evidence on approaches to improve teacher effectiveness.
Covariate Shocks and Child Undernutrition: A Review of Evidence from Low- and Middle-Income Countries(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06) Debebe, Zelalem Yilma ; Raju, DhushyanthUnexpected adverse events that affect areas or populations widely (covariate shocks) can have major consequences for the welfare of a society. Although the negative effects on households, especially among the poor, are well established in the economics literature, fewer studies have focused on how natural, economic, and social covariate shocks affect individual welfare and particularly child nutrition status. This paper reviews the evidence on the effect of covariate shocks on child nutrition status in low- and middle-income countries, the pathways through which the effect operates, and the relationship between the timing of a child's exposure to a covariate shock and the effect on child nutrition status. The paper also examines whether public interventions can help to mitigate any negative effect and whether the effect of covariate shocks can persist in the long term. Based on findings from the synthesis of evidence, the paper presents considerations and options for public policy and future research.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-03) Dizon, Felipe ; Josephson, Anna ; Raju, DhushyanthThrough a review of the literature, this paper examines the links of food and agriculture with nutrition in South Asia, a region characterized by a high level of malnutrition. The review finds that the level and stability of food prices play a critical part in food consumption, with rising prices affecting poor households the most. Although public food transfer programs are aimed at addressing this, most are too small to have a marked effect in protecting or promoting nutrition. Several supply-side food and agricultural interventions suggest promise in improving nutrition, although their effects have yet to be well identified. These include the cultivation of home gardens, animal farming, and use of biofortification and post-harvest fortification. All these efforts will be futile, however, without parallel efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Publication( 2010-11-01) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe ; Raju, DhushyanthLow student learning is a common finding in much of the developing world. This paper uses a relatively unique dataset of five semiannual rounds of standardized test data to characterize and explain the short-term changes in student learning. The data are collected as part of the quality assurance system for a public-private partnership program that offers public subsidies conditional on minimum learning levels to low-cost private schools in Pakistan. Apart from a large positive distributional shift in learning between the first two test rounds, the learning distributions over test rounds show little progress. Schools are ejected from the program if they fail to achieve a minimum pass rate in the test in two consecutive attempts, making the test high stakes. Sharp regression discontinuity estimates show that the threat of program exit on schools that barely failed the test for the first time induces large learning gains. The large change in learning between the first two test rounds is likely attributable to this accountability pressure given that a large share of new program entrants failed in the first test round. Schools also qualify for substantial annual teacher bonuses if they achieve a minimum score in a composite measure of student test participation and mean test score. Sharp regression discontinuity estimates do not show that the prospect of future teacher bonus rewards induces learning gains for schools that barely did not qualify for the bonus.
Pathways to Better Nutrition in South Asia: Evidence on the Effects of Food and Agricultural Interventions(Elsevier, 2021-03) Dizon, Felipe ; Josephson, Anna ; Raju, DhushyanthIn South Asia, nearly half a billion people are malnourished. This paper examines the links of food and agriculture with nutrition in South Asia, with the goal of informing policy to reduce hunger and malnutrition in the region. We investigate pathways including public food transfer programs, agricultural diversification, and different methods of food fortification. We find that public food transfer programs, used to make food available and affordable to poor households, are often unable to significantly protect or promote nutrition. But several supply-side food and agricultural interventions show promise in improving nutrition, although their effects have yet to be well identified. These include the cultivation of home gardens, animal agriculture, and use of biofortification and post-harvest fortification. All these efforts to reduce hunger and malnutrition will be futile, however, without parallel efforts to mitigate rising challenges in the region, including those posed by climate change, urbanization, food loss and food waste, and food safety hazards.
Publication(MIT Press, 2020-12-20) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe ; Blakeslee, David S. ; Hoover, Matthew ; Linden, Leigh ; Raju, Dhushyanth ; Ryan, Stephen P.We evaluate a program that recruited local entrepreneurs to open and operate new schools in 200 underserved villages in Sindh, Pakistan. School operators received a per-student subsidy to provide tuition-free primary education, and in half the villages received a higher subsidy for females. The program increased enrollment by 32 percentage points, and test scores by 0.63 standard deviations, with no difference across the two subsidy schemes. Estimating a structural model of the demand and supply for school inputs, we find that program schools selected inputs similar to those of a social planner who internalizes all the education benefits to society.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-06-08) Dundar, Halil ; Millot, Benoit ; Riboud, Michelle ; Shojo, Mari ; Aturupane, Harsha ; Goyal, Sangeeta ; Raju, Dhushyanth ; Aturupane, HarshaA country’s education system plays a pivotal role in promoting economic growth and shared prosperity. Sri Lanka has enjoyed high school-attainment and enrollment rates for several decades. However, it still faces major challenges in the education sector, and these challenges undermine the country’s inclusivegrowth goal and its ambition to become a competitive upper-middle-income country. The authors of Sri Lanka Education Sector Assessment: Achievements, Challenges, and Policy Options offer a thorough review of Sri Lanka’s education sector—from early childhood education through higher education. With this book, they attempt to answer three questions: • How is Sri Lanka’s education system performing, especially with respect to participation rates, learning outcomes, and labor market outcomes? • How can the country address the challenges at each stage of the education process, taking into account both country and international experience and also best practices? • Which policy actions should Sri Lanka make a priority for the short and medium term? The authors identify the most critical constraints on performance and present strategic priorities and policy options to address them. To attain inclusive growth and become globally competitive, Sri Lanka needs to embark on integrated reforms across all levels of education. These reforms must address both short-term skill shortages and long-term productivity. As Sri Lanka moves up the development ladder, the priorities of primary, secondary, and postsecondary education must be aligned to meet the increasingly complex education and skill requirements.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2018-06-22) Raju, Dhushyanth ; Rajbhandary, Jasmine ; Raju, Dhushyanth ; Rajbhandary, JasminePromoting the smooth labor market integration and early labor market success of workers has increasingly become an important economic and social development aim globally. The Nepal government sees addressing the social and economic challenges of youth, and leveraging their social and economic prospects, as critical for the country’s economic growth and development. There has been limited systematic, policy-oriented empirical research conducted on labor and livelihoods in Nepal. Dedicated examinations of the labor conditions, behaviors, and outcomes of youth are rarer still. Responding to the knowledge needs expressed by the Nepal government and other stakeholders in the country, this book aims to improve our understanding of the labor market conditions, behaviors, and outcomes of Nepalese youth. It examines these aspects in Nepal’s domestic labor market as well as in relation to labor migration to India and other countries, including temporary 'foreign employment' of Nepalese workers under bilateral labor agreements between destination countries and Nepal. In so doing, the report seeks to present insights and implications for research and public policy, with the goal of improving the labor market prospects of Nepalese youth. The collective findings in the report point to three directions for orienting public policy and program initiatives. First is raising rural labor productivity, urban labor demand, and urban worker–job matching efficiency. Second is supporting the labor market integration of rural youth migrating to urban parts of Nepal and of youth labor migrants returning from India and other countries. Third is improving the orientation and efficacy of labor skill training.