Darvas, Peter

Global Practice on Education, The World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
Education, Tertiary education, Skills and workforce development, Fragile states, Gender, Sub-Saharan Africa, Liberia, Ghana, Eastern Europe, Central Asia
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Global Practice on Education, The World Bank
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Peter Darvas works as a senior economist at the World Bank at the Education Global Practice where he led projects and analyses on education, competitiveness, skills, technology development and gender empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Europe and Central Asia. Before the World Bank, he worked as the Director of International Higher Education Support Program (HESP) of the Open Society Foundations (OSF). Before OSF, he worked as Senior Advisor to the Minister of Culture and Education in Hungary. He had a visiting fellowship in 1995 at the Intitut fur die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna, Austria. He was a Jean Monnet Fellow, European University Institute, Florence, Italy in 1994. In 1992, he held a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship. He has a doctorate of economics from the Budapest University of Economics.

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
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    Basic Education beyond the Millennium Development Goals in Ghana : How Equity in Service Delivery Affects Educational and Learning Outcomes
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014) Darvas, Peter ; Balwanz, David
    Inequity is the central challenge facing basic education in Ghana and undercuts the potential contribution of basic education to Ghana’s national development goals. Persistent disparities in education service delivery and inequitable allocation of resources in Ghana lead to highly inequitable educational outcomes. These inequities negatively affect system quality, efficiency and accountability and ultimately undermine broader national development. Wide-spread inequity in education service delivery significantly depresses system learning outcomes. This report describes a “missing middle” in terms of learning outcomes: While a small number of children perform well, the majority of pupils (more than 60%) pass through primary school without becoming proficient in numeracy and literacy. Specifically, children from Ghana’s northern regions and deprived districts, poor and rural households and ethnic and linguistic minorities – students who require the most support to meet learning outcomes – receive, on average, disproportionately fewer resources from the government than their peers. Systemic inequities create this missing middle and drag down system performance. Following a decade of rapid change, as of 2013, more children are attending basic and senior high schools than at any time in the history of Ghana. In the past decade, Ghana has realized great growth, progress and change. Population growth, urbanization and significant GDP growth have changed the economic, political and social landscape of Ghana. In the past decade, incidence of extreme poverty has been cut in half. Introduction of Free, Compulsory, Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) and kindergarten has supported a near doubling of basic education enrollment in the past 15 years. Delivering basic education and ensuring equity has become more challenging. Compared to a decade ago, more stakeholders are involved in allocating and managing core education inputs and accountability systems remain unclear and weak. Addressing the deeply embedded inequities (e.g. allocation of trained teachers, support to deprived districts and populations) is further complicated by a complex and fragmented policy, management and financing environment. The persistence of inequity reflects the persistence of conflicting sector interests and poses genuine policy dilemmas. However, recent experience shows that accelerating progress toward equity and quality basic education for all is possible. Several recent initiatives in Ghana point to the possibility of improving equitable resource allocation, strengthening social protection and providing additional support to improve learning outcomes. For example, children with below-average learning outcomes in poorly resourced environments are likely to show measurable gains when provided additional support (e.g. instructional support, learning resources, management support, demand-side incentives).
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    Demand and Supply of Skills in Ghana : How Can Training Programs Improve Employment?
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-06-25) Darvas, Peter ; Palmer, Robert
    Ghana has a youthful population of 24 million and has shown impressive gains in economic growth and in poverty reduction over the last two decades. The necessary sustained growth requires three critical steps: (1) increase productivity in the strategic economic sectors, (2) diversify the economy, and (3) expand employment. Raising the level and range of skills in the country provides a key contribution to these core drivers of sustained growth. Skills development in Ghana encompasses foundational skills (literacy, numeracy), transferable and soft skills, and technical and vocational skills. These skills are acquired throughout life through formal education, training, and higher education; on the job through work experience and professional training; through family and community; and via the media. This report focuses on one segment of Ghana s skills development system: formal and informal technical and vocational education and training (TVET) at the pre-tertiary level. Although TVET alone does not guarantee productivity gains or job creation, it is generally agreed that a blend of cognitive, non-cognitive, intermediate, and higher technical skills is crucial to enhance the country s competitiveness and contribute to social inclusion, acceptable employment, and the alleviation of poverty. The public financing approach and general lack of incentives to improve TVET in Ghana help to perpetuate a supply-driven, low-quality skills system that responds very poorly to the needs of the economy, and especially its growth sectors. The national skills strategy should aim to complement, and be complemented by, reforms that are underway in related sectors (for example, private sector development and employment, the informal economy, information and communication technologies, and agriculture). One of the more innovative elements of the ongoing reform has been the establishment of sustainable financing for the skills development fund (SDF). Channeling the majority of TVET resources through a SDF will make it easier for funds to be allocated in line with general national socioeconomic priorities and specific priorities identified by Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
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    Sharing Higher Education's Promise beyond the Few in Sub-Saharan Africa: Elargir l’opportunité au-delà de l’élite
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-10-25) Darvas, Peter ; Gao, Shang ; Shen, Yijun ; Bawany, Bilal
    Despite a spectacular expansion of the higher education sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, the supply of tertiary education has generally failed to keep pace with demand and the region continues to lag all other regions in terms of access to tertiary education. This is in part a consequence of deeply entrenched patterns of inequitable access to higher education, and the perpetuation of what researchers refer to as “elite systems”. To date, access to tertiary education in Sub-Saharan Africa has unduly benefitted students drawn from the region’s wealthiest households, and overall enrollment remains disproportionately male, and metropolitan. These factors stifle the catalytic potential of higher education, corroding its potential for driving economic growth and sustaining poverty reduction. Instead, patterns of access to tertiary education have generally reinforced and reproduced social inequality, instead of eroding its pernicious social and economic effects. This report aims to inform an improved understanding of equity in tertiary enrollment in Sub-Saharan African countries, and to examine the extent to which inequity functions as a bottleneck inhibiting the ability of African universities to effectively drive improvements in overall quality of life and economic competitiveness. In our survey of the evidence, we also aim to identify which policies most effectively address the challenge of promoting equity of access in SSA tertiary education systems. In order to achieve these objectives, the report collects, generates and analyzes empirical evidence on patterns of equity, examines the underlying causes of inequity, and evaluates government policies for addressing inequity.
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    Stepping Up Skills in Urban Ghana: Snapshot of the STEP Skills Measurement Survey
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-07-26) Darvas, Peter ; Favara, Marta ; Arnold, Tamara
    The Skills Toward Employment and Productivity (STEP) Survey is an initiative of the World Bank in cooperation with other development partners and nongovernmental agencies and carried out in more than 14 countries globally. In Ghana, the first phase of the survey focusing on adults in urban communities was carried out in cooperation with the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER), the Ministry of Education, the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), and the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).