Report Identifies Effective Education Interventions

As countries around the world address the issue of providing all children with access to an education, they are also still facing the reality of a tightened education budget. In an effort to help governments determine the most effective use of funds, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) examined interventions in low- and middle-income countries to measure how well they helped improve attendance, completion, and achievement. Overall, while no single intervention worked everywhere, the biggest lesson for policymakers is that programs needs to be tailored to individual communities for maximum impact.

“Looking across more than 20 different types of intervention we find that, with a few exceptions, programmes typically improve either school participation or learning outcomes, but not both,” says the report. More important, “children face multiple barriers to school participation and learning. It is therefore not surprising that we observe effects of a relatively small magnitude or improvements in a limited set of outcomes for many interventions that address only one type of barrier.”

What works in most contexts:

  • Cash transfers
  • Structured pedagogy programmes that typically provide customised curricula, new instructional approaches and teachers’ training, and educational materials for students.

What doesn’t always work:

  • School-based management programmes
  • Computer-assisted learning 
  • Programmes providing education materials

Read The impact of education programmes on learning and school participation in low- and middle-income countries, 3ie Systematic Review Summary 7, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (September 2016)


Education Policy