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November 27, 2020 Friday 11:23:12 AM IST

‘Spill-over’ effects that improve the wider education system

Policy Indications

International development projects that target the education of the world’s very poorest children and marginalised girls also significantly improve other young people’s attainment, according to new research that suggests such initiatives should become a priority for international aid. The newly-reported study, by academics at the University of Cambridge, is one of the first to measure the complete value that interventions targeting poor and marginalised children also have for many of their peers, principally through ‘spill-over’ effects which improve the wider education system.

The team tested their model by analysing a programme by CAMFED (the Campaign for Female Education) in Tanzania, which supports the education of disadvantaged girls. They took into account its impact not just on those girls, but on other children at schools where their programme operates. Strikingly, for every $100 spent per girl, per year, the programme resulted in learning gains equivalent to an additional two years of education for all girls and boys at those schools.

The study was carried out by members of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

CAMFED is a non-governmental organisation which improves the education of marginalised girls in Africa and was recently awarded the 2020 Yidan Prize for Education Development. In Tanzania, its bursaries enable thousands of girls to attend secondary school, in tandem with interventions aimed at improving participation and learning among all children in partner schools.

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