Day of the Girl (and a small revolution in the birthplace of humanity)

admin - October 11, 2012

Guest post from Carron Basu Ray, (right) who coordinates Oxfam’s ‘My Rights, My Voice’ programme The Ngorongoro area of Tanzania is regarded as the birthplace of humanity, a vast, strikingly beautiful part of the world. The Maasai pastoralists who live there are among the most marginalised people in the country and their children, especially the girls, have little access to quality education. I was in …

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Campaigning on education and the Robin Hood Tax (and wise counsel from Dilbert)

admin - August 27, 2012

Keeping it visual and campaign-y today. First a nice 10 minute video on the role of civil society organizations in lobbying for better education (see previous education wonkwar debate if you want more analysis) They certainly know a thing or two about campaigning in Germany, recently getting major German banks to drop commodity funds and (contrary to the stereotype) they even use humour, albeit in …

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Education wonkwar: the final salvo. Kevin Watkins responds to Justin Sandefur on public v private (and the reader poll is still open)

admin - August 10, 2012

The posts are getting longer, so it’s probably a good time to call a halt, but at least you have the weekend to read Kevin Watkins‘ response to Justin Sandefur on private v public education provision (and to vote – see below). If you have even more time, it’s worth reading (and relishing) the whole exchange: Justin post 1; Kevin post 1; Justin post 2 …

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Private schools or public? Justin Sandefur responds to Kevin Watkins (and this time you can vote)

admin - August 9, 2012

Everyone enjoyed last week’s arm-wrestle on public v private education, so in a titanic struggle for the last word, Justin Sandefur (right, in the private corner) and Kevin Watkins (in the public one) are back for another go. And this time, you get to vote – tick as many options as you agree with on the poll below. Seconds out, round two….. Dear Kevin, Thanks …

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Holding out for the super-voucher: Kevin Watkins responds to Justin Sandefur on private v public education

admin - July 26, 2012

Kevin Watkins (right), senior visiting research fellow at the Brookings Institution, responds to yesterday’s guest post by Justin Sandefur After reciting the familiar evidence on the learning achievement problems in poor countries, Justin Sandefur offers an even more familiar ‘one-stop’ solution – a market-based fix, with low-fee private schools, vouchers, and the apparently talismanic Pearson corporation leading the way to a better, smarter future. It seems that …

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Waiting for Superman in Lahore: do poor people need private schools? Guest post by Justin Sandefur

admin - July 25, 2012

Public v Private provision of education is a hot and divisive topic. So let’s get started. Today, CGD’s Justin Sandefur (right) puts the case for private. Tomorrow Kevin Watkins of the Brookings Institution responds. Be warned, their posts are pretty long and very passionate. Fasten seatbelts please: While traveling in Pakistan a couple weeks ago, I took advantage of a brief flicker of electricity to check my …

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Harnessing religion to improve education in Africa

admin - July 6, 2012

The Africa Power and Politics Programme is thought-provoking, innovative and infuriating in equal measure. ‘Religion and education reform in Africa: harnessing religious values to developmental ends’, a fascinating new APPP paper by Leonardo A. Villalón and Mahaman Tidjani-Alou, examines recent educational reforms in Mali, Niger and Senegal, three overwhelmingly Muslim, francophone countries in West Africa. All three have tried to ‘harness the strength of popular …

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Learning, leadership and the case for strategic interns

admin - December 16, 2011

Another good paper from the consistently excellent Developmental Leadership Program, this time on ‘Learning and Leadership: Exploring the linkages between higher education and developmental leadership.’ Its basic argument is that there is ‘a symbiotic relationship between higher education and the broader political, social and economic environment, in which they both influence the development of each other over time.’ i.e. the MDG and aid focus on …

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Poverty reduction v well-being: a cash transfer experiment from Malawi

admin - June 29, 2011

What difference does it make to development interventions if you worry about well-being rather than income poverty? A rather neat example has just come through from some new research by Sarah Bair, Jacobus de Hoop and Berk Özler for the World Bank Poverty and Inequality team. They looked at the impact on girls’ mental health of cash transfers in Malawi (why do so many researchers work …

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How Change Happens: Improving the Education system in Niger

admin - September 15, 2010

I’m always keen to pick up and explore examples of ‘how change happens’ in different situations (feel free to send suggestions). Here’s one from a conversation with Oxfam’s country director in Niger, Mbacke Niang, As one might expect in one of the world’s poorest countries, Niger has a dysfunctional, poorly managed and inaccessible primary education sector. Adult literacy is less than 30% and rates of …

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