Search

Content type
Topic:Education
Displaying 1 - 10 of 159

6 lessons for aligning investments in K-12 private schools with the goal of quality education for all

Web Resource
Kids raising hands to answer teacher at an elementary school lesson
Enrollment in private primary and secondary education in developing countries has been rising for more than a decade. This comes as public systems struggle to cope with the demand from growing populations. Private kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) schools have also attracted support from development finance institutions (DFIs) as, in theory, private schools could both ease the pressure on Show MoreEnrollment in private primary and secondary education in developing countries has been rising for more than a decade. This comes as public systems struggle to cope with the demand from growing populations. Private kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) schools have also attracted support from development finance institutions (DFIs) as, in theory, private schools could both ease the pressure on government resources and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4. While the evidence on the development impacts of this support is mixed, a recent report offers several lessons to consider for avoiding the risks associated with private schools and ensuring future approaches are aligned with the overall aim of promoting equitable and inclusive access to quality education. The report by the Independent Evaluation Group assesses the experience of the World Bank Group’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which invested in K-12 private schools from the mid-1990s until a decision in 2017 to halt all investments. The Evaluation of International Finance Corporation Investments in K–12 Private Schools looks at the challenge of supporting private schools in low and middle-income countries while aiming to promote equitable access and reach students from underserved and excluded populations. In response to the IEG report, IFC has announced that it will not resume its investments for the foreseeable future, but the lessons learned from its experiences are relevant for any development finance institution currently invested or considering future investments in private K-12 schools. Preconditions for investment. Any investment first needs strong roots in the relevant country context and in the local education systems within which the private K-12 school operates. This is especially important to avoid the risk of reinforcing social and educational inequalities. The literature on the role of private education cites a number of examples in which improved test results in private schools is the result of systemically selecting students who are already better prepared to learn. Rather than improving overall access this dynamic can lead to the one-way movement of more privileged students from public to private schools, and leave behind more marginalized students, such as children with disabilities and out-of-school children. A clear understanding of the context in which private K-12 schools operate is vital for anticipating the impact that investment may have on the education system and the community at large, and for the design of approaches that meet potential gaps in the supply of quality education that have a positive effect on equity of access. Engagement with stakeholders. To build a clear understanding of the local context, investors should consult not only with the client or private school owner but with a broad range of stakeholders. Along with other DFIs, the aim should be to build an extensive coalition that includes a full range of groups with a stake in the education system, such as civil society organizations, local governments, education regulators at the national level, parent organizations, and teacher unions. This extensive coalition will improve the investor’s understanding of the education system and create the synergies needed to achieve the broader development goals. Working with this broader group of stakeholders will allow investors to help support access and quality learning that goes beyond enrolling middle-class and higher-income students. The report found that a range of DFIs, recognizing the complexity of education systems, recently reviewed their investment policies for private K–12 education and as a result, committed to piloting and testing innovations around building coalitions that engage key stakeholders. As these developments are recent, the results are not yet known. Private-public collaboration. More strategic collaboration and cooperation between private and public sector schools may support planned, positive spillovers from innovations in curricula, teaching, and learning that are built on a clear understanding of the local context. Among the many global, regional and local experts with whom the IEG report team consulted, local civil society organizations, in particular, noted the potential for private schools to pilot best practices in teaching and share them with public schools. However, IFC and World Bank officials underscored the challenges involved in realizing this type of cross-fertilization, with a lot of work needed to nurture these relationships. Private schools alone cannot be expected to promote positive spillovers, as case studies showed that they have little incentive to create systemwide demonstration effects, but rather a combination of government regulations and strong implementation support is needed to catalyze public and private collaboration. An education rationale. Along with a focus on the financial viability of specific schools, investors should also consider the development impact in decisions. A broader framework is needed for guiding investments in private K–12 schools, that incorporates goals such as reaching vulnerable or excluded groups (for example, out-of-school children) and improving the quality of education without exacerbating inequality.  It also should require investing in schools that are committed to links with a full range of beneficiaries and stakeholders in the local education system—such as school administrators, parent associations, and teachers. Longer term investment horizons. Investors will need to consider the trade-offs between ensuring the financial sustainability of investments in private K–12 schools and supporting equitable access, education quality, and broader education system effects. K-12 education is a challenging sub-sector.  Investments in private K–12 schools are dominated by traditional financing—including individual and family entrepreneurs—and in the last decade by private equity and impact investors. The investable market is limited. Family-run private K–12 schools tend to be small. The small size and relative business immaturity of many private K–12 schools, particularly low-fee schools, inhibit their scalability. These various factors suggest the need for longer-term investment horizons for private K–12 schools coupled with technical support from investors. Monitoring and evaluation. Effective systems are needed to monitor the impacts of investments in private K–12 schools, and to learn from them. This requires going beyond business indicators to include assessment of education access and equity of access, quality of education, and effects on other schools and local education systems. This should also include monitoring of factors such as accommodations for children with disabilities, the effect of initiatives such as scholarships to support access for low-income or out-of-school children, and constant learning to address potential negative effects on the education system. As governments struggle to meet growing demands, the mobilization of finance for education will remain an urgent priority.  In 2020, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) projected a shortfall of $148 billion annually in the financing needed to achieve the SDG4 by 2030. The impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are estimated to have raised that figure to as much as $200 billion annually. The private sector could have a role in addressing this shortfall and contributing to the achievement of SDG4, but only if it can ensure both improvements to the quality of education and equitable access.  

An Evaluation of International Finance Corporation Investments in K–12 Private Schools

Web Resource
A child plays with an educational toy resembling a molecule.
This is IEG’s first systematic evaluation of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) direct and indirect investments in kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) private schools. It analyses the complexities of the financial viability of these investments and constraints on their impact on access to quality education for underserved groups. This is IEG’s first systematic evaluation of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) direct and indirect investments in kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) private schools. It analyses the complexities of the financial viability of these investments and constraints on their impact on access to quality education for underserved groups.

Confronting the Learning Crisis: Lessons from World Bank Support for Basic Education, 2012–22 (Approach Paper)

PDF file
The achievement of learning outcomes has been a long-standing challenge for education systems across the developing world and has significant consequences for economic development. To realize the development aims of education investments, students need to learn, but too many have not, especially in low-income countries. The World Bank has sought to address this learning crisis for more than a Show MoreThe achievement of learning outcomes has been a long-standing challenge for education systems across the developing world and has significant consequences for economic development. To realize the development aims of education investments, students need to learn, but too many have not, especially in low-income countries. The World Bank has sought to address this learning crisis for more than a decade through the pursuit of quality education that enhances learning outcomes. The Independent Evaluation Group’s (IEG) proposed evaluation will assess the extent to which the World Bank’s Education Global Practice (GP) and its predecessor, the Education sector unit, have supported efforts to improve learning outcomes over the past decade (fiscal years [FY]12–22). Based on that experience, the evaluation will assess the effectiveness, relevance, and adequacy of World Bank support to address the learning crisis. It will identify lessons and recommendations to inform the next education sector strategy and further development of the World Bank’s approach to this persistent development challenge and the exacerbation of learning deficits during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

World Bank Group Engagement with Morocco 2011–21 (Approach Paper)

PDF file
This Country Program Evaluation aims to assess the World Bank Group’s contribution to Morocco’s development trajectory over the past decade (fiscal years 2011–21) and is timed to inform the next Country Partnership Framework and future Bank Group engagements in the country. The Country Program Evaluation will use a range of methods to assess how the Bank Group has supported Morocco’s efforts to Show MoreThis Country Program Evaluation aims to assess the World Bank Group’s contribution to Morocco’s development trajectory over the past decade (fiscal years 2011–21) and is timed to inform the next Country Partnership Framework and future Bank Group engagements in the country. The Country Program Evaluation will use a range of methods to assess how the Bank Group has supported Morocco’s efforts to tackle major constraints to achieving its objective of reaching upper-middle-income-country status. The evaluation will focus on three outcome areas: (i) fostering private sector–led growth that absorbs a growing labor force; (ii) strengthening inclusive human capital formation and addressing the obstacles to women and youth labor force participation; and (iii) reducing climate risks and natural resource depletion and addressing their combined effects on the most vulnerable people, especially in rural areas.

Addressing Gender Inequalities in Countries Affected by Fragility, Conflict and Violence: An Evaluation of WBG Support (Approach Paper)

PDF file
The WBG recognizes that achieving gender equality is particularly challenging in those settings, but it is critical to make progress in peace building and resilience to crisis. Addressing gender gaps is a priority in FCV-affected countries because fragility and conflict disproportionally affect women and girls and exacerbate gender inequalities. The World Bank Group recognizes that effective Show MoreThe WBG recognizes that achieving gender equality is particularly challenging in those settings, but it is critical to make progress in peace building and resilience to crisis. Addressing gender gaps is a priority in FCV-affected countries because fragility and conflict disproportionally affect women and girls and exacerbate gender inequalities. The World Bank Group recognizes that effective responses to gender inequalities in FCV-affected countries need to be context-specific, country-owned, systemic, and sustainable. The goal of this formative evaluation is to provide lessons on what worked well, less well, and why, regarding the World Bank Group’s support to FCV-affected countries to achieve transformational change towards gender equality in two areas: women’s and girls’ economic empowerment and gender-based violence.

Early Evaluation of the World Bank’s COVID-19 Response to Save Lives and Protect Poor and Vulnerable People (Approach Paper)

PDF file
Disrupting billions of lives and livelihoods, the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic jeopardizes countries’ development gains and goals on an unprecedented scale. Restoring human capital and maintaining progress on development priorities depends on successfully containing and mitigating the effects of the pandemic, especially its toll on poor and vulnerable people. This Independent Evaluation Group Show MoreDisrupting billions of lives and livelihoods, the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic jeopardizes countries’ development gains and goals on an unprecedented scale. Restoring human capital and maintaining progress on development priorities depends on successfully containing and mitigating the effects of the pandemic, especially its toll on poor and vulnerable people. This Independent Evaluation Group evaluation will assess the World Bank’s early portfolio of COVID-19 support aimed at saving lives, protecting poor and vulnerable people, and strengthening institutions in these areas. The evaluation has one overarching question: What has been the quality of the World Bank’s early COVID-19 response in terms of saving lives and protecting poor and vulnerable people? The evaluation will conduct multilevel analyses, anchored at the country level, to triangulate evidence for early learning from the implementation of the World Bank’s support.

Early-Stage Evaluation of the International Development Association's Sustainable Development Finance Policy (Approach Paper)

PDF file
IEG is undertaking an early stage evaluation of Sustainable Development Finance Policy (SDFP) of the International Development Association (IDA), which came into effect on July 1, 2020. The SDFP, adopted in response to concern with mounting external public debt vulnerabilities in IDA-eligible countries, seeks to create incentives to strengthen country-level debt transparency, enhance fiscal Show MoreIEG is undertaking an early stage evaluation of Sustainable Development Finance Policy (SDFP) of the International Development Association (IDA), which came into effect on July 1, 2020. The SDFP, adopted in response to concern with mounting external public debt vulnerabilities in IDA-eligible countries, seeks to create incentives to strengthen country-level debt transparency, enhance fiscal sustainability, and strengthen debt management. In light of significant past efforts to restore debt sustainability to heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs), including through large scale bilateral and multilateral debt relief, the World Bank Board’s Committee on Development Effectiveness seeks early feedback from implementation of the SFDP to identify lessons to enhance its effectiveness. IEG will assess the relevance of the SDFP in addressing the sharp rise in debt stress in many IDA-eligible countries as well as the early implementation of the policy.

Malawi CLR Review FY13-17

PDF file
This review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), FY13-FY17. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is an agrarian landlocked country, with a population of 18.6 million (2019) growing at 3 percent per year. Between 2013 and 2017 real GDP and real per capita GDP grew at 4.0 and 1.2 percent Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), FY13-FY17. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is an agrarian landlocked country, with a population of 18.6 million (2019) growing at 3 percent per year. Between 2013 and 2017 real GDP and real per capita GDP grew at 4.0 and 1.2 percent per year, respectively. The poverty headcount ratio at the national poverty line was 51.5 percent in 2016, slightly above the 50.7 percent in 2010. The Gini index (World Bank estimate) stood at 44.7 in 2016, below its 2010 level of 45.5. The Human Development Index improved from 0.441 in 2010 to 0.47 in 2015 and to 0.477 in 2017. During the review period, Malawi faced several challenges including the governance and public financial management crisis in September 2013 and two natural disasters- the flooding in 2015 which affected half of the country and the drought in 2016. The “cashgate” led to temporary suspension of donor budget support and sharp reduction in disbursement of aid funds through government systems with the consequent impact on the fiscal deficit.

Evaluation of IFC Investments in K-12 Private Schools (Approach Paper)

PDF file
Private sector is a key partner in meeting education challenges. The strategic context that frames this evaluation emanates from IFC’s development and strategy objectives in supporting private provision of education that began with its 1999 entry strategy in the education sector up to its 2018 education business plan. This evaluation will assess the extent to which IFC investments in K-12 Show MorePrivate sector is a key partner in meeting education challenges. The strategic context that frames this evaluation emanates from IFC’s development and strategy objectives in supporting private provision of education that began with its 1999 entry strategy in the education sector up to its 2018 education business plan. This evaluation will assess the extent to which IFC investments in K-12 private for-profit education over the period 2000 to 2020 align with (i) key education quality features identified in the literature and quantitative analysis of education data and (ii) IFC’s strategic objectives in education. The evaluation aims to provide information to aid IFC decision-making on future investments to K-12 private education by identifying under what conditions, if any, should IFC invest in K-12 private education going forward.

Jamaica: Hurricane Dean Emergency Recovery Loan (PPAR)

PDF file
Jamaica is highly exposed to natural disasters. The negative impacts on economic development and social well-being are exacerbated as approximately 82 percent of Jamaica’s population lives within 5 kilometers of the coast, increasing the relative vulnerability of residents, major infrastructure, and the housing stock. Hurricane Dean made landfall in Jamaica on August 19, 2007, causing economic Show MoreJamaica is highly exposed to natural disasters. The negative impacts on economic development and social well-being are exacerbated as approximately 82 percent of Jamaica’s population lives within 5 kilometers of the coast, increasing the relative vulnerability of residents, major infrastructure, and the housing stock. Hurricane Dean made landfall in Jamaica on August 19, 2007, causing economic losses of roughly $329 million. The hurricane resulted in significant and extensive damage to primary and early childhood schools, community-based health clinics, and parochial and agricultural feeder roads in directly impacted parishes. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance confirmed that the recovery would require financial support from multiple sources, both national and international. In that context, the government of Jamaica approached the World Bank to support reconstruction works in poor communities affected by Hurricane Dean. The general aim was the reestablishment of prehurricane living conditions in these communities through the implementation of specific local infrastructure projects that would directly improve the conditions of the most vulnerable populations. Given the ongoing emergency, the World Bank and the government of Jamaica agreed to sign an emergency recovery loan to expedite the disbursement of resources. Additionally, the World Bank and the government of Jamaica agreed that the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) would be the implementing agency. Ratings for the Hurricane Dean Emergency Recovery Loan are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from this project include: (i) Using existing agencies with a proven track record can be an effective approach for implementing emergency response projects. (ii) When designing rehabilitation works, close consultation with users can ensure the provision of better services. (iii) Expectations need to be managed as there are limits to how much progress can be made on disaster risk reduction or emergency preparedness under an emergency operation.