2019 was a big year for learning profiles. The RISE Programme and RISE partners have now analyzed learning profiles for more than 50 countries, covering more than 6 million individuals. In a recent video interview, RISE Research Fellow Michelle Kaffenberger summarized what we’ve been learning from them.
A big challenge in analysing education systems is the limited data that's available on learning outcomes for many low and middle-income countries. Typical sources of international learning data such as PISA or TIMMS don't cover many lower-income countries, but even if they did, they have important limitations. They typically only cover one or a couple of grade levels making it difficult or impossible to trace out the trajectory of learning across multiple grades. They also usually only cover children who are in school leaving out those who have dropped out or never started.
On Thursday the World Bank launched its new Learning Poverty measure, to serve as a rallying cry for improved learning. It is intended to be the learning equivalent of the $1/day poverty line, measuring the percent of children below a low learning threshold—those who cannot read a simple passage by age 10.
Change is hard. It is hard for individuals. It is extra hard for organizations. Change is especially hard for organizations when they have been successful. Organizations often develop strategies, norms, and practices that are tailored to produce success in a particular activity or context. When those strategies are successful, organizations have an especially difficult time to create and manage change that is not simply “more of the same, better.”
This is true even of large, successful, well-managed private sector organizations facing (organizational) life or death consequences.
A new working paper from the RISE Indonesia Country Research Team has the incredible benefit of having panel data on learning—tracking the same children on what they know over time—a rarity in the development space.