Basic Education and Employment

18th November 2016
Author: Catherine Grant

This review provides a summary of existing research on: What are the different employment outcomes and cost effectiveness differences between public vs. private basic education (primary and lower secondary) in low and middle income countries and what accounts for any difference (disaggregated by gender as appropriate)? Do either private or public education systems focus more greatly on providing students with foundation skills (literacy and numeracy skills) and does this have an impact on employment outcomes? What is the relative value for money of basic child education (primary and lower secondary) vs. programmes focusing on providing foundation skills e.g. to out of school youth, if the main benefit measure is higher skilled/waged employment? This report is not a systematic review, but aims to capture a substantial portion of the literature offering evidence on this topic, including the most important and useful papers to guide policy-making. It provides an annotated bibliography of the literature, followed by an evidence summary table assessing the literature according to DFID’s ‘strength of evidence’ guidelines

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Suggested Citation

Grant, C. (2016). Basic Education and employment. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


18th November 2016


Continent: Global