The World Bank provides support to education systems throughout the developing world that focuses on helping countries attain the Education for All objectives, as well as provide education for the knowledge economy.
The Bank tailors its assistance to region- and country-specific factors. Analysis drive assistance design and attempts to clarify the factors that drive education outcomes in a given country, how these factors interact with each other, which factors carry the most weight in educational outcomes, which actions are likely to produce the greatest results, and where the greatest risks and constraints are within the education system. For example, the biggest obstacle to universal primary completion may vary from the distance to primary school to dying teachers to language of instruction to corrupt or incompetent administrators.
The chief focus of Bank assistance across its six geographic regions are as follows.
Sub-Saharan Africa (AFR): to help education systems look beyond universal primary education to secondary and even tertiary education needs, while assisting these countries to meet the education MDGs in the face of the challenges of HIV/AIDS, armed conflict, and continued growth in primary school-aged populations.
East Asia and the Pacific (EAP): to build region-wide capacity for student learning assessments, monitoring, and evaluation, as well as help middle-income countries address issues of access (reaching the last 10 percent of out-of-school children), quality, governance, financing, and public-private partnerships.
Europe and Central Asia (ECA): to address the diverse needs of individual countries, ranging from supporting the poorest groups in low-income countries to helping middle-income countries build education systems and labor market skills on par with OECD countries.
Latin America and the Caribbean (LCR): to address inequalities in educational access and learning achievement, strengthen education system responsiveness to labor market needs by reforming secondary education, and promote donor harmonization.
Middle East and North Africa (MNA): to build region-wide capacity for education research and learning assessment, address the ICT needs of the education sector, and mainstream approaches to integrating vulnerable children and youth into education systems.
South Asia (SAR): to accelerate progress toward achievement of the MDGs, with special attention to strengthening governance, school management, and teacher accountability, as well as reintegrating women and minorities into society in conflict-affected countries.