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enGENDER IMPACT: Shrinking Education and Skills Gaps

High school students in Suapur, Bangladesh

One of the main implications of the World Development Report on Jobs (WDR2013) is that investments in basic human capital are a prerequisite for a policy environment conductive to growth. Despite broad gains in girls’ and young women’s education, gaps still persist in some countries and regions in terms of education participation, attainment, and outcomes.

Girls often face unique constraints to school, such as son-biases, domestic responsibilities at home, inadequate access to sanitary facilities and resources, and inability to travel as far. Even where gender parity is reached in terms of enrollment, girls and boys are often "streamed" into different fields and opportunities, and this pattern starts the trajectory for women to end up in less productive and lower paying work later on. There are also gender gaps in non-cognitive skills—such as motivation, aspirations, emotional skills, communication skills, and interpersonal skills—that play a role in determining outcomes later in life.

Building on its large portfolio of work on education, the World Bank has evaluated a wide variety of programs to reduce gender disparities in education, including scholarship programs that increase female enrollment, cash transfer programs that reduce child labor and increase attendance, school management interventions that increase community participation in schools, and school feeding programs that increase attendance and improve cognitive development.

Issue brief: Leveling the Playing Field: Lessons from World Bank Group Gender Impact Evaluations on Education

Issue brief: Preventing Child Marriage: Lessons from World Bank Group Gender Impact Evaluations

Relevant outcomes: Educational or training enrollment, attainment, attendance, or performance; literacy or numeracy; vocational knowledge or skills; cognitive skills; non-cognitive skills; child labor

Dispatcher at the Energy Transmission Control Center in Kazakhstan

Learn more about the World Bank's work to promote gender equality in developing countries.

IE Title & Author(s) Country Gender Outcome(s) Intervention Category
The Use and Misuse of Computers in Education: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial of a Language Arts Program
Barrera-Orsorio & Linden
Colombia Gender disaggregated school performance Education
5 Years in Juntos: New Evidence on the Program's Short and Long-Term Impacts
Perova & Vakis
Peru Consumption, income, use of healthcare services, child labor, school enrollment, school attendance Cash Transfer
An Impact Evaluation of Education, Health, and Water Supply Investments by the Bolivian Social Investment Fund
Newman, et al.
Bolivia Child mortality, use of healthcare services, school performance Social Fund
Anemia and School Participation
Bobonis, et al.
India Gender disaggregated nutrition, school enrollment, school attendance Iron Supplements
Business Training and Female Enterprise Start-up, Growth, and Dynamics Experimental Evidence from Sri Lanka
De Mel, et al.
Sri Lanka Women's vocational knowledge and skills, job performance, property, access to credit, earnings Training
Can Conditional Cash Transfer Programs Serve as Safety Nets in Keeping Children at School and From Working when Exposed to Shocks?
De Janvry, et al.
Mexico Gender disaggregated school enrollment, child labor Cash Transfer
Can Student Loans Improve Accessibility to Higher Education and Student Performance? An Impact Study of the Case of SOFES, Mexico
Canton & Blom
Mexico Gender disaggregated school enrollment, school performance Cash Transfer
Cash or Condition: Evidence from a Cash Transfer Experiment
Baird, et al.
Malawi Female school attainment, cognitive skills, decision making over family formation Cash Transfer
Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment
Macours, et al.
Nicaragua Children's Nutrition, access to healthcare, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, Women's labor force participation, psychological agency Cash Transfer
Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment
Macours, et al.
Nicaragua Boys and girls health, nutrition, non-cognitive skills Cash Transfer, Training
Cash transfers, conditions, school enrollment, and child work: evidence from a randomized experiment in Ecuador
Schady & Araujo
Ecuador Gender disaggregated school enrollment Cash Transfer
Changing Households' Investment and Aspirations through Social Interactions: Evidence from a randomized transfer program
Macours & Vakis
Nicaragua Women's Aspirations, motivation, school attendance, income, property Cash Transfer
Children's Schooling and Work in the Presence of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Rural Colombia
Attanasio, et al.
Colombia Gender disaggregated school enrollment, child labor Cash Transfer
Combining Longitudinal Household and Community Surveys for Evaluation of Social Transfers: infrastructure rehabilitation projects in rural Georgia
Lokshin & Yemtsov
Georgia Female labor force participation, school enrollment, school attendance, health risks Infrastructure Projects
Conditional Cash Transfers and Female Schooling: The Impact of the Female School Stipend Program on Public School Enrollments in Punjab, Pakistan
Chaudhury & Parajuli
Pakistan Female school enrollment Cash Transfer
Credit Constraints, Occupational Choice and the Process of Development: Long Run Evidence from Cash Transfers in Uganda
Blattman, et al.
Uganda Vocational knowledge or skills, labor force participation, productivity, participation or voice in community Cash Transfer
Decentralization: A Cautionary Tale
Kremer, et al.
Kenya Gender disaggregated education enrollment, attainment, and performance School Resources
Did Social Safety Net Scholarships Reduce Drop-Out Rates during the Indonesian Economic Crisis?
Indonesia Gender disaggregated school attainment Cash Transfer
Does Cash for School Influence Young Women's Behavior in the Longer Term? Evidence from Pakistan
Alam, et al.
Pakistan Girls school attainment, labor force participation, child labor, decision making over family formation Cash Transfer
Does Child Labor Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioral Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy
Ravallion & Wodon
Bangladesh Gender disaggregated school enrollment, school attendance School Fee Reduction
Does Community Management Help Keep Kids in Schools? Evidence Using Panel Data from El Salvador's EDUCO Program
Jimenez & Sawada
El Salvador Gender disaggregated school attainment School Management
Does Demand or Supply Constrain Investments in Education? Evidence from Garment Sector Jobs in Bangladesh
Health & Mobarak
Bangladesh Female school attendance, school enrollment Factories
Does Money Matter? The Effects of Cash Transfers on Child Health and Development in Rural Ecuador
Paxson & Schady
Ecuador Gender disaggregated cognitive skills, non-cognitive skill, psychological agency Cash Transfer
Early Childhood Development through an Integrated Program: Evidence from the Philippines
Armecin, et al.
Philippines Children cognitive skills, nutrition Early Childhood Development
Education and HIV/AIDS Prevention: Evidence from a randomized evaluation in Western Kenya
Duflo, et al.
Kenya Reproductive health, school enrollment, fertility Reproductive Health
Educational and Health Impacts of Two School Feeding Schemes
Kazianga, et al.
Burkina Faso Gender disaggregated school enrollment, school attendance, nutrition Nutrition
Entrepreneurship Training and Self-Employment Among University Graduates: Evidence From a Randomized Trial in Tunisia
Premand, et al.
Tunisia Gender disaggregated outcomes: entrepreneurship, labor force participation, vocational knowledge or skills, access to credit, aspirations, non-cognitive skills Training
Evaluating Preschool Programs When Length of Exposure to the Program Varies: A Nonparametric Approach
Behrman, et al.
Bolivia Cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills disaggregated by mothers' characteristics Preschool
Expanding Educational Opportunities in Remote Parts of the World: Evidence from a RCT of a Public-Private Partnership in Pakistan
Barrera-Osorio, et al.
Pakistan School enrollment Public Private Partnership
Gender Differences in the Effects of Vocational Training: Constraints on Women and Drop-Out Behavior
Cho, et al.
Malawi Gender disaggregated vocational knowledge or skills Training
Gender-Targeted Conditional Cash Transfers Enrollment, Spillover Effects and Instructional Quality
Pakistan Girls and boys school enrollment Cash Transfer
'Getting Girls into School': Evidence from a Scholarship Program in Cambodia
Filmer & Schady
Cambodia Female school enrollment, school attendance Cash Transfer
Giving Children a Better Start: Preschool Attendance and School-Age Profiles
Berlinski, et al.
Uruguay Gender disaggregated school attendance, school attainment Preschool
Impact evaluation of school feeding programmes in Lao People's Democratic Republic
Buttenheim, et al.
Laos Gender disaggregated school enrollment, nutrition School Feeding
Impacts of an Early Stage Education Intervention on Students' Learning Achievement: Evidence from the Philippines
Yamauchi & Liu
Philippines Gender disaggregated outcomes: School Attainment, wages, migration Education
Improving primary school education in India: An impact assessment of DPEP Phase 1
Jalan & Glinskaya
India Gender disaggregated school attendance, school attainment School Management
Incentives to Learn
Kremer, et al.
Kenya School performance, motivation Cash Transfer
Information for Accountability: Impact Evaluation of EGRA and teacher training
No authors
Liberia Education performance Education Management
Information, Role Models and Perceived Returns to Education Experimental Evidence from Madagascar
Madagascar School Achievement, School Attendance, Aspirations Information Intervention
Labor Market Returns to Early Childhood Stimulation: a 20-Year Follow-up to the Jamaica Study
Gertler, et al.
Jamaica Gender disaggregated income, labor force participation, school attainment, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills Preschool
Long-Term Consequences of Secondary School Vouchers: Evidence from Administrative Records in Colombia
Angrist, et al.
Colombia Gender disaggregated school attainment, school achievement, school performance School Voucher
More Time is Better: An Evaluation of the Full-Time School Program in Uruguay
Cerdan-Infantes & Vermeersch
Uruguay Gender disaggregated Educational Attainment and Performance School Management
Own and Sibling Effects of Conditional Cash Transfer Programs: Theory and Evidence
Ferreira, et al.
Cambodia Gender disaggregated school enrollment, child labor Cash Transfer
Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India
Banerjee, et al.
India Gender disaggregated school performance Information Intervention
School Governance, Teacher Incentives, and Pupil-Teacher Ratios: Experimental Evidence from Kenyan Primary Schools
Duflo, et al.
Kenya Gender disaggregated school performance School Management
School Meals, Educational Achievement and School Competition: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation
Vermeersch & Kremer
Kenya Gender disaggregated school enrollment, attendance, performance; nutrition School Feeding
School-Based Management and Educational Outcomes: Lessons from a Randomized Field Experiment
Blimpo & Evans
The Gambia Gender disaggregated enrollment, school performance, school attendance School Management
Should Aid Reward Performance? Evidence from a Field Experiment on Health and Education in Indonesia
Olken, et al.
Indonesia Maternal health, nutrition, school attendance Community Driven Development
Split Decisions: Family Finance When a Policy Discontinuity Allocates Overseas Work
Clemens & Tiongson
Philippines Gender Disaggregated: consumption, access to healthcare, property, savings, school performance, intrahousehold bargaining Migration Permits
Subsidy to Promote Girls' Secondary Education: The Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh
Khandker, et al.
Bangladesh School enrollment Cash Transfer
Teacher and Principal Incentives in Mexico
McEwan & Santibáñez
Mexico School achievement School Management
Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India
Muralidharan & Sunderararaman
India School performance Teacher Incentives
The Effects of User Fee Reductions on Enrollment: Evidence from a quasi-experiment
Barrera-Orsorio, et al.
Colombia Gender disaggregated school enrollment School Fee Reduction
The Impact and Targeting of Social Infrastructure Investments: Lessons from the Nicaraguan Social Fund
Pradhan & Rawlings
Nicaragua Gender disaggregated school enrollment, child health, sanitation Infrastructure
The Impact of Alternative Food for Education Programs on Learning Achievement and Cognitive Development in Northern Uganda
Adelman, et al.
Uganda Performance, Literacy and numeracy Nutrition
The Impact of Alternative Food for Education Programs on School Participation and Education Attainment in Northern Uganda
Alderman, et al.
Uganda Gender disaggregated education or training enrollment, attainment, attendance Nutrition
The Impact of Cash Transfers on School Enrollment: Evidence from Ecuador
Oosterbeek, et al.
Ecuador The impact of cash transfers to women on child school enrollment Cash Transfer
The Impact of Distributing School Uniforms on Children's Education in Kenya
Evans, et al.
Kenya Education attainment, attendance, performance School Supplies
The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh
Khandker, et al.
Bangladesh Gender disaggregated labor force participation, school attendance Infrastructure
The Promise of Preschool in Africa: A Randomized Impact Evaluation of Early Childhood Development in Rural Mozambique
Martinez, et al.
Mozambique Gender disaggregated nutrition, Educational enrolment, attainment, performance, literacy and numeracy, non-cognitive skills, women's labor force participation, aspirations Early Childhood Development
The Short-Term Impacts of a Schooling Conditional Cash Transfer Program on the Sexual Behavior of Young Women
Baird, et al.
Malawi School enrollment, decision making over family formation, fertility Cash Transfer
Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A "Labeled Cash Transfer" for Education
Benhassine, et al.
Morocco Gender disaggregated results: School enrollment, school attendance, school performance Cash Transfer
Vocational Education Voucher Delivery and Labor Market Returns: A Randomized Evaluation Among Kenyan Youth
Hicks, et al.
Kenya Gender disaggregated vocational training, gender norms Training
Welfare impacts of Rural Electrification: Evidence From Vietnam
Khandker, et al.
Vietnam Gender disaggregated school attendance, gender disaggregated property Infrastructure
Who You Train Matters: Identifying Complementary Effects of Financial Education on Migrant Households
Doi, et al.
Indonesia Female vocational knowledge or skills, access to credit Training
Women's Inheritance Rights and Intergenerational Transmission of Resources in India
Deininger, et al.
India Women's owned property, gender disaggregated school attainment Legal Reform
Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities
Miguel & Kremer
Kenya Gender disaggregated use of healthcare services, school attendance Deworming

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