New Publications Just Released

Learning and Education in Developing Countries: Research and Policy for the Post-2015 UN Development Goals Learning and Education in Developing Countries provides comprehensive and up-to-date review of learning and educational quality in developing countries, written by highly knowledgeable specialists from around the world. The areas reviewed include early literacy, new technologies, conflict-affected contexts, non-formal education, and learning assessment, and are among the most crucial for policy makers—from ministers of education, development agencies to academic specialists and students in international educational development. Working with the UN Millennium Development Goals to improve educational quality, this cutting edge, research-based review helps to situate what is known and remains to be known to improve education globally. Read more about the book release here.

Mobiles for Reading: A Landscape Research Review (2014) This landscape review takes the broad domain of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) for education, and focuses on the fast-evolving sub-domain of mobiles for reading, or M4R. The ‘mobiles’ in this review primarily refer to mobile technologies—ICTs that are portable, typically battery powered, and may be connected to cellular networks and/or the Internet. The term ‘reading’ refers to the joint abilities of understanding and producing written language, for children, youth and adults. This review of M4R focuses primarily on the use of mobile ICTs designed to help children learn to read, practice reading (reading to learn), and acquire a broader range of learning skills that support a literate society. 

Mobiles for literacy in developing countries: An effectiveness framework (2014) In recent years, the advent of low-cost digital and mobile devices has led to a strong expansion of social interventions, including those that try to improve student learning and literacy outcomes. Many of these are focused on improving reading in low- income countries, and particularly among the most disadvantaged. Some of these early efforts have been called successful, but little credible evidence exists for those claims. Drawing on a robust sample of projects in the domain of mobiles for literacy, this article introduces a design solution framework that combines intervention purposes with devices, end users, and local contexts. In combination with a suggested set of purpose-driven methods for monitoring and evaluation, this new framework provides useful parameters for measuring effectiveness in the domain of mobiles for literacy.

Gold Standard? The Use of Randomized Controlled Trials for International Educational Policy (2014). Major agencies and specialized evaluation committees are pressuring the field of education development to include such methods as a way to buttress scientific and policy arguments. This review takes a closer look at this evidence-based perspective to identify strengths and limitations for making policy decisions in low-income countries.