Improving Education Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Outcomes-Based Contracting and Early Grade Literacy
Fifty-three percent of Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning in low- and middle-income countries despite an investment of between 33-49% of education expenditure on primary education. Teaching children to read in the early grades is fundamental to building resilient education systems, as the ability to read early in life is a great predictor for education success, and will minimise learning loss during education emergencies similar to COVID-19 school closures, for children who can read for meaning can carry on learning outside of school buildings. Further, the predicted financing gaps in the next few years, as a result of COVID-19, will require governments to utilise limited financial resources effectively and efficiently by implementing literacy programmes proven to be impactful, using financial instruments like outcomes-based contracting that can mobilise and coordinate non-traditional educational finance and incentivise service providers to improve results by paying for achievement of agreed outcomes.
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