Sector Results and Learning:
Education

This Education Sector Results and Learning page is a repository of evidence generated by all MCC-funded Education interventions. To promote learning and inform future program design, this page captures monitoring data from key common indicators, showcases recently published evaluations, and includes all agency lessons from completed Education evaluations to-date.

What Do We Invest In?

MCC has funded $628 million in Education interventions as of June 2021. These interventions target the following levels of education: general education specific; technical and vocational education training/workforce development; and higher education; and fall into the following categories of investment: teacher/school administrator training; infrastructure and equipment; governance and management; and workforce training.

General Education Specific

Education that is designed to develop learners’ general knowledge, skills and competencies and literacy and numeracy skills, often to prepare students for more advanced educational programs and to lay the foundation for lifelong learning.

Technical and Vocational Education Training/Workforce Development

Education and training which provides knowledge and skills for employment. TVET uses formal, non-formal, or informal learning to provide practical and occupational skills at the secondary and post-secondary level, often as an alternative to university training.

Higher Education

Post-Secondary education leading toward an academic degree.

Workforce Training

Workplace based training, job placement programs, occupational training.

Governance and Management

Interventions related to accountability measures and incentives, including data management and assessments, education policy, and alignment of measures to more coherence in the system.

Infrastructure and Equipment

Includes new construction or rehabilitation of school facilities as well as the supplying of equipment for labs, gymnasiums, and other instructional facilities.

Teachers/School Administrator Training

Interventions that involve professional preparation for teachers (pedagogical and subject matter training), as well as training for school management and teacher mentors.

What Have We Completed So Far?

MCC and its country partners develop and tailor Monitoring and Evaluation Plans for each particular program and country context. Within these country-specific plans, MCC uses common indicators where appropriate to standardize measurement and reporting within certain sectors. See below for a subset of common indicators that summarize implementation achievements across all MCC Education investments as of September 2021. Note that these indicators are tracked and reported during program implementation, so do not reflect the continued attendance and graduation of students after MCC-funded programs end. However, such post-program results are included in our independent evaluation reports.

844

Educational facilities constructed or rehabilitated

10,621

Instructors trained

291,165

Students participating in MCC-supported education activities

62,938

Graduates from MCC-supported education activities

What Have We Achieved?

MCC commissions independent evaluations, conducted by third-party evaluators, for every project it funds. These evaluations hold MCC and country partners accountable for the achievement of intended results and also produce evidence and learning to inform future program decision-making. They investigate the quality of project implementation, the achievement of the project objective and other targeted outcomes, and the cost-effectiveness of the project. The graphs below summarize the composition and status of MCC’s independent evaluations in the Education sector as of August 2021. Read on to see highlights of newly published interim and final evaluations. Follow the evaluation links to see the status of all planned, ongoing, and completed evaluations in the sector and to access the reports, summaries, surveys, and data sets.

Go to our List of Evaluations to see the status of MCC’s education sector evaluations

Recently Published Evaluations

December 15, 2020 | Georgia Compact II

Upgrading STEM Education at Universities in Georgia

Partners collaborated to offer American degrees and prepare for accreditation

  • Evaluation Type: Performance
  • Evaluation Status: Interim

MCC’s Georgia II Compact (2013–2019), which disbursed $136 million, funded the $30 million STEM Higher Education Project, which aimed to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) university education to give graduates better employment opportunities with higher incomes, leading to an increase in economic growth. Three public Georgian universities and one university from the United States worked to give Georgian students an opportunity to earn a high-quality STEM bachelor’s degree, improve the Georgian partners’ STEM-related infrastructure, and prepare the partners for international program accreditation.

Read Evaluation Details or the Evaluation Brief

Under the VTGF Sub-Activity, a student develops technical skills.

January 1, 2018 | Namibia Compact

Improving Vocational Training Capacity in Namibia

Scholarships increased training completion but did not increase employment

  • Evaluation Type: Multiple
  • Evaluation Status: Final

MCC’s $295.7 million Namibia Compact (2009-2014) funded the $145 million Education Project, which included the $8.2 million Vocational Training Grant Fund (VTGF) Sub-Activity. The sub-activity was designed to address the skills gap in Namibia’s labor force by providing grants to expand domestic training capacity and fund scholarships in high-priority skills areas, thereby allowing more trainees to complete training and experience increased employment and earnings.

Read Evaluation Details or the Evaluation Brief

Tailoring school uniforms was the most popular course in the Non-Formal Skills Development Sub-Activity, which funded training in skills as well as job placement services.

June 1, 2016 | El Salvador Compact

Improving Non-Formal Skills in Northern El Salvador

Employment and income moderately increased after training

  • Evaluation Type: Performance
  • Evaluation Status: Interim

MCC’s $449.5 million El Salvador Compact (2007-2012) funded training in skills such as cooking, tailoring, and electric installation, as well as job placement services through the $5 million Non-Formal Skills Development Sub-Activity. It was based on the theory that an increase in skilled workers plus connection to the market would increase employment of participants and therefore increase overall household income.

Read Evaluation Details or the Evaluation Brief

August 1, 2016 | Burkina Faso Compact

Improving Girls’ Education in Burkina Faso

BRIGHT II boosted attendance, performance, & graduation rates

  • Evaluation Type: Impact
  • Evaluation Status: Final

MCC's $480.5 million Burkina Faso Compact (2009-2014) included a $28.8 million Burkinabe Response to Improve Girls' Chances to Succeed (BRIGHT II) Project. The Project was based on the theory that improving education infrastructure would improve access to education, particularly for girls. The Project constructed 396 classrooms for grades 3-6 in 132 schools and funded ancillary educational needs for students (e.g. latrines, school supplies, and food) and adults (e.g. teachers' housing and gender-sensitivity training).

Read Evaluation Details or the Evaluation Brief

Go to our Evaluation Brief page to see all completed education sector evaluations

Go to our Evaluation Brief page to see all completed energy sector evaluations

What Have We Learned from Our Results?

To link the evidence produced by the independent evaluations with MCC practice, project staff produce an MCC Learning document at the close of each interim and final evaluation to capture practical lessons for programming and evaluation. Use the filters below to find lessons relevant to your evidence needs.

  • “Girl-friendly” schools: The IMAGINE project had a large and significant impact on girls’ enrollment, attendance, and test scores.

    “Girl-friendly” schools: The IMAGINE project had a large and significant impact on girls’ enrollment, attendance, and test scores. Viewed through the lens of the larger impact of the project for girls, it appears that there is indeed a “girl friendliness” about these schools that may be working. Historically in Niger, boys have a much higher rate of school enrollment than girls, potentially because parents may be reluctant to enroll their girl children in school due to cultural values or because of the large role girls often play in household chores. The IMAGINE project has successfully diminished the difference between boys’ and girls’ enrollment, attendance, and math test scores. We do not know which specific components of the project or the environment were the key drivers of such distinct impacts for girls, but we hypothesize that the elements specifically designed to attract girl students (such as the gender-segregated latrines and female teacher housing), as well as the complementary activities in support of girls education, were responsible for the differentiated impacts.

  • Effects of school characteristics: Since all but one of the surveyed villages had a school prior to project implementation, the effects observed in the current analysis are primarily driven by differences in the characteristics of the schools.

    Effects of school characteristics: Since all but one of the surveyed villages had a school prior to project implementation, the effects observed in the current analysis are primarily driven by differences in the characteristics of the schools. IMAGINE schools continue to have significantly better educational infrastructure and resources than non-IMAGINE schools. Because the IMAGINE project did not affect the presence or number of schools available in villages, the impacts on enrollment and attendance are most likely based solely on the school infrastructure and the complementary educational interventions that were implemented during IMAGINE. Indeed, the higher quality infrastructure of schools in IMAGINE villages may be driving parents to enroll their children in school at a higher rate as well as encouraging more consistent attendance.

  • Multiple years of schooling required to acheive improvements in learning: The evaluation conducted in early 2011, approximately one year after completion of school construction, found a 4.

    Multiple years of schooling required to acheive improvements in learning: The evaluation conducted in early 2011, approximately one year after completion of school construction, found a 4.3 percentage point positive impact on primary school enrollment, but no impact on attendance or on math and French test scores. The present evaluation, conducted in late 2013, found statistically significant impacts on enrollment, attendance, and math test scores. These results suggest that it may take more than one year of schooling in Niger for an improvement in learning to manifest. Because children stay in school longer in IMAGINE villages than in non-IMAGINE villages, they have more of a chance to learn, which would be consistent with the improvements in test scores after three years, when there were none after one year.

  • The cost of education investments should account for the labor market and economic realities that project beneficiaries will face: Despite achieving statistically significant positive impacts on enrollment, attendance, and learning outcomes, the projects produced low, and in the case of NECS & IMAGINE, economic rates of return.

    The cost of education investments should account for the labor market and economic realities that project beneficiaries will face: Despite achieving statistically significant positive impacts on enrollment, attendance, and learning outcomes, the projects produced low, and in the case of NECS & IMAGINE, economic rates of return. This was, in large part, due to the high cost of the investments and the low economic returns to education in Niger’s labor market. While the low returns to education contribute to the low economic rates of return of the project, they also provide important insight into the demand for education, as children and their families may see little advantage to school enrollment or pursuing an education. The projects were able to improve the perceptions of education in the treatment villages – parents in NECS & IMAGINE and NECS-only villages were 6.9 percentage points and 6.5 percentage points, respectively, more likely to want their child to attend secondary or higher schooling. However, further improvements in parental perceptions about education and further household investments in education may both be hampered by parents’ observations of low labor market returns to education. Working to find lower-cost solutions that provide access to quality education may be a promising area for future programming for the GoN and other donors working in Niger. Moreover, the demand for education and the economic and employment prospects of those targeted by the investment should be explicitly accounted for when designing education interventions in environments such as Niger.

  • Impacts of IMAGINE and NECS projects do not appear to be additive: The results suggest that both the IMAGINE project and NECS project had positive impacts on most educational outcomes.

    Impacts of IMAGINE and NECS projects do not appear to be additive: The results suggest that both the IMAGINE project and NECS project had positive impacts on most educational outcomes. The impacts of the two projects are largely similar to one another and similar to the impacts of the IMAGINE project observed in the three-year evaluation. However, it is uncertain whether the combination of the two projects had additional benefits on enrollment, attendance, or mother tongue early grade reading skills on children of primary school age beyond the benefits of each program alone. It is possible that the two projects did not have additive benefits when implemented together. For example, the extensive social mobilization campaign that occurred as part of the NECS project may have improved child outcomes in NECS-only villages but may not have had an additional benefit in villages that had already experienced similar benefits from the IMAGINE project. It is also possible that the benefits of IMAGINE declined over time (for example, if enrollment and attendance in non-IMAGINE villages “caught up” over time), and the NECS project had similar impacts on both sets of communities.

‘Principles into Practice’

MCC has also developed a Principles into Practice paper using evidence from completed independent evaluations in the Education sector Principles into Practice: Training Service Delivery for Jobs and Productivity. The Principles into Practice series offers a frank look at what it takes to make these principles MCC considers essential for development operational in the projects and activities in which MCC invests. The learning captured in this paper will inform MCC’s ongoing efforts to refine and strengthen its own model and development practice in the Education sector. MCC hopes this paper will also allow others to benefit from, and build upon, MCC’s lessons.