Will raising test scores in developing countries produce more health, wealth and happiness later in life?

Does possessing foundational literacy and mathematics skills pay off in terms of increased earnings, health, or other dimensions of well-being in the long term? At present, there is a lack of data to answer this question. Long-term tracking of outcomes for children who received basic literacy and maths skills programmes could help and is a motivation behind the Centre for Global Development (CGD)'s new 'Return to learning' initiative which aims to find those children who received support programmes in order to track their progress. In a different approach to reach the same goal, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is opening up opportunities and guidance for researchers who wish to lead randomised trials on promising programmes to improve learning outcomes, build in strong tracking protocols, and wait for those kids to grow up.

Center for Global Development