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Non-formal basic education as a development priority: Evidence from Nicaragua

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Economics of Education Review Volume 28, Number 4 ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Almost 900m adolescents and adults are illiterate in the developing world, yet most policy discussions focus on the educational circumstances of primary aged children. As a result non-formal educational programs for adolescents and adults are given very little support, and this group is virtually ignored in international agreements such as the millennium declaration. This article presents the first serious attempt at evaluating the impact of a non-formal education program. Results show significant learning achievement over the academic year, as well as strong development impacts of the program in non-learning dimensions of participants’ lives. These positive impacts, plus the significantly lower unit costs and self-targeted nature of the program provide strong evidence that this type of program can be an important part of the poverty reduction and human capital enhancement strategy of developing countries with large illiterate adult populations.


Handa, S., Pineda, H., Esquivel, Y., Lopez, B., Gurdian, N.V. & Regalia, F. Non-formal basic education as a development priority: Evidence from Nicaragua. Economics of Education Review, 28(4), 512-522. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved October 20, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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