Education funding and learning outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A review of reviews

E. Hassan*, W. Groot, L. Volante

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Given the drive towards knowledge-based economy to secure and sustain economic advancement, what types of education interventions are most effective holds policy and scholarly interest, particularly in less developed regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa where learning outcomes are weaker and resources are more scarce. It is therefore important to identify: (a) effective interventions; and (b) the reasons why other interventions are less effective. We conducted a systematic review of reviews on education funding and learning outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa to explore this, relying on 14 review articles published between 2000 and 2019. We found that interventions directly influencing a student's daily experience in school such as improvements in infrastructure, improved teacher capacity, increased use of teaching aids such as flipcharts, and performance-based incentives such as scholarships were associated with improved student performance. The efficacy of interventions like cash transfers appears to be limited, apparently by their susceptibility to exogenous factors such as resource substitution within the household. Interventions were also found to be more effective when implemented via a programmatic approach, whether intra- or inter-sectoral, particularly when inputs were designed to be complementary.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research Open
Publication statusPublished - 2022

JEL classifications

  • i21 - Analysis of Education

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