Young Lives conducts education research in four countries – Ethiopia, Vietnam, India and Peru. The main focus of our work is on the collection and analysis of large-scale survey data. By linking to the Young Lives longitudinal household panel we are able to construct a unique evidence base for policy-relevant research on education in the context of low and middle-income countries.

While it is clear that impressive progress has been made in terms of enrolments in basic education in recent years, much less evidence is available on the levels of learning achieved and on the closely related issues of school quality. The Young Lives education research focuses on measuring learning outcomes and understanding the school processes and background influences that shape them over the child’s life-course. In addition, we undertake focused sub-studies on areas of specific interest within the study countries.

The purpose of our research is to generate new evidence, knowledge and insights concerning the relationships between education, poverty and inequality and concerning ‘what works’ in education policy with regard to improving learning outcomes and life-chances.

What's new

New data release: Young Lives School Survey data are now publicly archived. We are pleased to announce the release of the Young Lives school survey data from India and Peru. The data are now available for external researchers to access and use via the UK Data Service.

WP119-OrkinThe Effect of Lengthening the School Day on Children's Achievement in Ethiopia, Young Lives Working Paper 119.

UNESCO-GMR-2014New policy paper: Exploring the effect of educational opportunity and inequality on learning outcomes in Ethiopia, Peru, India and Vietnam. In this background paper for the UNESCO GMR we examine trends in enrolment and learning and the potential impact of school quality and ‘opportunities to learn’ in mediating the relationships between disadvantage and learning outcomes for poor children.


New Young Lives Working Papers following the conference on inequalities in children's outcomes in developing countries hosted by Young Lives in July Closing panel discussion at Children's Inequalities Conference2013. Four relate to education: "Heterogenous Effects of Preschool on Child Health Outcomes: Evidence from India", by Priya Rampal; "How Girls fall Behind on Cognitive Performance: Quantile Decomposition Evidence From Andhra Pradesh, India", by Dipanwita Sarkar and Jayanta Sarkar; "Aspiration failre: A Poverty Trap for Indigenous Children in Peru?" by Laure Pasquier-Doumer and Fiorella Risso Brandon; and, finally, "The Effect of Lenghtening the School Day on Children's Achievement in Ethiopia", by Kate Orkin.

WP108_VujichNew Young Lives Working Paper: Policy and Practice on Language of Instruction in Ethiopian Schools: Findings from the Young Lives School Survey by Daniel Vujich. This paper uses qualitative and quantitative data from the 2010 Young Lives school survey to examine the arguments around language of instruction in the Ethiopian context.


WP98-Private-School-Premium-IndiaNew Young Lives Working paper: Size and Sources of the Private School Premium in India by Abhijeet Singh: The paper uses unique panel data to estimate value-added models of learning production in private and government schools in Andhra Pradesh (India).



ElisabettaAurino-croppedBlog: Learning for all by 2015: Are we on track? And where are we going?

By Elisabetta Aurino

Yesterday (29 Jan) the annual UNESCO Global Monitoring Report was published. The report provides a timely update on the progress countries are making towards reaching the global ‘Education For All’ goals, a set of six measurable education goals to be achieved by 2015. (more)


Find out more about the sampling, methods and tools on our school survey overview page.





We need to end child poverty in order to break the cycle of poverty.