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This research and policy engagement project focuses on gender, education and skills amongst children and young people in India, Ethiopia and Vietnam.  It aims to

  • improve understanding of what contributes to girls' success in education and beyond 
  • support decision-making to advance the empowerment of children, particularly girls.

Phase 1 (completed)

The research team used Young Lives' household and school surveys data to answer three questions:

  • Which girls and boys develop positive psychosocial attributes, cognitive abilities and transferable skills? How do these skills, attributes and mind-sets change over time?
  • To what extent do early investments in education and nutrition affect cognitive skills and psychosocial development? Does this differ for girls and boys?
  • How do psychosocial, cognitive and transferable skills support one another? Does this differ for girls and boys?

Phase 2 (completed)

During the pandemic, the research team conducted a phone survey of schools in India and Ethiopia to understand what teaching and learning was taking place during school closures. The data collected were matched with data collected from the same schools in 2016/17.  Headline findings from are available here. More information on the 2016/17 school surveys is  here.

Phase 3 (current)

The team are analysing the relationships between households, schooling, skills development, and academic outcomes to better support decision-making to advance girls' empowerment, addressing these research questions: 

  • How do aspirations, socioemotional skills and mindsets develop through the life course, and how do inequalities between boys and girls in such skills emerge during childhood and adolescence in the context of developing countries?  What is the relationship between skills and educational attainment? 
  • How do individual, socioeconomic and education-related factors interact with gender to determine dropout rates before higher education completion among young adults in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, two southern states of India?
  • What are the skills which young women in developing countries need to access decent work? Are these different for young men?  Which skills have helped young men and women to be resilient to COVID-19 related labour market shocks?

2 Research papers are now published and available to download from our publications page here.

Gender Differences in Socioemotional Skills Among Adolescents and Young Adults in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam

Exploring Factors Affecting Gender Inequality in the Completion of Higher Education in India: A Survival Model Analysis

A third report is available as part of the CSAE Working Paper Series here

Does human capital influence the gender gap in earnings? Evidence from four developing countries

2  Policy Briefs (July) featuring key findings and recommendations will be published later in July. 

Project Information
Echidna Giving
October 2019 – present
Principal Investigators