Investments in Education and Social Norms

Project Duration: 2023 to 2025

Sustained access to affordable education has the potential to reduce poverty and underdevelopment by expanding the capabilities of individuals and communities to break out of generational cycles of deprivation. Schooling increases earnings, the likelihood of labor market participation and productivity. Schooling is also positively linked with the achievements of development goals such as improved health and nutrition outcomes and population control. Sustained access to schooling can expand the choices and opportunity sets available to individuals, allowing them to achieve what they value. Education also contributes to the resilience of individuals. However, access to, participation in and benefits of education are differentially distributed, for girls and boys, for the rich and poor, the disabled and for those who are located in rural communities. If benefits of education are to be delivered for all, particularly the marginalized.

A cross-sectional inter-generational study is planned in collaboration with The Citizens Foundation (TCF) to understand the multi-dimensional impact of access to schooling over a sustained period of time on life trajectories and capability sets of individuals and communities. Additionally, the study will consider the interdependence between individual and community level outcomes by documenting the ways in which social norms change over time.

The study will have a strong focus on gender differences in the ways in which education benefits individuals, including access to and use of opportunities, aspirations and outcomes. We will also study and document gendered social norms and the ways in which these change (if at all) as education becomes more widely available in communities.

The study has two objectives:

  • to understand the ways in which sustained access to schooling across generations contributes to upward socio-economic mobility and changed social norms, and for whom.
  • to present contextual analysis of the kinds of impact social investments in schooling have had on the individuals and communities.