should be targeted to the poor, particularly poor young women, who are often doubly disadvantaged. Evaluation research shows that important actors in the system—parents, students, teachers, employers, and administrators—can be very responsive to well-designed incentive programs.


At their best, schools have the capacity to enhance success in all transitions to adulthood through the acquisition of literacy in a commonly spoken language and the transmission of knowledge and means to sustain health, prosocial values and citizenship knowledge and skills, and decision-making, negotiating, and leadership skills and skills for lifelong learning. While the panel supports the UN Millennium Development Goals for education, it does not see the achievement of these goals—universal primary school completion rates and the elimination of gender disparities at all levels of schooling—as sufficient for the next generation of young people to acquire the skills necessary for successful transitions to adulthood. The rapidity of global change and changing patterns of employment require that policy makers give equal attention to investments in school quality in order to ensure adequate learning outcomes at the primary level as well as to create a stronger base for further expansions in enrollment at the secondary level. The panel also identified carefully targeted subsidies as a particularly promising way to increase enrollment and reduce the prevalence of child labor among the poor.

Declines in fertility and improvements in child health have been shown to have contributed to past increases in the demand for schooling. Policies and programs supporting further progress in these areas are likely to continue to contribute to future growth in school enrollment and attainment.

Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women

The panel’s recommendations on gender equality emphasize the promotion of gender-equitable treatment in the classroom, the development of compensatory educational and training programs for disadvantaged and out-of-school youth, particularly girls, and the adoption of policies and programs that support delays in marriage in places where girls still marry before the age of 18. Addressing gender problems in society will call for interventions that affect all social classes.

Health, Including Sexual and Reproductive Health

The panel has identified maternal mortality as one of the major causes of death and morbidity for young women and HIV/AIDS as the major

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