Education: What's the smartest post-2015 target?


The Copenhagen Consensus Center has just released its latest research series on Education targets for the post-2015 agenda. What is the smartest education target? Reduce by 50% the proportion of children not in pre-school in sub-Saharan Africa. For every dollar spent, the net benefit is 33 dollars:


Education Targets

Benefit for Every Dollar

Increase the preschool enrollment ratio in Sub-Saharan Africa from the present 18% to 59%


Increase the primary enrollment ratio in Sub-Saharan Africa from the present 75% to 100%


Increase student test scores by one standard deviation


Ensure secondary school completion


The top target is not universal, because pre-school is a much better investment in Sub-Saharan Africa than elsewhere. The top target is not 100% because that is both much harder and much less effective.

You can read the full set of reports at

George Psacharopoulos, formerly of the London School of Economics and the World Bank writes the main report, peer-reviewed in perspective papers by Paul Glewwe and Caroline Krafft of the University of Minnesota, Department of Economics, and by Peter Orazem of the Economics Department at Iowa State University. Additionally, NGOs and stakeholders such as Education International, Save the Children, and UNICEF present viewpoint papers concerning Psacharopoulos’ analysis.

For a quick summary please see the "one-pager" featured below and attached.

PS.The Post-2015 Consensus project brings together more than 50 top economists, NGOs, international agencies and businesses to identify the targets with the greatest benefit-to-cost ratio for the next set of UN development goals. If you have questions about the project, send an email to Research Project Manager Brad Wong.

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PDF icon education_one_pager_final.pdf687.69 KB