Topic Guides

HEART Topic Guides are resource guides relating to health, education and nutrition topics. They provide a synthesis of the key current issues and debates as well as links to essential readings.

Early childhood development

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Educational technology

This guide aims to contribute to what we know about the relationship between educational technology (edtech) and educational outcomes by addressing the following overarching question: What is the evidence that the use of edtech, by teachers or students, impacts teaching and learning practices, or learning outcomes? It also offers recommendations to support advisors to strengthen the design, implementation and evaluation of programmes that use edtech. We define edtech as the use of digital or electronic technologies and materials to support teaching and learning. Recognising that technology alone does not enhance learning, evaluations must also consider how programmes are designed and implemented, how teachers are supported, how communities are developed and how outcomes are measured.

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Inclusive learning

Teacher holding hand of blind student, North Darfur, Sudan Inclusive learning is defined in the Topic Guide as ‘the result of effective teaching practice, an adapted learning environment and teaching approaches which ensure that all children are included, engaged and supported’. The Topic Guide addresses some of the contested and debated issues around terminology, labelling, and segregated, integrated and inclusive schooling; reviews the limited evidence that exists from low and middle income countries;and identifies future research directions.

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Family Planning

Mother and baby smiling, Nigeria This document presents a summary of family planning. It reviews existing literature, examining carefully what the current knowledge is, where the important issues or problems lie and “what works”. It is divided into ten sections. This guide was produced as a result of a reading week held for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) advisers in mid-2012. The topics and readings were chosen by experts in the field but are not a comprehensive review of all family planning literature. The main audience for this guide is policymakers, advisers, managers and practitioners.

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This Topic Guide has been compiled to provide an overview of undernutrition in the context of development. It covers the nature, scale and complex range of causes of undernutrition and summarises the evidence for what works to address the problem. The Guide covers direct nutrition interventions (or nutrition specific development as it is often termed), indirect interventions (nutrition sensitive), and the global coordination structures, governance and funding which are essential for an enabling environment within which undernutrition can be successfully reduced.

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Other DFID funded Topic Guides:

  • Equity and Inclusion in Education: Tools to support education sector planning and evaluation

    As progress is made towards the Education for All and Millennium Development goals, including universal primary education and gender parity at all levels of education, increasing attention is being given to those children who are still out of school, are particularly hard to reach and are at risk of being excluded, marginalised or otherwise disadvantaged [...]

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  • Education economics. A guide through the subject

    The key messages from this topic guide are: Education economics starts from the basis that there are returns to education that increase the wealth and well-being of the educated. Economists view education as a merit good, in that there are externalities or spillovers, meaning returns to education benefit others beyond the person being educated. Government/public [...]

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  • Non-Traditional Financing for Education

    Aid to education is declining. Given the success of non-traditional financing in the health sector, the education sector has started to explore its potential to see if it can provide additional and alternative sources of finance to address some of the financing gap. Non-traditional financing is about more than raising additional funds; it is also [...]

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