Partner Publications

The Economic Cost of Out of School Children in Southeast Asia

This publication is the result of Educate A Child’s (EAC) project with UNESCO Bangkok, which seeks to eradicate obstacles, both in policy and practice, that would prevent children in Southeast Asia from accessing primary education.

The project targets out of school children (OOSC), including those born into poverty, the disabled, migrant and stateless children, girls, those living in remote areas and ethnic minorities.

Co-published by UNESCO Bangkok and the Results for Development Institute (R4D), the report looks at the benefits of primary education and estimates the economic cost associated with large populations of OOSC in seven Southeast Asian countries – Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

To help education policymakers and decision makers gain a clear understanding of the significant economic incentives linked to educating OOSC, the report used two methods to estimate the economic loss resulting from not educating these children.

The first estimation approach uses labour market data to estimate the total earnings which will be forfeited in the near future due to under-educated workers if primary school enrolment patterns do not change.

The second approach is based on cross-country regressions that estimate the relationship between national education attainment and per capita income.

Download the full report here.


Publication Date: 
August 08, 2015



EAC partnered with UNESCO to help realise Sustainable Development Goal 4 (ensure inclusive and quality education for all), as well as the former Millennium Development Goal 2 (achieve universal primary education). To that end, the two have joined in partnership to implement education interventions in 11 countries to reach OOSC in Asia and the Middle East.