K4D Helpdesk Report

Engaging parents in their children’s education

Published on 26 May 2017

In general systematic and rigorous reviews find limited (and little robust) evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to engage parents in their children’s learning in resource-constrained countries – when looking at parental participation in their children’s literacy development and parental engagement with schools.

Effects tend to be mixed, with scarce evidence making it hard to come to firm conclusions on findings, including on the effects of the way parents engage in supporting their children’s learning.

Reviews report more, and more consistent, evidence showing significant benefits from interventions supporting parental engagement with their children’s early childhood development (ECD). There are recommendations in the literature on the way parents are engaged in ECD interventions.

In general the literature tends not to provide gender analysis, presumably because many interventions do not incorporate a gender focus (although some do). This rapid review has found limited evidence on the impact of interventions supporting parent engagement specifically for girls or for children with disabilities in resource constrained countries.

Cite this publication

Carter, B. (2017). Engaging parents in their children’s education. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


Becky Carter

Research Officer

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published by
Carter, Becky


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