Research and knowledge management

Social Outcomes of Learning


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OECD has been evaluating the role learning plays in improving social outcomes such as health and social cohesion. The Social Outcomes of Learning (SOL) project explores the causal links, the causal mechanisms and the contexts under which education is likely to play an important role in promoting healthy lifestyles and active civic and social engagement (CSE). The first phase (2005-2007) of this project developed a conceptual framework and mapped available evidence pertaining to diverse domains of health and CSE. The second phase (2008-2009) focused on particular sub-domains of health (i.e. obesity, mental health and drinking) and CSE (i.e. volunteering, political interest and trust/tolerance) to evaluate whether, how and under what conditions education can contribute to improving these social outcome measures.


The Social Outcomes of Learning project is designed to inform economic and social policy that relates to education and lifelong learning. The aims are to:

  • Synthesize what is known about the social outcomes of learning.
  • Develop coherent models for understanding better these complex links, and their implications for policy.
  • Add to the empirical knowledge base of SOL.
  • Propose ways to measure the relationships in a way that is valuable for both policy makers and researchers.

Main outputs include:


Phase 1:


Phase 2:






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