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Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) - Basic Education Service Delivery Cluster

Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF)
SIEF - Impact Evaluation Cluster Note: Basic Education Services Delivery


The Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund is a new multi-donor trust fund that supports research to evaluate the effectiveness of programs to improve people’s lives and alleviate poverty. The fund, which was started with the assistance of the British Government’s Department for International Development, recently announced the results of its first call for proposals. Thirty projects were picked for initial funding, among them 11 in the area of Basic Education Service Delivery. Projects in the education research cluster are listed below.

The Impact of Concession Schools on Educational Outcomes in Bogota

  • Location: Columbia
  • World Bank contact: Martha Laverde
  • Principal investigator: Juan Manuel Garcia, Econometria S.A.
  • Timeline: August 2012 to June 2013
  • Evaluation: In 2000, 25 public schools in Colombia were selected to be administered by private institutions. The goal was to allow private schools to replicate their successful education strategies in the public schools, improving the quality of education of low-income children. The program is set to expire in 2014, which has prompted the government to seek to review the program’s efficacy to determine whether to continue and possibly expand it. Researchers will evaluate the program in terms of academic performance, drop-out and grade repetition rates, and enrollment in higher education.

Performance-Based Incentives for Teachers in Guinea

  • Location: Guinea
  • World Bank contact: Marie-Helene Cloutier
  • Principal investigators: Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Graduate Schools of Education, Harvard University, and Deon Filmer, World Bank
  • Timeline: November 2011 to April 2015
  • Evaluation: As in many developing countries, educating the poorest students in Guinea remains a challenge, but often just providing additional funding to schools is not enough to improve learning. The Government of Guinea aims to improve student learning by enhancing teacher performance through an incentive pilot scheme that includes a financial reward, social recognition, and teacher training. Third and fourth-grade teachers from 466 schools participated in the pilot. Researchers will evaluate the impact of these incentives on student achievement.

Short-Term Accountability: Experimental Evidence from Rural Primary and Secondary Schools in Southern India

  • Location: India
  • World Bank contact: Harry Patrinos
  • Principal investigator: Michael Latham, CfBT Education Trust

  • Timeline: March 2013 to December 2016
  • Evaluation: The problem of poor learning outcomes is common in India, as in many developing countries. While more than 90 percent of children aged 6 to 14 are in school, achievements in learning fall well below required standards. The Government of India sought to address this problem by increasing parental and community involvement, including a customized school management program (school committees), in its national educational scheme. The idea is that schools will be more accountable if communities, including parents, are directly involved. Researchers will seek to determine the relationship between community participation, the education delivery process, and learning outcomes in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Measuring the Impact of Teacher Location Incentives in Lesotho

  • Location: Lesotho
  • World Bank contact: Marie-Helene Cloutier
  • Principal investigator: Deon Filmer, World Bank
  • Timeline: June 2011 to December 2014
  • Evaluation: In Lesotho, there is a pronounced difference between the quality of schools in remote mountainous areas and those in the lowlands. Students in schools in remote areas show poorer learning, including more frequently repeating grades and lower test scores. Researchers will measure the effect of providing financial incentives to teachers in remote areas or providing scholarships to unqualified teachers teaching in remote schools so they can improve their qualifications. The study will give policymakers in Lesotho and the region needed evidence on improving education in remote areas through incentives to raise the quality of teaching.

Effects of Quality Improvement Strategies on Early Childhood Development in Community-Based Childcare Centers in Malawi: A Randomized Trial

  • Location: Malawi
  • World Bank contact: Michelle Neuman
  • Principal investigators: Lia Fernald, University of California, Berkeley, and Berk Ozler, World Bank
  • Timeline: October 2011 to August 2014
  • Evaluation: Children’s social and cognitive readiness for school is crucial for later success. In Malawi, the government seeks to improve child development through better pre-schools. Researchers will study the effects teacher incentives and training, parental education, and learning materials for children on their physical, emotional, and cognitive development and their readiness for primary school.

Impact Evaluation of a Low Cost Private School Model

  • Location: Mexico
  • World Bank contact: Harry Patrinos
  • Principal investigator: Lucrecia Santibanez, RAND Corporation
  • Timeline: September 2012 to June 2015
  • Evaluation: Many traditional public schools in Mexico are failing to educate students, particularly those from poorer families. Recent PISA testing shows that most 15-year-olds did not possess basic levels of competency in math and almost 20 percent did not have basic reading skills. Reforms to improve education quality in Mexico take a long time to materialize and parents rarely have a voice. Research will evaluate the impact of Christel House, a low-cost private school for poor children with a rigorous curriculum delivered by highly-trained teachers and an active parental involvement component. The results of the evaluation will give policymakers in Mexico and other countries evidence on public-private partnerships on educational achievement.

Randomized Impact Evaluation of Various Early Literacy Interventions in Mozambique

  • Location: Mozambique
  • Principal investigators: Marie-Helene Coutier, World Bank, and Sophie Naudeau, World Bank
  • Timeline: June 2012 to August 2015
  • Evaluation: Studies have shown that teacher training combined with accountability strategies can result in improved student learning outcomes in early grades. More research is needed to disentangle the effect of the public information and training. The Government of Mozambique has implemented a pilot program to raise student achievement through teacher training and by providing families with information about reading test results. Researcher will evaluate the effectivesness of these strategies on educational outcomes.

Investing in the Education Market: Strengthening Private Schools for the Rural Poor

  • Location: Pakistan
  • World Bank contact: Jishnu Das
  • Principal investigators: Tahir Andrabi, Pomona College, and Asim Khwaja, Harvard University
  • Timeline: January 2012 to June 2016
  • Evaluation: In developing countries, low-cost private schools often offer better education than public schools. But in Pakistan, several external conditions are constraining low-cost private school growth and effectiveness, including access to credit and technical resources. Researchers will seek to overcome these constraints by implementing a project that offers three models of financial support to schools: grants, loans, and equity financing. Additionally, the project will provide technical support, such as management, syllabi, and training to entrepreneurs seeking to establish private schools.

Closing the Early Learning Gap between Roma and Non-Roma Children in Romania through Pre-School Participation: Outreach and Conditional Food Coupons Approaches

  • Location: Romania
  • World Bank contact: Joost de Laat
  • Principal investigator: Elise Huillery, Sciences Po
  • Timeline: June 2013 to June 2015
  • Evaluation: In Romania, the early learning gap between Roma and non-Roma children is a challenge for parents and policymakers. While more than 75% of all children aged 3-6 nationally are enrolled in school, the majority of Roma children are not. A program administered by a local NGO has tried to raise pre-school participation among the Roma by reaching out to parents and providing food coupons to encourage them to enroll their children in school. Researchers will measure the effectiveness of the program in order to help policymakers understand how they can boost the number of Roma children attending preschool and improve children’s cognitive and socio-emotional development.

Testing Information-for-Accountability and Teacher Incentive Interventions for Improving Education Service Delivery

  • Location: Tanzania
  • World Bank contact: Arun Joshi
  • Principal investigators: Deon Filmer, World Bank, and James Habyarimana, Georgetown University
  • Timeline: September 2012 to July 2015
  • Evaluation: In Tanzania, student learning has been hampered by high rates of teacher absenteeism, inefficient use of school grants, and low student test scores. The Government of Tanzania seeks to address these problems through non-financial incentives for teachers and improved information to community members and families on student and school performance and school spending. Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of these approaches.

Does Class-Size Mediate the Effectiveness of Teacher Quality Interventions?

  • Location: Uganda
  • World Bank contact: Sukhdeep Brar
  • Principal investigators: Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Harvard University, and James Habyarimana, Georgetown University
  • Timeline: September 2012 to July 2015
  • Evaluation: In Uganda, enrollment in primary and secondary schools is increasing rapidly without corresponding increases in the number of teachers. Researchers will study the impact of class size on teacher quality through pilot progams that cut the number of students in classes by running separate and shorter teaching shifts and give financial incentives and special teaching instruction and feedback to teachers. The evaluation will seek to measure the effects on learning.

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