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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 multi-donor trust fund that supports research to evaluate the effectiveness of programs to alleviate poverty and build shared prosperity. The fund, which was started with the assistance of the British Government's Department for International Development, finances impact evaluations, capacity building and knowledge sharing activities. In the first Call for Proposals, 30 projects were picked to receive initial funding (initial funding does not guarantee full funding), among them 11 projects in the Basic Education Service Delivery cluster. The Fund has now launched its second call for proposals. For further information on what evidence the fund seeks to generate in the area of education, read the cluster note.

Projects that received initial funding in the first round are listed below:

Performance-Based Incentives for Teachers in Guinea

  • Location: Guinea
  • Principal investigators: Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University; 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. Often, 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 420 schools participated in the pilot. Researchers will evaluate the impact of these incentives on student achievement.

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

  • Location: Malawi
  • Principal investigators: Lia Fernald, University of California, Berkeley; 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 outcomes through better preschools. Researchers will study the effects of 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
  • 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 the impact of public-private partnerships on educational achievement.

Randomized Impact Evaluation of Various Early Literacy Interventions in Mozambique

  • Location: Mozambique
  • Principal investigators: Marie-Helene Cloutier, World Bank; 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. Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies on educational outcomes.

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

  • Location: Pakistan
  • Principal investigators: Tahir Andrabi, Pomona College; 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.

Closing the Early Learning Gap between Roma and Non-Roma Children in Bulgaria through Pre-School Participation: Inclusive Outreach and (Un)conditional Support Approaches

  • Location: Bulgaria
  • Principal investigator: Elise Huillery, Sciences Po
  • Timeline: June 2013 to June 2015
  • Evaluation: In Bulgaria, the early learning gap between Roma and non-Roma children is a challenge for parents and policymakers. While more than 75 percent of all children aged three to six nationally are enrolled in school, the majority of Roma children are not. To address this challenge, the Trust for Social Achievement, a Bulgarian NGO supported by the America for Bulgaria Foundation, will implement a program in more than 150 poor communities that seeks to address preschool participation in a variety of ways: encouraging active outreach to parents by local NGOs and authorities, offering free preschool for selected beneficiaries, and providing a conditional financial grant for some selected communities. Researchers will measure the effectiveness of the components - jointly and independently - 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
  • Principal investigators: Shwetlena Sabarwal, World Bank; Deon Filmer, World Bank; James Habyarimana, Georgetown University
  • Timeline: September 2012 to July 2015
  • Evaluation: In Tanzania, student learning has been hampered by high rates of teacher absenteeism. The Government of Tanzania seeks to address these problems through non-financial performance-based incentives for teachers and improved information to community members and families on student and school performance. Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of these approaches.

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

  • Location: Uganda
  • Principal investigators: Shwetlena Sabarwal, World Bank; Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Harvard University; 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 teaching quality and learning through pilot programs that reduce the number of students in classes by running separate and shorter teaching shifts and give performance-based incentives, teaching tips and feedback to teachers.

Last updated: 2013-11-05

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