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Impact Evaluation Briefs

Zambia—Can the private sector play a stronger role in malaria diagnosis and treatment?
The poor in many countries lack access to essential malaria diagnosis and treatment methods. One of the reasons is that many patients access malaria treatment through the private and informal sectors, where the availability of diagnostic tests and drugs can be limited and where prices for the recognized front line drugs (Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies or ACTs), are generally high. Strengthening the private sector role offers great potential in the fight against malaria. This policy brief summarizes the evaluation findings of a program in Zambia which sought to enable the private sector to play a stronger role in malaria diagnosis and treatment. Download Brief
Zambia: Reducing Inefficiencies in the Antimalarial Supply Chain
Zambia holds a mixed record in malaria control. On the one hand, the country has made great strides in providing universal access to preventive services. By way of illustration, between 2006 and 2008 the fraction of households owning at least one bed net rose from 48% to 72%. Donload Brief
Eritrea: Evaluating the Additive Effects of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in a Low-Transmission Setting Looking to Eliminate Malaria
Despite significant progress in malaria control on a global scale, Sub-Saharan Africa still bears the brunt of the disease, with over 90% of clinical cases occurring in this region. Against this backdrop, Eritrea has long been considered a success story. The country has made considerable progress in reducing malaria prevalence through a combination of case management, larval habitat management (LHM), wide-scale distribution of free insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), and indoor residual spraying (IRS) in high-prevalence areas. And yet, elimination appears ever an elusive goal, and malaria remains the leading cause of death in children under five. Given these facts, it is vital to enhance existing malaria control programs in order to move towards effective elimination. Download Brief
Kenya: Evaluating the Impact of Malaria on Educational Achievement
As for most of Sub-Saharan Africa, malaria is a serious public health problem in Kenya. Since pregnant women and children under five bear the brunt of mortality and morbidity, the vast majority of malaria interventions focus on these high-risk groups. Download Brief
The Economic Impact of Expanding Access to Finance in Mexico
This policy brief presents the results from a study of a unique bank operating in Mexico that allows for the evaluation of the effect of increased access to financial services for low-income individuals on entrepreneurial activity, employment, and income. Download Brief
The Effects of Conditional Cash Transfers on the Prevention of STIs in Tanzania
Using behavior change to tackle HIV/AIDS in the developing world is not easy. For years, the global community has zeroed in on behavior change as a key to fighting the global HIV epidemic. But so far, the approach has brought only limited success in reducing HIV infections in developing countries. The frustrations are especially evident in sub-Saharan Africa, which has two-thirds of the world's HIV infections. Women and girls, in particular, are at greater risk, partly because of the biological, social and economic challenges they face. Thus, finding solutions is vital. Download Brief
The Effects of Social Mobilization and Peer-Education on Counseling and HIV Testing in Senegal
Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) is an important component of the fight against HIV/AIDS. VCT constitutes an entry point for various interventions, from the treatment of other sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis to psycho-social assistance for sero-positive individuals. Similarly to other African countries, HIV/AIDS efforts in Senegal have focused on increasing voluntary counseling and testing. From the supply side, VCT services are freely available and VCT sites increased from 5 in 2002 to 281 in 2008. Download Brief
Evidence for Combating Malaria
With over half of the world at risk of the disease, malaria is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in much of the developing world. This is especially striking, as the disease is both preventable and treatable. In fact, the causal link between the use of anti-malarial services and improved health outcomes is well established. To date, however, the evidence on which service delivery channels are most effective and on individual preventive and treatment behavior can be affected is extremely limited. Download Brief
Expanding Opportunities for South African Youth: Dinaledi's Math & Science
The Dinaledi program: The strengthening of secondary school education in mathematics and science poses a significant challenge for South Africa. Few students study math and science and fewer still pass the Senior Certificate examinations needed to qualify for university admission into technical fields like engineering, accounting, and science, particularly among traditionally disadvantaged youth. In 2004, in former (African) Bantustan schools, only 2 percent of students enrolled in Higher Grade physical sciences compared to 14 percent in former (white) House of Assembly (HoA) Schools. Only 43 percent passed in Bantustan schools compared to 86 percent in HoA schools. Download Brief
Community-Driven Development as a Poverty Reduction Tool: What Have We Learned so Far?
The often used claim that the enthusiasm for CDD is far ahead of the supporting evidence is no longer true. In the recent years the literature on the effectiveness of CDD has grown very rapidly. And due to the efforts of the Development Impact Evaluation Initiative and its research partners a series of methodologically sound CDD evaluations will bring forward evidence from Cambodia, the Central African Republic, Gambia, Guinea, India, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, in the next couple of years. Download Brief
Making the Grade: Assessing Literacy and Numeracy in African Countries
Access to and completion of primary school has significantly expanded in recent years but can yield disappointing results if accompanied by reduction in education quality. The extent of student learning and skills acquisition measured through test scores is crucial to assess the effectiveness of any investments in education. Early grade reading and math skills are the fundamental building blocks. Children who fail to develop basic skills early in their education are more likely to lag behind in the future. Download Brief
The Transformative Effect of Managing for Results in Primary Education in Madagascar
Over the past decade there has been impressive progress in access to primary education in Madagascar. However, enormous challenges remain to improve pedagogy. Within primary schools, many aspects of the pedagogical processes are poorly managed and tasks that are essential for student learning are neglected. Results from a 2005 survey confirmed that in many schools student absenteeism and student academic performance are poorly monitored and that teachers fail to conduct essential pedagogical tasks such as preparation of lesson plans. Download Brief
Why Is More Capital Not Enough to Grow Female Businesses?
A striking finding from a recent field experiment in Sri Lanka is that giving small grants of $100 and $200 to male-owned microenterprises increased monthly profits by 9 percent of the grant amount, but giving the same amounts to female-owned microenterprises resulted in no change at all in profits. Download Brief

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