Twaweza.org

Learning how we can help children learn

Twaweza, in concert with several partners, is about to launch a major effort to rigorously learn how to boost learning outcomes.

In recent years, primary school enrolment has dramatically increased in Tanzania. At the same time, the Uwezo national learning assessments have shown that children are not acquiring basic numeracy and literacy.
Twaweza is trying to learn what policy interventions might help to improve basic learning outcomes. The main tools currently available to policy-makers are the provision of (more) trained teachers and a school level capitation grant for each child.

Building on recent advances in social science research, around randomized evaluations, Twaweza and our partners are working to test the impact of three interventions on the learning outcomes of primary school children, with a view to informing and influencing policy decisions in the education sector. The three interventions are:

1. Current Policy | Capitation Grant

Currently the capitation grant largely does not reach schools on time and in full. Information provided to communities is limited at best. Through this part of the trial, the capitation grant of TZS 10,000 per primary school pupil (as per Government plan) will be disbursed directly to schools in two predictable installments. Information will be made available and accessible to local communities.

2. Innovation | Cash on Delivery

Some studies indicate that incentivizing schools and teachers to deliver results may be more effective than other input-focused interventions. Through this part of the trial, teachers will be given a conditional one-off cash payment for all students in their class(es) who pass the Uwezo literacy and/or numeracy tests. The tests will be taken at the end of 2013, the conditional payment is offered to teachers in the first quarter of 2013. 

3. Combination Current Policy and Innovation | Capitation Grant and Cash on Delivery

Recognizing that teachers can be incentivized to perform but lack the necessary inputs to do so, this final part of the trial combines both of the interventions detailed above.

Eleven randomly selected districts will be involved in the study to test effectiveness of each of the three interventions, with 77 schools (7 schools per district in 11 districts) in each intervention arm. Each intervention has been designed to be simple and low-cost, meaning that once its impact is evaluated, it can be scaled up nationwide and sustained.

The research seeks to directly inform policy making in education and ensure that children are attending school and learning. Given the nature of the project, a range of actors have been engaged, including government policy makers, MPs, the teachers’ union, researchers and donors have been engaged. The independent evaluation of the impact is led by the J-PAL at MIT.

For the design summary see here

Read more: education experimental interventions Randomized Control Trials RCT Uwezo

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