Measuring the Impact of Preschools in Morocco

Last registered on December 06, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Measuring the Impact of Preschools in Morocco
Initial registration date
November 29, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
December 06, 2023, 8:20 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

Nantes Université

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Yale University
PI Affiliation
Yale University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
In low- and middle-income countries, 250 million children under the age of five are at risk of not reaching their full development potential, mainly due to low levels of cognitive stimulation and nutritional deficiencies. To limit the magnitude of this problem and associated cost to society, preschools are receiving increasing attention. However, while a growing number of studies demonstrate the positive impact of preschools in high-income countries, evidence remains scarce in lower-income countries. We will provide evidence on this issue by measuring the impact of the extensive preschool program launched in 2018 by King Mohammed VI, which aims to create 10,000 modern preschool units by 2023. Our project seeks to measure the impact of preschools in Morocco in the short, medium and long term. To do so, we set up a randomized controlled trial involving 160 douars that were randomly selected from a large set of rural douars.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Attanasio, Orazio, Costas Meghir and Bastien Michel. 2023. "Measuring the Impact of Preschools in Morocco." AEA RCT Registry. December 06.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


In 2018, King Mohammed VI launched an extensive modern preschool construction program to foster children’s development and improve the performance of the Moroccan education system. The program is implemented by the Initiative Nationale pour le Développement Humain (INDH) and aims to create 10,000 modern preschools in rural areas for children aged 4 to 6 by 2023.

In this study, we measure the impact of the preschools built as part of this construction program. They are managed by two large NGOs under the supervision of the INDH and the provinces. Each school has two levels.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
In the short-term, the study has two main objectives:
1. To measure the impact of the program on the level of cognitive and non-cognitive development (e.g., motor, socio-emotional, etc.) of the children of benefiting age.
2. Measuring the impact of the program on the empowerment of mothers.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Child development (cognitive and non-cognitive) will be measured using the IDELA tool.
Women's empowerment will be measured by whether or not they have taken part in empowerment activities (training or income-generating activities) since the start of the intervention.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
To answer our research questions, we set up a randomized controlled trial involving 160 douars that were randomly selected from a large set of rural douars (which in Morocco is the basic administrative division-one level below the commune).

Sampling strategy: The 160 douars included in our sample were selected from nine regions: 1) Beni Mellal-Khénifra; 2) Casablanca-Settat; 3) Drâa-Tafilalet; 4) Fès-Meknès; 5) L'oriental; 6) Marrakech-Safi; 7) Rabat-Salé-Kénitra; 8) Souss-Massa; and 9) Tanger-Tétouan-Al Hoceïma. Using administrative databases, these douars were randomly selected among all medium-sized douars in these regions that appeared eligible for the program and in which the INDH had not already planned to open a preschool before September 2024.
In each sampled douar, a census was carried out at the start of the study and a representative subset of households with at least one child of preschool age was constituted.

Identification strategy: To measure the causal impact of the intervention, we randomly selected half of the sampled douars to receive a preschool from September 2022.

Estimation strategy: To measure the effect of the intervention, we will rely on an Intent-To-Treat estimation strategy.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization carried out in office by a computer,
Randomization Unit
The level of randomization is the douar. The draw was stratified by region.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
160 douars
Sample size: planned number of observations
A random subset of households was sampled in each douar (1,397 in total).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
80 control douars
80 treatment douars
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We estimated that this sample should allow us to detect differences of 0.21 standard deviations in child development.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Paris School of Economics
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Commission Nationale de Contrôle de la Protection des Données à Caractère Personnel (CNDP)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number