Can Informational Campaigns Raise Awareness and Local Participation in Primary Education in India?

Last registered on January 11, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Can Informational Campaigns Raise Awareness and Local Participation in Primary Education in India?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001702
Initial registration date
January 11, 2017
Last updated
January 11, 2017, 4:22 PM EST

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
MIT

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
Pratham
PI Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PI Affiliation
Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab
PI Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2005-03-01
End date
2006-04-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Participation of beneficiaries in the monitoring of public services is increasingly seen as a key to improving their quality. We conducted a randomized evaluation of three interventions to encourage beneficiaries' participation to India: providing information on existing institutions, training community members in a testing tool for children, and training volunteers to hold remedial reading camps. These interventions had no impact on community involvement, teacher effort, or learning outcomes inside the school. However, in the third intervention, youth volunteered to teach camps, and children who attended substantially improved their reading skills. This suggests that citizens face constraints in influencing public services.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, et al. 2017. "Can Informational Campaigns Raise Awareness and Local Participation in Primary Education in India?." AEA RCT Registry. January 11. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1702-1.0
Former Citation
, et al. 2017. "Can Informational Campaigns Raise Awareness and Local Participation in Primary Education in India?." AEA RCT Registry. January 11. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1702/history/13018
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention 1) Pratham staff started a series of conversations about education in small groups throughout the community. These conversations covered the current status of schools in the village, the quality of local schools, state mandated provisions for schools, mid-day meals, and local funds available for education. People were asked if they knew about the VEC and its membership and responsibilities. After two days of meetings in small groups, a community-wide meeting was held where people were encouraged to discuss and ask for information about the VEC, with information gaps filled in by Pratham' s field workers. VEC members also received a pamphlet on their roles and responsibilities from the Pratham staff.

Intervention 2) In addition to the steps outlined above, communities were trained and encouraged to conduct testing to see if children could read simple text and solve basic arithmetic problems. Volunteers put together a "report card" for each community, which was presented at the community-wide meeting.

Intervention 3) In addition to the above two steps, Pratham officers taught volunteers a simple technique for helping children learn to read. Volunteers were encouraged to start after-school reading classes - they were invited to attend training sessions which lasted for four days, and staff returned an average of seven times to provide in-service training. The typical "reading course" lasted two to three months, with classes held every day outside of school. The objective was to use Pratham-designed materials and local volunteers to supplement the normal curriculum, and improve literacy among village children.
Intervention Start Date
2005-09-01
Intervention End Date
2005-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Knowledge of VEC, Parents' involvement in public schools, School performance, Learning (reading abilities)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The government's primary elementary education program, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), organizes and gives power to local Village Education Committees (VECs), which are meant to consist of 3 parents, the head teacher, and a member of the local government. However very little parents even know that these VECs exist. This experiment seeks to understand if increased knowledge of the VECs and increased monitoring of schools and learning would cause community members to demand and receive better services.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
STATA
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
280 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,800 households; 316 schools; 17,533 children; 1,029 VEC members.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Intervention 1: 65 villages
Intervention 2: 65 villages
Intervention 3: 65 villages
Control: 85 villages
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Study has received IRB approval. Details not available.
IRB Approval Date
Details not available
IRB Approval Number
Details not available

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
December 31, 2005, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
April 30, 2006, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
280 villages
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
17,419 children
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Abstract
Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India
Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit, Rukmini Banerji, Esther Duflo, Rachel Glennerster, and Stuti Khemani. 2010. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2(1): 1-30.

Reports & Other Materials