Education in Emergencies, Evidence for Action (3EA): Testing targeted interventions in Niger, 2016-18
Last registered on June 18, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Education in Emergencies, Evidence for Action (3EA): Testing targeted interventions in Niger, 2016-18
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002125
Initial registration date
April 07, 2017
Last updated
June 18, 2021 3:05 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
New York University, Global TIES for Children
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2016-12-01
End date
2019-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The Diffa region of Niger--once known for trade of fish and agricultural products--now shelters one refugee for every four residents due to the devastation wreaked by Boko Haram in nearby Nigeria. Children and teachers in such crisis contexts suffer from absenteeism, high drop-out rates, and migration; this study investigates the impact of low-cost, targeted social-emotional interventions (mindfulness and Brain Games) for refugee, internally-displaced, and local Diffa region that may be better-suited to such contexts over longer-term, more intensive curricular approaches.

In Fall 2016, we randomized schools (K=30) within matched-pairs to the following conditions: (1) Healing Classrooms Tutoring Basic (K = 15); and (2) Healing Classrooms Tutoring "Plus" (K=15). The "Plus" condition received the targeted intervention of Mindfulness in Fall of 2016 and executive-functioning Brain Games in Spring 2017. Within schools, eligible students were randomized to receive access to Healing Classrooms Tutoring or Healing Classrooms Tutoring Plus, based on the condition of the school.

All schools remained in their initial randomization for fall of 2017. One school was unable to continue due to unstable security conditions, necessitating its corresponding pair to be dropped from the research sample. The conditions for year two were (1) Remedial Support Basic (K = 14); and (2) Remedial Support "Plus" (K=14). The "Plus" condition received the targeted intervention of Brain Games for the 22-week intervention. Within schools, students were re-tested for eligibility and re-randomized in year two.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Aber, J. Lawrence. 2021. "Education in Emergencies, Evidence for Action (3EA): Testing targeted interventions in Niger, 2016-18." AEA RCT Registry. June 18. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2125-2.1.
Former Citation
Aber, J. Lawrence. 2021. "Education in Emergencies, Evidence for Action (3EA): Testing targeted interventions in Niger, 2016-18." AEA RCT Registry. June 18. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2125/history/94002.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Healing Classrooms Tutoring. Nigerien teachers will be trained in the IRC’s Learning in a Healing Classrooms (LIHC) approach to providing high-quality safe, supportive, predictable and cooperative learning environments. Facilitators complete pre-service face-to-face training, participate in monthly Teacher Learning Circles (TLCs), and receive regular mentoring visits from trained IRC field staff. Teachers will provide approximately 8 hours of remedial support to students per week.

Healing Classrooms Tutoring Plus -Mindfulness: In fall of 2016, half of all teachers will receive additional training to incorporate targeted mindfulness strategies into their LIHC daily classroom routines. Selected facilitators will receive training, including: (1) 1-2 days additional pre-service face-to-face training; (2) dedicated monthly Teacher Learning Circles; and (3) mentoring visits including mindfulness support on a monthly basis. Teachers will be encouraged to use mindfulness practices to facilitate classroom transitions, with an expectation of spending 20-30 minutes per day on mindfulness activities.

Healing Classrooms Tutoring Plus - Brain Games: In Spring of 2017, half of all facilitators will incorporate targeted Brain Games into their LIHC classroom routines. Selected facilitators will receive supplementary training and support to do so, including: (1) 1-2 days additional pre-service face-to-face training; (2) dedicated monthly Teacher Learning Circles; and (3) mentoring visits including Brain Games support on a monthly basis. Teachers will be encouraged to use Brain Games to facilitate classroom transitions.

Brain Games will continue as the SEL intervention in fall and spring for 2017-18.
Intervention Start Date
2016-12-01
Intervention End Date
2018-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
For impact of tutoring program, Primary outcomes are: Literacy skills, Math skills, and perceptions of school environment
Primary outcomes for SEL contrast (HCT vs. HCT Plus) are Social-Emotional Well-Being and Competencies, such as Internalizing, externalizing behaviors and emotional regulation and expression.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Literacy skills will be measured via the Early Grades Reading Assessment (EGRA). Math skills will be measured via the Early Grades Math Assessment (EGMA). Perceptions of school environment will be measured via Child-Friendly Schools Questionnaire.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This study utilizes a matched-pair design. Schools will be matched into pairs (30 schools; 15 pairs) based on an algorithm of baseline characteristics (e.g., number of students per class, type of school structure) thought to be predictive of student outcomes. Randomization then takes place within pairs, such that one school is assigned to treatment "plus" (i.e., tutors in that school all receive LIHC Mindfulness/Brain Games training) and one to treatment basic (i.e., tutors in that school all receive LIHC base package). Within schools, students will be screened for tutoring eligibility and eligible students will be randomized to have access to treatment or not, depending on the condition of their school.

Schools will remain in their treatment condition for year 2.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization was completed in office via computer.
Randomization Unit
Schools within matched pairs.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
30 schools were randomized
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,800 students will receive some form of tutoring 5,000 students (Year 1) or 6,000 (Year 2) will be screened for eligibility and in analytic sample for tutoring or no-tutoring contrast.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
(1) Remedial Support Basic (15 schools, approximately 900 students);
(2) Remedial Support plus Low-Cost Targeted Intervention (15 schools, approximately 900 students).
5,000 students (Year 1) or 6,000 (Year 2) will be screened for eligibility and in analytic sample for tutoring or no-tutoring contrast.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
With the matched pair school randomized design of 30 schools, 90 tutoring groups, and an average of 20 students per group, the MDES for the main effects of either Remedial Support Mindfulness or Brain Games is 0.19. School-level R-squared and intra-class correlation (ICC) estimates for these power calculations are based on estimates of 15 sub-Saharan African countries provided in Kelcey et al. (in prep). In this review, school-level ICCs ranged from 0.20 - 0.50; however, given the level of migration and integration in Diffa, we estimate clustering between schools to be in the lower range, around 0.20. In Kelcey et al., school-level R-squared estimates of socioeconomic status and school location ranged from 0.02 - 0.59. Given that we will have baseline school literacy and math scores (one of the strongest predictors of endline literacy and math scores), we anticipate a school-level R-squared between 0.50 and 0.70. Finally, effect sizes in evaluations of mindfulness and executive functioning programs in the US range from 0.25 - 0.80 (for executive functioning skills); and effect sizes in our evaluation of LIHC in the DRC ranged from 0.14 - 0.32 (for academic skills and perceptions of the school environment.).
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
New York University University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects (UCAIHS)
IRB Approval Date
2016-10-21
IRB Approval Number
IRB-FY2016-1174
IRB Name
International Rescue Committee Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2016-10-19
IRB Approval Number
EDU 1.00.001
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
May 31, 2018, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
May 31, 2018, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Year 1: 30 schools
Year 2: 28 schools
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
4,994
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
15 schools in Remedial, 15 schools in remedial + SEL
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS
Description
2016-2017 Preliminary Impact Report
Citation
Kim, H.Y., Brown, L., & Yagoda, J. (2018). IRC Healing Classrooms Remedial Tutoring Programming Improves Nigerien and Nigerian Children’s Learning. 3EA: Education in Emergencies, Evidence for Action; Impact Report v. 2.1