The baseline survey was administered to 3,146 eighth grade girls in 41 primary schools in low-income sections of Lusaka, Zambia between May and June 2013. During the baseline survey, half of the girls were randomly selected to receive an information treatment on HIV risk and the returns to education. We then randomly allocated 12 schools to be pure control schools, which received no additional treatment, and 29 schools to be treatment schools.
Within the 29 of treatment schools, eighth grade girls were randomly assigned to one of three groups:
1. Negotiation group (801 girls): Girls received free lunch on session days, a notebook, and pens. They participated in six after-school sessions over two weeks with trained female Zambian coaches covering training on negotiation and interpersonal communication.
2. Safe Space Group (785 girls): Girls received free lunch on session days, a notebook, and pens. They participated in six after-school sessions over two weeks, during which they could play games, study or do homework, or just talk with other girls. Trained female Zambian coaches supervised these sessions.
2. Pure comparison group (780 girls): Girls did not participate in any after-school program.
Comparing the Safe Space and Negotiation groups allowed researchers to isolate the effects of improved negotiation skills from the effects of participating in an all-girls training with a female Zambian coach.
Two to three months after the curriculum was delivered to treatment girls, the girls and their guardians were invited to attend a midline survey, including a lab-in-the-field experiment, simulating the educational investment decision, after-hours at their school. Seventy percent of girls and their parents attended and participated in the game, which gave parents 10 tokens and asked them to allocate some to their daughter, who would then receive double that number. Girls could choose to send back some tokens to their parents. Aspects of the game were randomly varied among participants, including whether girls could communicate with parents before the parents decided how many tokens to send. At the same time, researchers tested whether girls in fact learned the negotiation curriculum by recording responses to hypothetical situations in which girls were asked to engage with their siblings over negotiating household responsibilities.
Up to three years after the training ended, researchers also collected administrative data on outcomes such as school fee payment, attendance, grades, enrollment status, and pregnancy status through primary school visits and tracking of students at secondary schools in the Lusaka area.
In 2019, six years after the intervention, the endline survey will investigate the interactive impact of negotiation training on long-term outcomes.