The project will be evaluated using the RCT methodology. The evaluation will take advantage of the expansion of Pratham’s activities within the state of Assam, in India. The sample population will be randomly assigned to treatment groups (villages that will receive a particular program), and a comparison group (villages that will not receive any new program).
For this project, the analysis will be based on two main rounds of data collection. Baseline data will be collected from a sample of students and their respective households before the program is initiated (more details below). Endline data will be collected roughly 18 months from the baseline. The data will allows us to measure the causal effect of the intervention by comparing outcomes (e.g. learning achievements) in the treatment and control groups after the project has been running for some time.
More specifically, for the purpose of this project we will identify 200 primary public schools within the state of Assam that are eligible for the program and where Pratham had never been operating before. We will then randomly assign each one of them to one of four groups of equal size:
• Group 1 (Control): these villages/school will not receive any new program, and schooling will continue as usual;
• Group 2 (Learning Camp): in these villages/school Pratham will organize Learning Camps;
• Group 3 (Library Activity Groups): in these villages/school Pratham will organize Library Activity Groups;
• Group 4 (Learning Camp + Library Activity Groups): in these villages/school Pratham will organize both Learning Camp and Library Activity Groups;
The primary outcomes of interest will be learning outcomes (test scores) in figure recognition, mathematics, and language of students enrolled in these primary public schools. Before the beginning of the programs, we will collect detailed baseline data from all 200 schools. We will rely on three key survey tools: children survey, primary caretaker survey, and school survey.
The interventions will start in the treatment villages (groups 2, 3, and 4) after baseline data collection. The Library Activity Groups in groups 3 and 4 will begin immediately after data collection and will keep going for the full project time. The Learning Camps are instead typically administered in three rounds of 10 days each, distributed over a teaching term (about 5 months). Each school in the Learning Camps groups (i.e. groups 2 and 4) will receive the three sessions, although they will be administered in two different phases. A first set of schools will host the camps within 5 months from baseline, while the other set will receive it after that, i.e. roughly five months later. We will randomly select the schools that will receive the program first, stratifying by group.
Endline data collection will take place roughly 18 months after baseline. Given that the Learning Camps only run during one school term, the endline survey will take place at least 5 months after the end of the program in the schools. Endline data collection will involve the same children, families, and school surveyed at baseline and will mirror the baseline data collection in its structures.