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The Impact of Secondary School Scholarships on Girls’ Skill Development and Female Empowerment in Niger
Initial registration date
January 22, 2019
June 09, 2019 3:33 PM EDT
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
The Sahel Women Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project
In many developing countries, gender inequalities begin at a young age and influence individuals’ long-term trajectories. In particular, social norms can lead to girls dropping out of school, marrying, and having children early in life. Women with less education may then experience reduced empowerment and limited job opportunities. In turn, this can create a cycle of gender inequality: participating less in the labor force may increase economic dependence on men, and strengthen the social norms that contribute to women dropping out of school. Can encouraging girls to stay in school and to develop skills improve their future economic and social trajectories? In order to answer these questions, we evaluate the impact of secondary school scholarships for girls on skill development, empowerment, and job opportunities.
Giacobino, Hélène, Elise Huillery and Bastien Michel. 2019. "The Impact of Secondary School Scholarships on Girls’ Skill Development and Female Empowerment in Niger." AEA RCT Registry. June 09.
In partnership with the Government of Niger, the National Institute of Statistics, and the World Bank, we are evaluating the impact of scholarships on girls’ educational attainment, female empowerment, and economic opportunities. The scholarship seeks to improve girls’ hard skills, including vocational training, to put them on a more equal track with men.
The Toutes les Filles à l’École program (TFE) provides scholarships to girls without a secondary school in their village. As secondary school is free, the scholarship covers housing and food costs during all three years of school. To be eligible girls must meet a minimum grade average and come from a vulnerable family. The scholarship provides FCFA 180,000 (US$335) over nine monthly transfers during the school year for living expenses. Host families for female students receive 15,000 FCFA (US$28) each month for hosting. Girls’ families receive the additional 5.000 FCFA (US$9) per month.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Educational attainment; Marital status; Number of children; Women empowerment.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Two cohorts of eligible girls are tracked: the first cohort is made of eligible girls entering secondary school in 2017/2018; the second cohort is made of eligible girls entering secondary school in 2018/2019.
For each cohort, around 285 villages were selected to participate in the experiment and were randomly assigned to one of the following three groups:
- All scholarships provided: every girl eligible for a scholarship received support.
- Mixed group: a randomly selected half of all eligible girls received a scholarship while the other half did not receive one.
- Comparison group: no girls received scholarships.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization was done in office by a computer.
First, we randomized villages in one of the three above-mentioned groups.
Second, in mixed group villages, 50% of the girls eligible to benefit from the scholarship were randomly selected to receive the scholarship.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Around 285 villages per cohort. Up to 570 villages in total.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Around 2,400 girls per cohort. Up to 4,800 girls in total.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
For each cohort:
- Around 95 control villages accounting for around 800 girls
- Around 95 treatment villages accounting for 800 girls
- Around 95 mixed villages accounting for 800 girls (400 receiving the scholarship and 400 not receiving the scholarship)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)