Providing Opportunities With Education for Refugees and Jordanians

Last registered on December 10, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Providing Opportunities With Education for Refugees and Jordanians
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003627
Initial registration date
December 09, 2018
Last updated
December 10, 2018, 2:11 PM EST

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Exeter University

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2019-02-02
End date
2021-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The Project Providing Opportunities With Education for Refugees and Jordanians (POWER-J) aims to address the growing challenge of student drop-out in lower secondary school by improving students’ socioemotional and cognitive skills and teacher’s pedagogical practices in mathematics to provide the space to practice the new socio-emotional skills. Over 200,000 school-aged Syrian refugee children live in Jordan, of which approximately 83 percent receive free education services; however, challenges with integration into the local context impede learning opportunities and contribute to high dropout and low attendance rates.

The objective of POWER-J is to evaluate the impact of a package of interventions consisting of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and pedagogical classroom interventions on students’ cognitive and behavioral skills, and conditional on that, evaluate the effects on improving student attendance. The aim is to gather evidence on how to (1) effectively support Syrian refugees and Jordanian students to acquire cognitive, behavioral, and emotion-focused skills that will reduce distress and negative behaviors; thus, motivating them to stay in school; and, (2) how to improve instructional practices in mathematics so that students are not falling behind academically and find a conducive space to use their socio-emotional skills
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Baron, Juan, Julian C. Jamison and Manal Quota. 2018. "Providing Opportunities With Education for Refugees and Jordanians ." AEA RCT Registry. December 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3627-1.0
Former Citation
Baron, Juan et al. 2018. "Providing Opportunities With Education for Refugees and Jordanians ." AEA RCT Registry. December 10. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3627/history/38688
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The two components of the Project are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and a pedagogical intervention. A CBT program will be developed/adapted by a team of local psychologists to address the socio-emotional challenges faced by Jordanian and Syrian refugee students. School counsellors will be trained in five sessions of four hours by the team of psychologists to administer the CBT program to all 7th grade students in treatment schools. The CBT program will be embedded within school hours to maximize take up and guarantee feasibility and sustainability.
Intervention Start Date
2019-07-22
Intervention End Date
2021-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Various proxies of socio-economical skills, as well as attendance and dropout rates
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
For socio-economic skills we will use standard batteries of questions as well as experiments to measure social cohesion, trust, etc.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Math performance
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Schools will be randomly assigned to a Control Group, Treatment 1, or Treatment 2. The rationale behind the two treatment arms, one with 5 sessions of CBT, and one with 20, is assess the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of the interventions as part of the evaluation. Both treatment arms will have the same package on the math activities.
Experimental Design Details
The intervention will be implemented in schools that have at least 30 percent Syrian refugees. Schools will be stratified by gender, allowing to estimate the average effect of the intervention controlling for confounding variables that might be systematically associated with boys and girls’ schools, while also testing for heterogeneous effects between both types of schools. Schools will be randomly assigned to a Control Group, Treatment 1, or Treatment 2. The rationale behind the two treatment arms, one with 5 sessions of CBT, and one with 20, is assess the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of the interventions as part of the evaluation.

Econometric analyses: The evaluation design is a stratified cluster randomized control trial, so the main analytical approach will follow that standard: regressing the individual student-level dependent (outcome) variables on observable covariates as well as a dummy for assigned treatment status (i.e. intent-to-treat), with clustered standard errors. The estimation therefore takes the form:

Yijk = β0 + βjk•Xjk + βt•Treatmentkt + βzst•zst + єijk

where Yijk is the outcome variable of interest for student i (potentially of type j; see below) in school k; Xjk are mean school-level control variables; and zst are stratum-level fixed effects. The central parameters of interest are the βt for treatments t = 1,2; these are estimated from dummies Treatmentkt which take on the value 1 precisely when school k is assigned to treatment t. The main analysis will not use type j, but we plan to do some exploratory analysis in which students are disaggregated by gender and/or refugee status.

The primary outcome variables (i.e. Y in the equation above) are an index of socioemotional skills and – conditional on seeing positive impacts in that first step – ultimately attendance/dropout status. Secondary outcome variables include math performance and (teacher-level) adherence assessments, which will be analyzed in part as potential mediation mechanisms for the main outcomes.

We will not have baseline data on socioemotional skills (otherwise, we could include that as a control in the regression specification, which we can do for some of the other variables), because we believe that limited resources will be better spent developing and piloting a comprehensive endline survey to faithfully capture a variety of psychosocial constructs among this specific population.

Statistical power calculations: After minimizing within-school attrition, we expect approximately 50 students per cluster (school), although the power calculations do not vary much if this is reduced to 40 or even 30. As is standard in education settings – see Hutchison and Styles (2010) for a discussion of this as well as the intra-cluster correlation (ICC) values within schools – we aim for a minimum detectable effect (MDE) of 0.2 standard deviations. We use standard levels for power (0.8) and significance (0.05) in two-sided hypothesis tests.

The key remaining variable is the ICC. Hutchison and Styles (2010) suggest that “attitudinal and lifestyle” variables have an ICC of roughly 0.05, whereas “academic attainment” variables have an ICC of roughly 0.2. We expect socioemotional skills to be closer to the former, while attendance should be somewhere in between but perhaps closer to the latter. Hence, we use an ICC of 0.15, which yields a required sample size of 67 per arm, implying 200 total schools for our design with control and two treatment arms. As a robustness check we also estimated with an ICC of 0.2, which yields 86 per arm – but that number comes back down to 67 for one-sided hypothesis testing, and we do have a clear directional hypothesis that the intervention will reduce attendance/dropouts.

We estimate that around 5,000 total refugee children will be included in the treatment arms, with a similar number of Jordanians. The inclusion of Jordanians is not only desirable but it also cost-effective as they are part of the same schools. Since the randomization is being done at the school level, and all of the schools in our sample have both refugee and Jordanian children, we should be powered to test for effects separately across the two groups. The only limitation would be if attrition is especially high for one of the groups, although even in that case the magnitudes are likely to be suggestive of any potential differences.
Randomization Method
The evaluation design is a stratified cluster randomized control trial.
Randomization Unit
Schools
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Approximately 200 schools in total.
Sample size: planned number of observations
At least 5,000 youth in the schools
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
66 schools in each treatment arm, and 67 schools in control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
MDE is 0.2 of a standard deviation on the main outcomes. With power 80% and ICC equal to 0.2.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information

Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials