Early Warning Systems for dropout prevention: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Guatemala
Last registered on April 06, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Early Warning Systems for dropout prevention: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Guatemala
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004091
Initial registration date
April 05, 2019
Last updated
April 06, 2019 3:09 PM EDT
Location(s)

This section is unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
CEDLAS
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-05-07
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
School dropout is a growing concern in both developed and developing countries because of its negative social and economic consequences. This study examines whether a policy intervention that provides principals and teachers with a training and a brief guiding manual, flags at-risk students, and offers reminders and social recognition to school principals is effective to reduce school dropout in the transition from primary to secondary education and improve other educational outcomes in Guatemala. To that end, 4000 public primary schools in that country are randomly assigned to: (a) a control group (with no intervention), (b) a treatment group receiving a training and a brief guiding manual; (c) a treatment group receiving the same as group (b) plus a list of at-risk students; (d) a treatment group receiving the same as group (c) plus reminders and social recognition to school principals that were successful in reducing dropout.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Adelman, Melissa, Francisco Haimovich and Emmanuel Vazquez. 2019. "Early Warning Systems for dropout prevention: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Guatemala." AEA RCT Registry. April 06. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4091/history/44705
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We administered:
a) A Brief manual/brochure providing general guidance on strategies to prevent dropout: The manual included suggestions for simple actions based on best international practices and a list of existing resources within the Ministry of Education to help with dropout, including scholarships and remedial tutoring programs and all necessary information to access these resources.
b) A list of at-risk students in each school. By applying linear regressions and basic prediction concepts to routinely collected administrative data, a prediction model identified the students in the 6th grade that were at high risk of dropping out in the transition to 7th grade and this list was provided to schools.
c) Reminders and social recognition. Periodic reminders were sent to school principals to remind them the importance of dropout prevention. In addition, the Ministry of education informed that it will formally recognize and publicize the top performing schools/principals in terms of reductions in dropout rates.
The main objective of the intervention is to reduce dropout rates in the transition from 6th to 7th grade, benefiting 6th grade students who would otherwise leave school.
Intervention Start Date
2018-05-29
Intervention End Date
2019-04-07
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) Final outcomes:
1.1) Short-term: Drop-out rate in the transition from 6th grade to secondary education, Retention rate at 6th grade, Grades in language, math, and the rest of subjects
1.2) Medium term: Rate of transition to upper secondary and tertiary education, Survival rates in the educational system, School life expectancy, Over-age at school

2) Intermediate outcomes (Very short-term - principal's reaction to the intervention):
Degree of focalization of support on students who need more help, Perception of drop-out rates in the transition from primary to secondary, Perception of the returns to education, Tasks that are prioritized by school principals, Perception of the principal's influence on the dropout decision, Perception of the main influence on the dropout decision, Degree of importance given to the completion of secondary education, Principal's perception about students' belief on the usefulness of their education, Degree of knowledge of students' families and frequency of meetings with them.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Intermediate outcomes will be measured by comparing changes between the Baseline and the Follow-up questionnaires, while Final outcomes will be measured using Administrative data provided by all schools in the SIRE (Sistema Integrado de Registros Educativos).
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Short-term: School choice (modality, quality, distance, peers, type of administration (public-private)), Self-reported reason for drop-out
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
These final outcomes will be measured using Administrative data provided by all schools in the SIRE (Sistema Integrado de Registros Educativos).
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We randomly assigned 4000 public primary schools in Guatemala to: (a) a control group (with no intervention), (b) a treatment group receiving a training and a brief guiding manual; (c) a treatment group receiving the same as group (b) plus a list of at-risk students; (d) a treatment group receiving the same as group (c) plus reminders and social recognition to school principals that were successful in reducing dropout.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Schools
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
4,000 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
77,208 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Control: 1,000 schools; Treatment arm 1: 1,000 schools; Treatment arm 2: 1,000 schools; Treatment arm 3: 1,000 schools
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number