Evaluating the Impact of the Magic Bus Foundation’s Sports in Girls’ Education Programme
Last registered on September 25, 2014

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Evaluating the Impact of the Magic Bus Foundation’s Sports in Girls’ Education Programme
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000518
Initial registration date
September 25, 2014
Last updated
September 25, 2014 4:57 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Public Health Foundation of India
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Pennsylvania
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2014-04-07
End date
2019-07-07
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Through its flagship sports program, Magic Bus Foundation (MBF) intends to improve the lives of socioeconomically-disadvantaged Indian children by enhancing their health and cognitive capability, and helping them develop self-esteem so that they can break socioeconomic barriers and elevate themselves out of poverty. The program involves weekly sports sessions at the community level, and includes components that promote gender equality, hygiene, school enrollment and attendance, learning, leadership, and personality development. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of Magic Bus Foundation's sports-based curriculum program on cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills and awareness, and practice of preventive and promotive healthcare practices among adolescents using a three-round panel data set collected over 5 years. A cluster randomized controlled trial will be carried out in 160 villages in two districts of India, covering roughly 14,400 children who are initially between 8 and 14 years of age. Approximately half of the communities will be randomly assigned the sports program for the intervention, while the other communities will serve as the control group. Progress will be measured in two equally spaced follow up surveys.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Behrman, Jere and Ramanan Laxminarayan. 2014. "Evaluating the Impact of the Magic Bus Foundation’s Sports in Girls’ Education Programme." AEA RCT Registry. September 25. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/518/history/2759
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Through its flagship sports program, Magic Bus Foundation (MBF) intends to improve the lives of socioeconomically-disadvantaged Indian children by enhancing their health and cognitive capability, and helping them develop self-esteem so that they can break socioeconomic barriers and elevate themselves out of poverty. The program involves weekly sports sessions at the community level, and includes components that promote gender equality, hygiene, school enrollment and attendance, learning, leadership, and personality development. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of the MBF's sports-based curriculum program on cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills and awareness, and practice of preventive and promotive healthcare practices among adolescents using a three-round panel data set collected over 5 years. A cluster randomized controlled trial will be carried out in 160 villages in two districts of India, covering roughly 14,400 children who are initially between 8 and 14 years of age. Approximately half of the communities will be randomly assigned the sports program for the intervention, while the other communities will serve as the control group. Progress will be measured in two equally spaced follow up surveys.
Intervention Start Date
2015-01-07
Intervention End Date
2018-01-07
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
This study proposes to answer the following evaluation questions:

(a) What is the impact of having access to, and more importantly, participating and completing Magic Bus Foundation’s sports-activity-based curriculum program on children’s cognitive skills (e.g., standardized test scores), non-cognitive skills (e.g., personality development and leadership), gender role perceptions, and awareness and practice of preventive and promotive healthcare practices (e.g., hand washing), among 8-14 year old children?

(b) Are there declines in male-female differences in the outcome measures identified above in (a)?

(c) What is the outreach of the program among non-participating children? How effective is this program in changing behavior and outcomes of children who are not eligible to enroll in this program, particularly, primary school-age (6-8 years old) children?

(d) How do changes in the outcomes outlined above develop with more extended program exposure (18 months vs. 36 months)?

(e) Do the treatment effects estimated in the short-run continue to persist even after the program is completed or do the treatment effects decay away with time?

(f) Who are the children who volunteer to participate in this weekly community-led program? What are the constraints to program participation/take-up?

(g) What are the benefit-cost ratios for the program and do they warrant consideration of expanding the program to other communities?
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We propose to implement a village-level randomized control trial in 160 villages in two districts – Thane and Kurnool of India (80 villages each), covering approximately 14,400 children initially between 8 and 14 years of age. Following a baseline survey of households and children, the MBF program will be provided to half of the study villages in each district (treatment group) for a period of 3 years. The other study villages (control group) will not receive the program for these 3 years of the study, following which they will either be provided with the full 3 year program (subject to funding availability) or a shorter 6 month program. Study participants will be followed up through two additional rounds of household and child survey at equal 18 month intervals since the commencement of the intervention. The research team will combine pre- and post-program-initiation data in an experimental framework to estimate intent-to-treat effects of the program. We will control for baseline individual, family and community characteristics to increase precision. The interpretation of our findings will also be informed by mixed-methods qualitative information and analysis.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
160 villages: 80 treatment and 80 control
Sample size: planned number of observations
14000 children
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
80 treatment villages (40 in kurnool and 40 in thane), 80 control villages (40 in kurnool and 40 in thane)

Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The target group of this study is children who are initially in the age group of 8-14 years, following the requirements of the MBF program. To calculate the sample size we assume that 60 children (two MBF intervention sessions of size 35 each, 5 children are lost to follow up per session) are enrolled from each treatment village. After analysing various child outcomes such as educational attainment, school enrolment, and test scores from secondary data sources, our final sample size is calculated on the basis of India Human Development Survey (2004-05) mathematics test scores. Assuming an intracluster correlation coefficient of 0.10, in order to detect a 15% difference of maths scores (effect size = 0.21) between treatment and control group children (Duflo et. al 2008 show that average effect sizes in educational outcomes/test scores tend to vary between 0.22 and 0.65), we need roughly 40 villages per group per district, based on a two-sided test having 5% level of significance and 80% power. At baseline, a random sample of 200 eligible children (or all children if there are less than 200) in each treatment village, and a random sample of 70 eligible children in each control village will be surveyed. A larger sample is purposely targeted in treatment villages during baseline to estimate the determinants of enrolment in the program later. Then, following their standard operational procedure, MBF will spend two months in each treatment village advertising and encouraging parents to ask their children (and directly children too) to enrol in the 3 year sports-based program. Thereafter, eligible children in treatment villages are expected to self-select into the program. During the enrolment period, no eligible child will be denied participation. However, once enough children are enrolled, there will be no new enrolees during the subsequent 3 years, during which the program will meet weekly with enrolled children. Our sample size calculations assume a 15% attrition rate. Consequently, our follow up survey rounds will therefore cover approximately 60 enrolled children in each treatment and 60 children from each control village. To evaluate program spillover effects of the program on eligible children in treatment villages who do not participate in the program, in addition to the 70 enrolled children (reduced to 60 later because of attrition), we would survey 60 randomly selected, non-enrolled, eligible children in each treatment village during subsequent survey rounds. Therefore, each follow-up survey round will cover on average 120 children (60 enrolled + 60 non-enrolled) in each treatment village and 60 children in each control village.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number