Education systems around the world have successfully leveraged additional family time and resources to further support children in the acquisition of their foundational literacy skills (e.g., Mayer et al, 2019; Teepe, et al, 2019 in the U.S., Knauer et al., 2019 in Kenya). However, these interventions tend to come with a relatively high price tag, and especially in low-income settings, can target parents with low educational attainment that may not be familiar with the best approaches to support their children’s education (Muralidharan et al., 2019; Portela and Atherton, 2020). In response to this, we evaluate an intervention that provides repeated low-cost reading materials, and low-touch behavioral encouragement to engage parents in their children’s literacy development process. We study the effectiveness of the repeated provision of properly leveled, low-cost, scaffolded materials (“postcards”) which guide parents through reading exercises they can perform with their children twice a week in an effort to improve early literacy outcomes. As such, we study this intervention through a randomized controlled trial of first graders during their first term across 112 private schools in Kenya, 42 private schools in Lagos (Nigeria), and 446 public schools in Lagos (Nigeria). Our experimental sample consists of over 23,000 students across these three settings.
Additionally, we investigate how the same educational intervention is implemented differently in three different settings. Contextual factors, implementation quality, and participant take-up are at the heart of the effectiveness of all development interventions. However, to date, much of the education literature in low- and middle-income countries has focused on the effectiveness, rather than on the rigorous documentation of the extent to which the local adoption and adaptation moderated their success. In this pre-registered analysis plan, we include a framework for how we will evaluate the implementation of the intervention in the three contexts based on our ex-ante theory of change. This framework will allow us to provide empirical evidence on the extent to which the same intervention was implemented differently in three contexts, and whether this moderated the effectiveness of the intervention.
Please see the attached document for further details on this study.