Evaluating the Teacher Community Assistant Initiative (TCAI)

Last registered on May 22, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Evaluating the Teacher Community Assistant Initiative (TCAI)
Initial registration date
May 21, 2020
Last updated
May 22, 2020, 9:32 AM EDT



Primary Investigator

University of Delaware

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Omidyar Network
PI Affiliation
Innovations for Poverty Action

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Randomized controlled trials in lower-income countries have demonstrated ways to increase learning, in specific settings. This study uses a large-scale, nationwide RCT in Ghana to show the external validity of four school-based interventions inspired by other RCTs. Even though the government implemented the programs within existing systems, student learning increased across all four models, more so for female than male students, and many gains persisted one year after the program ended. Three of the four interventions had a similar cost effectiveness. The intervention that directly targeted classroom teachers increased the likelihood that teachers were engaged with students.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Duflo, Annie, Jessica Kiessel and Adrienne Lucas. 2020. "Evaluating the Teacher Community Assistant Initiative (TCAI)." AEA RCT Registry. May 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5912-1.0
Experimental Details


We evaluated the Teacher Community Assistant Initiative (TCAI), a Ghana Ministry of Education program designed to test the relative efficacy of four alternative school-based interventions to increase student learning in grades 1 through 3, i.e. lower primary school, while working within the existing schooling and youth employment systems. The four interventions were 1) providing schools with assistants to work with remedial learners on a pull-out basis during the school day, 2) providing schools with assistants to work with remedial learners outside of the school day, 3) providing schools with assistants to work with half of the classroom each day on grade-level content, 4) having existing teachers focus instruction on students' learning levels by dividing students into learning levels for part of each day. The fifth arm was a control group with no change to instructional delivery.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
student test scores and attendance, teacher attendance and time on task, head teacher attendance
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
500 schools, randomized evenly into the 4 treatment arms and one control arm
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in an office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
500 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
25 pupils per grade per school
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
100 schools in each treatment arm, 5 treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials