The Impact of Mother Literacy and Participation Programs on Child Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in India
Last registered on December 22, 2013

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Impact of Mother Literacy and Participation Programs on Child Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in India
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000065
Initial registration date
December 22, 2013
Last updated
December 22, 2013 4:41 PM EST
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Cornell University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Pratham
PI Affiliation
Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2011-04-01
End date
2013-04-01
Secondary IDs
OW2.153 (3ie)
Abstract
Together with Pratham, one of the largest NGOs in India, we evaluated whether a mothers’ literacy program could encourage parental involvement and subsequently improve children’s learning outcomes. Mothers of children aged 5-8 years-old were assigned to one of the following three treatment groups or a comparison group, which received no additional services.

1. Mothers’ Literacy Classes (ML) were held for two hours every day.
2. Child’s Home Activities and Materials Packet (CHAMP) was intended to help illiterate mothers interact with their children to enrich the learning environment at home. Children were given workbooks with a specific activity assigned for each day and mothers were instructed on how to facilitate their child's use the workbooks.
3. A combination of ML and CHAMP.

Both mothers and their children were tested at the start of the intervention and again one year later (after the intervention) on basic literacy and numeracy. A household survey collected data on demographics, asset ownership, schooling status of children in the household, mother perceptions of education, mother empowerment, as well as mother and child time use.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Banerji, Rukmini, James Berry and Marc Shotland. 2013. "The Impact of Mother Literacy and Participation Programs on Child Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in India." AEA RCT Registry. December 22. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/65/history/766
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 interventions were conducted in two blocks (district subdivisions) of the Purnia district in Bihar and two blocks of the Ajmer district in Rajasthan. Bihar and Rajasthan were selected by Pratham based on the low literacy levels of the two states. According to the latest census, these states have the lowest female literacy rates in India at roughly 53% each (Census of India, 2011). Children's education outcomes are similar between the two states. For example, 48% of rural children in grades 3 to 5 can read at a grade 1 level in both states, just below the national average of 54% (ASER Centre, 2013). The intervention districts within each state were selected because of existing Pratham programs and infrastructure in those areas. Within the intervention districts, the blocks were selected because they did not have any pre-existing Pratham programs.

There were three interventions that were tested. Mothers of children aged 5-8 years-old were assigned to one of the following three treatment groups or a comparison group, which received no additional services.

The Mother Literacy (ML) intervention consisted of daily literacy classes held in the villages. In each location, a volunteer was recruited from the community to teach classes for two hours per day at the time and place that was most convenient to interested women. Volunteers utilized a version of Pratham's Read India methodology. This approach, shown effective in teaching children to read, was modified to suit the interests of adults. While ML classes were open to any who wished to attend, Pratham staff and volunteers were given a list of target mothers to recruit into the classes.

The Child and Mother Activities Packet (CHAMP) intervention was designed to engage the mothers at home with their children's learning. Once per week, a Pratham staff member visited each target mother and gave her a worksheet to help her child complete. Mothers were also given instruction on how to review her child's school notebooks, discuss child learning with her child's school teacher, and encourage the child to do school work at home.

The combined intervention (ML-CHAMP) included both the ML and CHAMP interventions.
Intervention Start Date
2011-08-01
Intervention End Date
2012-07-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Mother learning levels (test score), Child learning levels (test score), Participation, Time use, Home learning environment, Empowerment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See attached pre-analysis plan
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In two states - Rajasthan and Bihar, 240 hamlets were selected for the randomization. Hamlets were selected based on a target number of households (the approximate size that could support one mother literacy class) and geographic distance from other target locations to limit spillovers. In Rajasthan, where villages are typically far apart, one appropriately-sized hamlet per village was selected, and the randomization was effectively conducted at the village level. In Bihar, where hamlets may be close to one another (whether in the same village or in different villages), hamlets
of the target size were included if they were sufficiently far from other included hamlets.

In each state, 60 hamlets were randomly assigned to each of the four treatment groups - Mother Literacy Classes, CHAMP, Mother Literacy Classes and CHAMP and Control. Randomization was stratified geographically to allow Pratham to organize its monitoring structure based on a known number of program villages in each area. The 240 villages in each state were first divided into geographically proximate groups of 20 villages. These groups of villages were further divided into 2 “phases”. These phases determined the order of the rollout of the programs. The Pratham team rolled out the interventions in Phase 1 villages and began in Phase 2 villages approximately 3 weeks later. The randomization was stratified by the resulting 24 groups of 10 villages in each state. Assignment within each cluster of 20 villages was balanced such that each intervention was implemented in exactly 5 villages.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in an office by a computer, using STATA
Randomization Unit
480 village hamlets
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
480 village hamlets
Sample size: planned number of observations
8857 Mothers and 15,502 Children
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
120 Village hamlets- Control
120 Village hamlets- Mother Literacy
120 Village hamlets- CHAMP
120 Village hamlets- Mother Literacy and CHAMP
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
See pre-analysis plan
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects (COUHES)
IRB Approval Date
2011-03-17
IRB Approval Number
1102004358
IRB Name
Cornell University, Office of Research Integrity Assurance
IRB Approval Date
2011-05-18
IRB Approval Number
IORG0000205
Analysis Plan

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

Request Information
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
July 01, 2012, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
April 01, 2013, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
480 village hamlets
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
8857 Mothers and 15,502 Children
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
120 Village hamlets- Control 120 Village hamlets- Mother Literacy 120 Village hamlets- CHAMP 120 Village hamlets- Mother Literacy and CHAMP
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
Using a randomized field experiment in India, we evaluate the effectiveness of adult literacy and parental involvement interventions in improving children’s learning. Households were assigned to receive either (1) adult literacy (language and math) classes for mothers, (2) training for mothers on how to enhance their children’s learning at home, or (3) a combination of the two programs. All three interventions had significant but modest impacts on children’s math scores. The interventions also increased mothers’ test scores in both language and math, as well as a range of other outcomes reflecting greater involvement of mothers in their children’s education.
Citation
Banerji, Rukmini, James Berry, and Marc Shotland. "The Impact of Mother Literacy and Participation Programs on Child Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in India." Working Paper, February 2017.