A postdoctoral research assistant will conduct one-on-one semi-structured interviews (either in person or over the phone, COVID-dependent) with adults and children who have taken part in We Love Reading as well as with those who have not, to understand how We Love Reading influences education and learning. These interviews will be conducted with participants living in Amman and surrounding areas – where a substantial proportion of Syrian refugees in Jordan live – and in Za’atari refugee camp or Mafraq (depending on COVID restrictions). The postdoctoral research assistant will conduct an inductive thematic analysis on this interview data. They will transcribe the interviews, generate initial codes, and search for and review themes, resulting in an understanding of the role of non-formal education programs such as We Love Reading in their learning and education. To ensure credibility and dependability, we will use reflective commentary, second coding, and peer feedback. The total sample for this qualitative component will be ¬30 adults and ¬30 children.
A project manager and 5 fieldworkers based in Jordan will be conducting data collection for the cluster randomized controlled trial with Syrian refugee mothers and their 4-8-year-old children participating in We Love Reading groups. We will collect data from 180 mother-child dyads from the children taking part in their We Love Reading sessions, as well as 180 control women and their 180 4-8-year-old control children. Where a mother has more than one eligible child within the 4-8-year-old age range, the child closest in age to 6 years old will be sampled. Data will be collected at two timepoints (immediately before taking part in and immediately after the intervention), allowing us to evaluate the effects of We Love Reading on children’s love of reading and literacy skills. Participants will be sampled from We Love Reading training sessions in Amman and Za’atari (or, if COVID-restrictions are still in place in Za'atari, in Mafraq). We will use a cluster randomized wait-list design: we will contact community based organizations, will assign them as either wait-list control or experimental organizations (without informing them), and then will have information sessions for We Love Reading at their organizations and sample women who have expressed an interest in We Love Reading sessions at those sessions.
Sampling will be done as follows: We will use coin flip randomization to determine whether the community based organization will be in the treatment or control condition. 3-5 of the organizations will immediately receive training and the other 3-5 will be wait-listed for training. Women sampled from information sessions held at each of these community based organizations will then be asked inform us which children they will have in their reading groups once they are trained, and fieldworkers will contact the parents of those children to see if they would be interested in taking part in our study. Following this, we will have baseline data collection with the 180 treatment mother-child dyads and the 180 wait-listed control dyads. After approximately 12 weeks, we will conduct endline data collection. We have received additional funding and so will follow up a proportion of the participants for a T3, which will take place approximately a year after the first timepoint data collection. Following the end of data collection, the women interested in being trained in We Love Reading from the control organizations will take part in We Love Reading training and thus all of the children will have access to this intervention.
Jordan-based fieldworkers will go to participants’ homes in groups of two, with one fieldworker collecting data from the mother and the other collecting data from the child. Data collection will consist of surveys, behavioural /cognitive tasks, and a structured mother-child observational task. This combination of psychometric measures (both child- and mother-report), behavioural measures, and direct observation will allow us to gain a holistic understanding of children’s love of reading and literacy. These measures will also allow us to establish whether the effects of We Love Reading are direct, or whether the impacts occur through changes to children’s cognitive stimulation, social stimulation, or through family relationship quality. Using this multi-method approach will provide multiple ways of assessing intervention efficacy, reducing reliance on participant self-report. To increase understanding and avoid issues arising from potential low literacy of participants, fieldworkers will ask all survey questions aloud and input the child/mother response into a laptop loaded with the survey software Kobo Toolbox.
We will collect fidelity information from the volunteers leading the We Love Reading sessions, asking for weekly updates of what book they read, which children attended, where the session was held, and how long the We Love Reading session lasted.