Learning Beyond School: Another Chance for Out of School Adolescent Girls in Pakistan

Last registered on August 02, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Learning Beyond School: Another Chance for Out of School Adolescent Girls in Pakistan
Initial registration date
March 05, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 08, 2021, 10:25 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
August 02, 2021, 1:55 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


Primary Investigator

Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Delaware
PI Affiliation
University of Delaware
PI Affiliation
University of Massachusetts Boston
PI Affiliation
Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Despite substantial increase in primary school enrollment in Pakistan, 59% of girls do not complete primary school. Scant research exists on improving learning and later life outcomes for out of school female adolescents. We have designed a randomized controlled trial that will test the effect of a remedial learning and functional literacy program aimed at females aged 9 to 19 in southern Punjab (Pakistan) who have either never attended school or have dropped out. We will test the program’s effects on female learning, future enrollment, and educational aspirations, female empowerment, and the broader values and perceptions of female roles of both participants and their household and village members. The research will answer questions crucial to the welfare of some of the most marginalized and disadvantaged members of low income countries. Moreover, improving the position of young females can have strong spillovers through their roles as siblings and mothers.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Beg, Sabrin et al. 2021. "Learning Beyond School: Another Chance for Out of School Adolescent Girls in Pakistan." AEA RCT Registry. August 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6730-1.3000000000000003
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


The learning program is being conducted by Idara Taleem-o-Agahi (ITA), a renowned champion of education in Pakistan, and supported by Department for International Development (DFID). It focuses on accelerated learning and capacity building of out of school and highly marginalized adolescent girls through education, livelihoods and life skills. ITA has developed a unique six-month curriculum designed for girls who have dropped out from either primary or middle school and a three-month core literacy program for girls who have never been to school.

The six-month program, called the short-term primary (STP) and short-term middle (STM), will prepare the dropout girls to undertake their board examinations for grade 5 and grade 8, respectively. The three-month Chalo-Parho-Barho (CPB) program is for the adolescent girls who have never been to school and aims to provide basic literacy and numeracy skills, aligned with grade 2 curriculum.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary outcomes will be adolescent test scores in English, Math and Urdu; adolescent educational and labor market aspirations; female empowerment from both adults and adolescents.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Time-use data of hours spent socializing with friends and leisure time
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will measure impact of Idara Taleem-o-Agahi (ITA)’s remedial learning programs on female education and empowerment through a village-clustered randomized evaluation. The programs consist of a 6-month program (for girls with some schooling) and a 3-month program (for girls with no previous schooling). In the treatment villages, all households with eligible girls will be offered the opportunity to enroll their adolescent girls in either the six-month or the three-month functional literacy program, depending upon the girl's prior schooling record. We will maintain status quo in the control villages.

Our study will take place in Bahawalpur and Muzaffargarh districts in Punjab. In both districts, we take the universe of villages from administrative sources, and restrict to those villages that have a minimum number of households, and those that have never before received the program. Among villages that meet these eligibility criteria, we have done pair-wise matching by district and village size; within each pair, one village is randomly assigned to either receive ITA’s programs or not.

ITA is only able to implement their program if villages meet certain criteria, namely sufficient community support and interest, as well as a location to hold the lessons. We refer to this phase as the “mobilization” phase. Therefore, we randomly ordered all pairs so as to create a “priority” list in the event a treatment village failed mobilization,a new treatment village could take its place and the corresponding pair could be added to the sample. This priority ordering was stratified by geographic area.

In Muzaffargarh, we conducted a baseline survey in 102 villages, consisting of 51 pairs split between treatment and control villages. In each village, we conducted a listing exercise and then surveyed approximately 25 households with an eligible (never enrolled or dropout) adolescent female, giving us a sample of roughly 2,500 households. Following our baseline survey, ITA entered treatment villages and conducted a mobilization exercise. After the mobilization phase, only 26 of the 51 treatment villages that we conducted baseline in were able to have the program launched. We used the priority list and then found replacement treatment villages so as to arrive at the total amount of 35 program villages. Therefore, we only have a baseline survey in 26 out of 35 treatment villages, or 25 girls per village*26 villages*2(corresponding control village) = 1,300 adolescents with a baseline survey. We plan to conduct an endline survey of all of these same adolescents at the conclusion of the program. Pending budget, we may also conduct endline visits in both treatment and control villages at which we lack a baseline.

In Bahawalpur we were not able to begin data collection prior to the implementation of the program and thus do not have a true baseline survey for this district. In Bahawalpur treatment villages, we implemented a household-level randomization of the 3 month program, conducting a “midline” survey after the completion of one wave of the program and before the beginning of the second wave of the program (cohorts 1 and 2, respectively). We obtained from the implementing partner the names of all girls who were eligible for the programs and whose households expressed interest during a community mobilization activity; there were 55 eligible girls from each village on average in this data. Then, we randomized households into two cohorts (Cohort 1 or Cohort 2). Randomization was done at the household-level so that all girls of the same household could participate at the same time. We plan to survey approximately 55 girls after Cohort 1 concludes and prior to the start of Cohort 2 giving us a tentative sample of 55*34 = 1,870 for the midline data collection. We will also survey the ITA teacher in each treatment village to collect data on attendance. Pending budget, we will conduct a listing exercise and an endline in the 70 districts of Bahawalpur (half treatment and half control).

Therefore, across the two districts we will ideally collect endline data on 30 households with an eligible adolescent female in the 70 pairs of villages, half treatment and half control. This brings the total sample size for the endline to 140*30 = 4200 households. This will be the target sample size for the endline.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done using STATA in an office
Randomization Unit
We conducted pair-wise village-level randomization to define treatment and control villages in both study districts.

In Bahawalpur, within treatment villages, we randomized households to receive the program in either Cohort1 (November 2020 to Feb 2021) or Cohort 2 (March-April 2021).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
We have 70 "pairs" (i.e., 140 clusters split evenly between treatment and control) of villages across the two districts. The final evaluation sample may not include all pairs, namely we may restrict data collection to the 26 pairs of villages that we have baseline data for in Muzaffargarh. Similarly, we may not collect endline data from all 35 pairs of villages in Bahawalpur since we lack baseline data for that district.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Baseline Sample: 1300 households in Muzaffargarh (25 adolescents/village*52 villages); Target Midline: 1870 households in Bahawalpur (55hh/village*34 villages) Target Endline Estimate: 4200 households in Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur (140 villages*30hh/village)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Baseline Sample:
650 households in Muzaffargarh treatment villages (25 adolescents/village* villages); 650 households in control villages

Target Midline:
1870 households in Bahawalpur (55hh/village*34 villages); exact sample allocated to cohort varies by village but generally done 5 girls allocated to Cohort 1 for every 3 girls allocated to Cohort 2.

Target Endline Estimate:
875 households in Muzaffargarh and Bahawalpur (35 villages*25hh/village) in treatment villages; 875 households in control. Due to budget constraints, we may pursue endline at only the 26 village pairs in Muzaffargarh at which the ITA program was able to be conducted.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Delaware Institutional Review Board (UD IRB)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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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