Piloting an intervention in Colombia to provide socio-emotional education in early childhood

Last registered on March 17, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Piloting an intervention in Colombia to provide socio-emotional education in early childhood
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007376
Initial registration date
March 16, 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 17, 2021, 10:31 AM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-03-17
End date
2022-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In this study we evaluate the effects of Think Equal’s curriculum which provides socio-emotional education to children aged 3-6.

Socio-emotional skills play a major role in driving important life outcomes and influencing the development of cognitive skills (OECD, 2017) and labor market success (Heckman & Kautz, 2012). In fact, existing experimental evidence on socio-emotional learning reveals long-term positive effects in youth. Most of the interventions for children usually have an integrated approach that includes health, nutrition, cognitive development and protection services. However, there is scarce experimental evidence on the impact of early childhood programs focusing mainly on socio-emotional skills.

This program uses the existing infrastructure and resources of the Colombian family welfare institute (ICBF) that serves 1.7 million vulnerable children and their families nationwide. This will facilitate the scalability of the intervention if the program seems effective in this context. IPA is implementing a cluster randomized control trial (RCT) in 366 public community nurseries (HCBs) in Colombia."
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Mateo Diaz, Mercedes and Olga Namen. 2021. "Piloting an intervention in Colombia to provide socio-emotional education in early childhood." AEA RCT Registry. March 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7376
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention consists of 30 weeks (3 sessions of 30 minutes per week) of the curriculum Think Equal that includes teacher guides, books, and lesson plans to provide socio-emotional education to children aged 3-5. In particular, inter-and intra-personal competencies of empathy, inclusion, compassion, problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, emotional regulation, generosity, advocating and caring for others. Our implementing partner Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN) is in charge of adapting and translating this program to the Colombian context and training the childcare staff (community mothers) so that they can provide the program directly to the children that attend the public community nurseries (HCB) managed by the Colombian family welfare institute (ICBF). Given that some of the nurseries will not be fully open by the time the intervention is implemented, FEN adapts the curriculum to alternate between in-person and remote instruction. This includes strategies such as sending materials through WhatsApp and involving caretakers to participate in the activities.

With this in mind, we will conduct a cluster randomized trial at the HCB level. Approximately 366 HCBs will be randomly assigned into two groups. We will collect data from children, caretakers and community mothers in two moments: recruitment-baseline and endline.

In this study we evaluate the effects on self esteem, self awareness, emotions management, oneself motivation and empathy, of Think Equal’s curriculum which provides socio-emotional education to children aged 3-6.
Intervention Start Date
2021-04-10
Intervention End Date
2021-12-10

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Self esteem, Self awareness, Managing emotions, Motivating oneself, Empathy
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Self esteem: The measure of self-esteem is calculated from the questionnaires of Emotional Intelligence and the SDQ.
Self awareness: The measure of self-awareness is calculated from the HOME questionnaire and SDQ questionnarie.
Managing emotions: The measure of managing emotions is calculated from the questionnaire of Emotional Intelligence.
Managing emotions: The measure of managing emotions is calculated from the questionnaire of Emotional Intelligence and SDQ questionnaire.
Empathy: The measure of empathy is calculated from the questionnaire of Emotional Intelligence and SDQ questionnaire.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will conduct a cluster randomized trial at the HCB level. Approximately 366 HCBs will be randomly assigned into two groups (treatment and control). HCBs in the treatment group will receive the training and materials of Think Equal and will implement the socio-emotional curriculum; this curriculum will be presented according to the operation model of the HCB (face-to-face, remote or mixed). The curriculum consists of 30 weeks (3 sessions of 30 minutes per week) and includes teacher guides, books and lesson plans to provide socioemotional education to children. HCBs in the control group will not receive the program and will provide regular services.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in STATA
Randomization Unit
Public nurseries (HCB). Group level randomization.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
366 Public nurseries (HCB)
Sample size: planned number of observations
Up to 4026 children
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The trial includes 183 HCBs in the control group, and 183 HCBs receiving training from Think Equal's curriculum.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The smallest minimum detectable effect for primary outcomes is 0.15 standard deviations.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
INNOVATIONS FOR POVERTY ACTION IRB
IRB Approval Date
2021-02-24
IRB Approval Number
15345