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Improving Gender Attitudes, Transition, and Education (IGATE-T)

Last registered on January 12, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Improving Gender Attitudes, Transition, and Education (IGATE-T)
Initial registration date
January 12, 2022

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
January 12, 2022, 8:02 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Carleton University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
We evaluate a quasi-randomized field experiment in Zimbabwe to understand the impact of a large-scale intervention targeting community-level attitudes. We measure the impact that the program has had on attitudes, the behaviour of teachers and caregivers, and the learning and progression outcomes of at-risk youth. We find that the program improved community attitudes toward girls’ education over the three and a half year project. This contributed to an increase in the likelihood that students in the treatment group reported receiving enough support from their community to continue learning during COVID-19 school closures, along with other changes in the behaviours of community members and families. The program facilitated better learning and progression outcomes, with marginalized students performing better on learning assessments after the project. These findings lead to two important conclusions about the efficacy of interventions designed to reshape community attitudes. The first is that community attitudes can be influenced in a relatively short time to become more supportive towards marginalized groups. The second is that these interventions can support education outcomes. This paper also demonstrates the usefulness of qualitative methods and text mining techniques for future experimental work.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Cotton, Christopher and Ardyn Nordstrom. 2022. "Improving Gender Attitudes, Transition, and Education (IGATE-T)." AEA RCT Registry. January 12.
Experimental Details


To address the barriers that marginalized students in rural Zimbabwe experience, the IGATE-T project engaged with community leaders and caregivers to support students’—particularly girls’—education. Prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns, this focused primarily on formal education options. After the lockdowns began, these engagements encouraged leaders and caregivers to support students’ participation in community learning circles while schools were closed. This took place through several simultaneous interventions.

The first involved establishing community champions, who acted as mentors within the community to demonstrate how community members can support student learning. This included working with local leaders and village heads to encourage parents and caregivers during community meetings (discussed below). After COVID-19 closed schools, the network of community champions was mobilized to ensure learning continued during the COVID-19 school closures. Many community champions began facilitating the community learning circles and distributing learning materials to students in their communities who did not have access to learning resources at home. In total, 1,929 people became community champions over the three and a half years the project operated (89% female).

The second intervention involved facilitating community meetings to encourage caregivers to send their children to school. In these meetings, community champions and community leaders (such as the village heads) led discussions to identify issues surrounding education and child protection, particularly for girls and struggling students. In addition to making participants more aware of the barriers students face, community members were encouraged to consider their own attitudes towards girls and marginalized students, and to consider how these influenced their behaviours towards marginalized students. Across the 238 IGATE-T communities, the project set up these meetings in community centres and schools directed at traditional leaders, religious leaders, school development committees, teachers, heads, case care workers (who work for the Zimbabwe Ministry of Social Work and provide support to abuse victims), village health workers, caregivers, school heads, and any other community members that had a role in student education and welfare in the community. These meetings were held quarterly with school development committees in the form of Community “Indabas” (Forums). Additional meetings were held monthly amongst community members and the community champions. Participants were encouraged to share what they learned and discussed with other community members. 29,448 community members participated in the monthly community meetings (65% female) over the three and a half years the project was operating and 3,552 individuals participated in the quarterly Indabas (49% female).

The third intervention, referred to as the “Whole School Development” model involved providing teacher training to school teachers and headteachers on how to use gender-sensitive and participatory teaching methods and how to help address some of the barriers students experience in classrooms to establish a more inclusive learning environment. The training was delivered every other month by education experts from Zimbabwe and the UK working with World Vision. Like the community meetings, teachers were encouraged to share what they learned from the training sessions with other teachers in their school. In total, 1,717 teachers were trained through the IGATE-T training (52% female) and 319 head teachers were trained (18% female).

The fourth branch of the intervention, which constituted the main part of the project’s response to COVID-19 and the subsequent school closures, leveraged the community champions network and the teacher training that had been ongoing between January 2018 (when the project began) and March 2020 (when schools closed due to COVID-19). This took the form of community learning circles (CLCs), which provided communityled informal education options for students in the IGATE-T communities. The CLCs provided an inclusive learning environment to support students who may not have had support for learning at home. The learning circles were run by community champions or teachers who had been trained through the Whole School Development intervention. Teachers and community champions provided support for learning during COVID-19 school closures by offering literacy and numeracy activities, reading cards, and study guides in addition to providing them with tailored instruction to support individual students’ learning efforts.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Gender attitudes, literacy and numeracy skills, school enrolment, and grade advancement
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We conduct a quasi-randomized evaluation of the IGATE-T program using a sample of 74 public schools in rural Zimbabwe. To limit the possibility of spillovers to the control areas, this study utilizes a geographic cluster-based randomized design based on the school cluster administrative system used by the Zimbabwe Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. 238 secondary school clusters were quasi-randomly selected to receive the IGATE-T interventions. Selection was not truly random because schools had to be public schools to be eligible for the interventions.

Four political districts were selected for the evaluation sample, and all treatment schools that had a minimum of thirty students. The set of comparison schools was selected quasi-randomly from the set of schools that were not selected for the original set of the 238 treatment schools in the four evaluation districts. Comparison schools needed to be a sufficient distance from the treatment school clusters to avoid spillover from treatment areas.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer, and reviewed by local experts to ensure adequate distance between randomized clusters
Randomization Unit
Primary school
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by 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?
Intervention Completion Date
March 31, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
June 30, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
TG: 611, CG: 617
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

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Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials