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Study Overview

Title:
Improving community development by linking agriculture, nutrition and education: a randomised trial of "home-grown" school feeding in Mali
Study is 3ie funded:
No
Study ID:
RIDIE-STUDY-ID-52389f8b5e138
Initial Registration Date:
09/17/2013
Last Update Date:
09/17/2013
Study Status:
Ongoing
Location(s):
Mali
Abstract:
Providing food through schools has well documented effects in terms of education, health and nutrition of school children. However, there is limited evidence in terms of benefits of providing a reliable market for small-holder farmers through home-grown school feeding approaches. This study aims to evaluate the impact of school feeding sourced from small-holder farmers on small-holder food security, as well as on school children’s education, health and nutrition. This is a field experiment planned around the scale-up of the national programme, involving 116 primary schools in 58 communities in food insecure areas of Mali. Primary outcomes include small-holder farmer income, school participation and learning, and community involvement in the programme. Other outcomes include nutritional status and diet-diversity.
Categories:
Agriculture and Rural Development
Education
Health, Nutrition, and Population
Multisector
Social Protection
Additional Keywords:
Secondary ID Number(s):
ISRCTN: ISRCTN76705891

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Aulo Gelli
Affiliation:
Imperial College
Name of Second PI:
Edoardo Masset
Affiliation:
Institue of Development Studies

Study Sponsor

Name:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Type of Organization:
Location:
Intervention

Intervention Overview

Intervention:
Food provision consists of a school lunch meal served at noon (school is from 8 am to 12 am and then again from 3 pm to 5 pm). The food mainly consists of staples (rice, millet or sorghum) enriched with condiments, vegetables, vitamins and minerals depending on the source of provision. Enrolment figures are collected by the Centres d’ Animation Pedagogicue (CAP), the equivalent of district education offices, through the school management committee and passed on to the mayors to estimate the food requirements for school feeding. Mayors receive budgets from the Ministry of Finance on the basis of the enrolment/food requirements, then issue tenders, on the basis of a credit advance, to certified service providers (traders) to procure the food. The service providers (traders) then purchase the food from the market or from small-holders, and deliver it to the relevant schools.
Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?
Yes

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
National Government
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
National Government
Type of Organization:
Public Sector, e.g. Government Agency or Ministry

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Yes
Start Date:
01/01/2012
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
This is a field experiment planned around the scale-up of the national school feeding programme, involving 116 primary schools in 58 communities in food insecure areas of Mali. The randomly assigned interventions are: 1) a school feeding programme group, including schools and villages where the standard government programme is implemented; 2) a “home-grown” school feeding and social accountability group, including schools and villages where the programme is implemented in addition to training of community based organisations and local government; and 3) the control group, including schools and household from villages where the intervention will be delayed by at least two years, preferably without informing schools and households. Primary outcomes include small-holder farmer income, school participation and learning, and community involvement in the programme. Other outcomes include nutritional status and diet-diversity. The evaluation will follow a mixed method approach, including household, school and village level surveys as well as focus group discussions with small-holder farmers, school children, parents and community members.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
Main outcome indicators (and metrics) include: Income (Farm profits) Distributional effects (Small farmers participating in the programme) Schooling (Enrolment, attendance, and completion) Attention (Digit span (forward/backward)) Learning achievements (Scores on language and math tests) Physical growth (Anthropometric measures of height and weight) Diet diversity (Household consumption) Social accountability (Parental monitoring and motivation)
Unit of Analysis:
Households and children
Hypotheses:
The intervention will have an impact on a small number of farmers in the intervention villages. Others may also benefit either directly or indirectly via an increase in income. The intervention will have a positive impact on enrolment, attendance and drop-out rates. The intervention will have an impact on cognitive abilities and class behaviour. The impact on learning will be moderate as school quality is unlikely to change. The intervention will have a limited impact on physical growth of children because of the increase in physical activity levels, substitution effects and the age range (5 to 15 years) of the targeted population. An impact on siblings of school-going children is possible if substitution effects are strong. The intervention will have a moderate impact on the diet because food purchases by do not follow nutritional guidelines and nutrition education is absent. The intervention will have no impact on micronutrient status as the food provision is not fortified and small effects on diet diversity are expected. The overall impact of the programme will increase through the introduction of social accountability mechanisms.
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
2 levels of randomisation: Communities and schools
Number of Clusters in Sample:
116 communities, 58 communes
Number of Individuals in Sample:
5700 children
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
1740 households (870 control, 435 school feedin, 435 HGSF pilot), 5700 children (2700 C, 1500 SF, 1500 HGSF)

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:
Data

Outcomes Data

Description:
The impact evaluation will include household, school, farmer, village and commune level data collection.
Data Already Collected?
No
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Yes
Description:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:

Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected
Completion

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:

Findings

Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
Data URL or Contact:
Access procedure:

Other Materials

Survey:
Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Program Files:
Program Files Links or Contact:
External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped

Date:
Reason: