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Study Overview

Evaluating the Impact of a Focused Reading and Math Intervention Integrated with a Social-Emotional Learning Program on Student Learning Outcomes and Psychosocial Wellbeing
Study is 3ie funded:
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:
Congo - Kinshasa

Based on 30 years of experience in conflict-affected settings, the IRC is implementing the existing Healing Classrooms model in conflict-affected areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through a USAID-funded intervention. The intervention augments the Healing Classrooms model with core practices from Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and focused teacher training. Despite the vast evidence supporting the impact of social-emotional learning in the United States, there is still extremely limited evidence on the effectiveness of SEL programming in low-resource and conflict-affected settings. The goal of this evaluation is to rigorously evaluate the impact of the intervention on outcomes for children in 350 schools in DRC and use results to increase the effectiveness of interventions in this challenging setting. The baseline survey was completed in May 2011 and baseline reports on teacher motivation and student social-emotional, reading, and math outcomes are currently available. Year 1 follow up was completed in June 2012, and year 2 follow up was completed in June 2013. The final report is anticipated late 2014.

Registration Citation:

Aber, J.L., Seidman, E. and Torrente, C., 2014. Evaluating the Impact of a Focused Reading and Math Intervention Integrated with a Social-Emotional Learning Program on Student Learning Outcomes and Psychosocial Wellbeing. Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). Available at: 10.23846/ridie023

Additional Keywords:
social-emotional learning, cluster randomized trial
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
J. Lawrence Aber & Edward Seidman
New York University
Name of Second PI:
Catalina Torrente
Yale University

Study Sponsor

USAID, the Novo Foundation, an anonymous donor
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
New York University
Type of Organization:
Research institute/University
United States

Intervention Overview


The intervention is a teacher training program focused on infusing social-emotional practices and processes into the teaching of reading and math in primary school. The intervention runs throughout the year, using an iterative series of peer-learning events to refresh and update knowledge and skills on a regular basis. Initial and refresher trainings are held 1-3 times per year. The intervention aims to improve the classroom practices and processes for teachers in primary schools, and by doing so, improve reading, math and social-emotional outcomes of students.

Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
The International Rescue Committee
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
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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:

The current study design is best conceptualized as a 3-level Multi-Site Cluster Randomized Trial. Students (n=~80) are nested in Schools (J=1 or 2 per OAC) which are nested in OPEQ Administrative Clusters (K=~92). In addition, clusters are “blocked” or “stratified” by educational sub-division (L=~10) and randomized to pilot (2011), early (2012) or late (2013) implementation of the integrated intervention.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

Students' academic outcomes (reading in French and math) Students' Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being Students' social emotional learning Teacher motivation and performance

Unit of Analysis:
Cluster level
Change History for Unit of Analysis
Changed On Previous Value
03/20/2014 School level

IRC and PIs hypothesize that: (1) motivation and performance of teachers who receive the OPEQ in-service teacher training will be enhanced compared to the motivation and performance of teachers in the control condition; (2) the positive impacts of the in-service teacher training will be greater for teachers who attend all OPEQ workshops; (3) student academic learning, mental health and emotional wellbeing outcomes will be improved in schools that receive the integrated intervention compared to those in schools that do not; (4) the positive impact of the intervention on teachers and students will be greater in schools where the intervention is implemented with higher fidelity to the proposed model; and (5) the impact of the integrated intervention on teacher performance and student outcomes will vary by selected individual (e.g. risk status, gender), school (e.g. size, organizational readiness) and community (e.g. high exposure to violence) factors.

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
School clusters (groups of 3-6 schools)
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
10,080 students, 756 teachers (most recent survey wave)
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
design is wait-list control, so size of control group depends on year of analysis

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:

Outcomes Data

Outcome measures will be calculated using a dataset comprised of student and teacher surveys collected at the school level.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Not restricted - access with no requirements or minimal requirements (e.g. web registration)
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
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Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:
Early Grade Math Assessment - Grade 2 - French : O1 OUTIL EGMA 2eme.docx
Early Grade Math Assessment - Grades 3&4 - French: O3 Outil EGMA 3eme & 4eme.docx
Early Grade Reading Assessment - Grade 3 - French: O9 OUTIL EGRA 3eme - Mars 2012.docx
Early Grade Reading Assessment - Grade 4 - French: O10 OUTIL EGRA 4eme - Mars 2012.docx
Student demographic form: O14 outil demographique final.pdf
Teacher Survey - French: O13 Outil Enseignant-Final Mars 2012.pdf
Student Social Emotional Learning Survey - French: O12 OUTIL SEL - 30 Mars 2012.pdf

Registration Category

Registration Category:
Non-Prospective, Category 4: Data for measuring impacts have been obtained/collected by the research team and analysis for this evaluation has started

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
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Unit of Analysis:
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Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper Summary:
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Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
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Other Materials

Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped