Download StudyGeneral

Study Overview

Evaluating the Impact of Academic and Economic Interventions on Student Learning Outcomes and Attendance in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Study is 3ie funded:
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:
Congo - Kinshasa

Building on previous program and research experience in improving access to quality basic education in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the IRC in partnership with Save the Children and Catholic Relief Services will deliver a package of academic and economic interventions meant to improve students’ attendance and learning outcomes including scholarships, tutoring, and teacher professional development. As part of the Girls’ Education Challenge academic partners at the University of Massachusetts will test the effectiveness of various pieces of the intervention package, called Vas-y Fille! While several effective and some cost-effective interventions exist to improve certain education outcomes, they have not yet been tested in a setting like the DRC, characterized by conflict and extremely poor infrastructure. The full intervention will be implemented in 400 intervention schools and communities across five provinces in the DRC in order to find what works to help primary school students learn and complete a cycle of basic education. The evaluation uses a cluster-randomized design accompanied by a qualitative study. Baseline data collection is planned for October 2013.

Registration Citation:

Randall, J. and Nordveit, B., 2014. Evaluating the Impact of Academic and Economic Interventions on Student Learning Outcomes and Attendance in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). Available at: 10.23846/ridie022

Additional Keywords:
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Jennifer Randall
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Name of Second PI:
Bjorn Nordtveit
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Study Sponsor

The UK Department for International Development (DfID)
Study Sponsor Location:
United Kingdom

Research Partner

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

Intervention Overview


While the full intervention has multiple components, the impact evaluation focuses on the following components: In school: Girls in grades 3-6 will benefit from teacher training and school improvements. Some girls in grades 3&4 will also benefit from tutoring. Some girls in grade 5 will benefit from tutoring and scholarships. Some girls in grades 6 will benefit from scholarships. In communities: Girls and boys who are in school or out of school will benefit from community-based literacy activities and information campaigns encouraging school enrollment. All components of the intervention aim to improve enrollment, attendance/retention, and academic outcomes for children of primary school age.

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:
The UK Department for International Development (DfID)
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Start Date:
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:

A representative, random sample of girls enrolled in intervention and non-intervention schools will be selected at baseline of the project and tracked across all waves of quantitative data collection while they are in primary school and in a grade targeted for specific interventions (n=3440 girls). Girls will be randomly selected using school registers. In order to attribute the varying degrees of impact from the project to different components of the program, sub-cohorts will be identified at midline and tracked according to the different type of treatment they have received (Grade 3&4 = tutoring, Grade 5=tutoring + scholarships, Grade 6=scholarships, all in addition to a trained teacher, school improvements and community engagement). A representative sample of households from intervention and non-intervention communities will be tracked across all waves of data collection (n=~1440 households in 86 intervention and non-intervention communities in the catchment area of an eligible primary school.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

Academic outcomes (math and reading) Attendance and Retention Enrollment

Unit of Analysis:

H1: When families have increased financial capacity (increased household revenue + reduction in the financial burden of education through need-based scholarships), families will allocate resources towards girls’ education, contributing to an increase in enrolment, re-enrolment and regular attendance. Increased regular attendance will affect learning outcomes. H2: When girls receive better quality instruction (teachers applying improved learning methods) or increased hours of instruction (tutoring and community reading activities), their learning outcomes will improve. The availability of quality education and increased instructional hours will make schooling girls more attractive to parents. A combination of improved learning outcomes and a shift in perception of parents regarding the quality of the school will contribute to increased enrolment, attendance, and retention. H3: When parents are more involved in school management (as a result of COPA training and community outreach activities), parents perceive primary school is a better value, they will be more willing to enrol their girls in school, to support regular attendance and to ensure school completion for girls.

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
School clusters
Number of Clusters in Sample:
86 school clusters
Number of Individuals in Sample:
3440 girls
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
1220 girls in 43 school clusters

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:

Outcomes Data

A school survey comprised of demographic data, the Early Grade Reading Assessment, and the Early Grade Math Assessment will be used to measure these outcomes, in addition to administrative data collected from school records.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
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:
M&E Framework approved by DfID: 5097 GEC ME Framework VAS Y Fille APPROVED.pdf

Registration Category

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

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:


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

Data Availability

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

Other Materials

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

Study Stopped