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Study Overview

Title:
Evaluation of Espacio para Crecer "Room to Grow" After-School Program for At-Risk Youth
Study is 3ie funded:
No
Study ID:
RIDIE-STUDY-ID-558c26755235a
Initial Registration Date:
06/25/2015
Last Update Date:
06/22/2015
Study Status:
Completed
Location(s):
Nicaragua
Abstract:
This study seeks to measure the impact and cost effectiveness of Espacios para Crecer (EpC), or Room to Grow, a program for improving early grade reading in a region that is poor, rural, isolated, economically unstable, and populated by ethnic and linguistic minorities. In these areas, the school day is often short, attendance is sporadic, and attendance by school-age children is not universal. The EpC is a half-day after-school program with monthly "school for parents" meetings. The EpC program targets at-risk children and provides them with enrichment activities that include academic instruction, but also self-esteem building, physical play, and other mechanisms to strengthen children's connection to school. The study will follow children for two years, from the time they reach school age, after they are randomized into a program group and a control group, conducting household surveys and individual assessments of literacy skills.
Registration Citation:
Categories:
Education
Water and Sanitation
Additional Keywords:
Afterschool program
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Steven Glazerman
Affiliation:
Mathematica Policy Research
Name of Second PI:
Emilie Bagby
Affiliation:
Mathematica Policy Research

Study Sponsor

Name:
USAID
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Fundación Internacional para el Desafío Económico Global (FIDEG)
Type of Organization:
Research institute/University
Location:
Nicaragua
Intervention

Intervention Overview

Intervention:
Primary schooling in many poor parts of Latin America is only offered for half a day. To supplement the regular school day, the EpC is a daily half-day "after-school" program with monthly "school for parents" meetings. The intervention under study is being funded by USAID-Nicaragua as part of its Community Action for Reading and Security (CARS) program. The EpC program targets at-risk children and provides them with enrichment activities that include academic instruction, but also self-esteem building, physical play, and other mechanisms to strengthen children's connection to school. The EpCs serve children in early primary grades (1 to 3) or who are out-of-school children aged 6 to 12. Risk factors used to identify eligible children who are in school include poor attendance, low grades, or living in a household where the language of instruction is not spoken. Students in the age or grade range with any of these risk factors are considered eligible.
Private Intervention Details:
Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?
No

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
DevTech Systems is the lead contractor, subcontractors include CARE Nicaragua and three local NGOs operating in RACS
Type of Organization:
Private for profit organization

Program Funder

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

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Yes
Start Date:
04/01/2014
End Date:
12/15/2016
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:
Units are being randomly assigned in one of two ways, depending on the size of each of the approximately 250 education communities (defined as the catchment area of one school): For all communities, a community assembly is held and a team of implementers and researchers provides informed consent and obtains lists of eligible children. Eligible children are age 6 to 15 or in grades one through three with at least one of the following risk factors as determined by program implementers together with school staff: poor attendance, low grades, or living in a household where the language of instruction is not spoken. 1. Large communities (30 or more eligible children): the team lists and randomly assigns eligible children within the community to either a treatment group or a control group. 2. Smaller communities (<30 eligible children): the team lists the eligible children and then pairs communities within the same municipality and having similar characteristics (where possible to measure), and randomly assigns one member of each pair to the treatment group and the other to the control group. All eligible children in the treatment community are eligible for EpC services.
Private Details of Evaluation Approach:
The term education community is used instead of school, but they are essentially the same thing. There are political reasons why we have to refer to them as ECs.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
The main outcome of interest is literacy. We will measure this using an individually-administered early grade reading assessment, with components that measure oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. Other academic outcomes include school attachment (enrollment, attendance, and grade progression) and other measures of success, such as teacher-assigned grades in school. We will measure related factors like reading frequency and access to print materials in the home and at school. Non-academic outcomes include avoidance of risky and undesirable behaviors, such as misbehavior in school, and child labor.
Unit of Analysis:
Individual children. In small education communities, children will be the unit of analysis, but we will account for the clustering of children within schools.)
Hypotheses:
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Units of intervention are either children or educational communities, depending on community size (communities with <30 eligible children will be assigned at the community level)
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
3,000 children (1,500 in 50 large communities, 2,000 in 200 small communities)
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
3,000 children (1,500 Treatment and 1,500 Control children in large communties; 1,000 in small treatment communities and 1,000 in small control communities)

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:
Data

Outcomes Data

Description:
Household surveys will be collected in 2015 and 2016. Because the sample is being recruited in two phases (cohort 1, which began in 2014 and cohort 2 which began in 2015), the 2015 survey will be endline for the first cohort and baseline for the second cohort. The 2016 survey will be endline for the second cohort. (There is no baseline for the first cohort).
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: