Winning Start, an education program in our Beta incubator, is designed to improve child literacy and numeracy by using youth volunteers to deliver the rigorously tested and proven “teaching at the right level” (TaRL) pedagogy. As the world celebrates International Volunteer Day, we celebrate Winning Start volunteers - who spend up to a year working to unlock the promise of an upcoming generation. We interviewed five youth who successfully completed the Government of Kenya’s G-United program to learn more about their experiences and motivations.
There is a difference between a low-cost program and a cost-effective program. Implementing a low-cost program is not sufficient - we want to ensure that the impacts of the program are measurable and that the benefits outweigh the costs - this is what makes a program truly cost-effective. Putting these two parts of the equation - costs and benefits - together, we can estimate the value for money of our program.
No Lean Season, a late-stage program in the Beta incubation portfolio, provides small loans to poor, rural households for seasonal labor migration. Based on multiple rounds of rigorous research showing positive effects on migration and household consumption and income, the program was delivered and tested at scale for the first time in 2017. Results showed that the 2017 program did not have the desired impact on inducing migration, and consequently did not increase income and consumption. In this post, we dive deep into these results and explain how they are shaping the path forward for No Lean Season.
In this post, I trace my journey from English student to Global Health Corps Fellow at Evidence Action. I reflect on the process of realizing my personal mission: to leverage the collective power of stories and data to dismantle health inequities and improve people’s lives.
Last month, our team attended the inaugural Teaching at the Right Level conference in South Africa, hosted by pioneers in the field, Pratham and J-PAL. On a panel with organizations piloting variations of youth or volunteer-led TaRL models across Africa, our Program Coordinator, Fred Abungu, shared what we’ve learned from working with the Government of Kenya to effectively and sustainably recruit, retain, and motivate volunteers to deliver remedial support at steadily increasing scale. In this post, we explore some of the insights he offered.
On shared learning, partnerships, and capacity building: reflections from the NTD NGO Network (NNN) Conference
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) disproportionately affect people living in poverty, some of whom may be difficult to reach through traditional mass drug administration (MDA). We have attended the NTD NGO Network (NNN) conference for the past several years to share lessons from our work, and learn from our colleagues and partners in the NTD space. In September of this year, members of our global deworming team again participated in the conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and convened a workshop titled Increasing inclusion of hard-to-reach groups using lessons and strategies from within and outside the NTD community.
In 2016, the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) approached Evidence Action with an interest in piloting our safe water model in Ethiopia, where over 48 million people still lack access to safe water despite the monumental strides that have been made to tackle the issue there. For us, the partnership, with CARE International as MWA’s lead implementing partner, offered a chance to gauge whether another organization can implement the Dispensers for Safe Water model given our support in supplying the hardware, sharing implementation best practices, and supporting program monitoring.
As the United States commemorates Women’s Equality Day on August 26, we’re celebrating a key aspect of our diversity, which is not yet the norm across many sectors, including in international development - gender equality. In the spirit of challenging convention, one of our core values, we’re honoring the phenomenal women who lead across Evidence Action. We asked some of these women to answer a few questions about their professional development, inspiration, and the best career advice they’ve received, among other topics. Read the second part of this two-part interview series to hear more insights from our women leaders.
As the United States commemorates Women’s Equality Day on August 26, we’re celebrating a key aspect of our diversity, which is not yet the norm across many sectors, including in international development - gender equality. In the spirit of challenging convention, one of our core values, we’re honoring the phenomenal women who lead across Evidence Action. We asked some of these women to answer a few questions about their professional development, inspiration, and the best career advice they’ve received, among other topics. Read part one of this two-part interview series to see what they had to say!
India’s National Deworming Day (NDD), initiated in 2015, is the world’s largest single-day public health intervention, providing children between the ages of 1-19 with free deworming tablets. As part of Evidence Action’s technical assistance to the Government of India and select state governments for the August NDD treatment round, we are collaborating on several tailored strategies to target hard-to-reach children, including migrant workers in the north-eastern state of Tripura.
Earlier this year, Mr. Paul Byatta assumed leadership of our Africa operations as Regional Director, following five years of regional growth in our Deworm the World Initiative and Dispensers for Safe Water programs. We took the opportunity to interview Paul to learn more about what makes him tick.
In our Dispensers for Safe Water program, which provides access to safe drinking water by installing chlorine dispensers near community water sources in Kenya, Uganda, and Malawi, we verify their use by measuring the adoption rate of chlorine among the households that our dispensers serve. Through the survey conducted in late 2017, we found that our population reached declined from 4.7 million, which is based on surveys conducted for each new dispenser installation during program scale-up from 2012-2016, to 4.0 million people program-wide today.
An evaluation of a relative-risk HIV awareness campaign generated mixed results ...here’s what we learned from it.
A 2005 randomized controlled trial conducted in Kenya found that girls who were told about the dangers of sugar daddies were 28% less likely to be pregnant at year-end than girls who were simply told to abstain, and girls who received no sexual education beyond that offered in school. Based on this success, Young 1ove worked with a group of partners, including the Government of Botswana, the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Botswana-Baylor Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence, and Evidence Action, to evaluate the idea again through a similar program, No Sugar. This second round of evaluation delivered mixed results and all partners involved in the program made a decision not to scale the No Sugar intervention. Here are our three biggest takeaways from the experience.
Ambiguous results and clear decision-making: a sugar-daddy awareness program evaluated in Botswana will not be scaled up
What happens when you tell middle-school and teenage girls in Africa about the dangers of sexually engaging with older men who offer them financial favors? Does it affect their choice of sexual partner? A Kenya-based, 2005 randomized controlled trial suggested it might. In 2014, Botswana-based non-profit Young 1ove brought together a group of partners to re-evaluate the idea through a program, “No Sugar,” designed to be scaled-up across Southern Africa. The evaluation yielded mixed results; consequently, the Government of Botswana, Young 1ove, and other partners are not scaling up No Sugar as it was originally designed. Instead, Young 1ove is redesigning the program for further evaluation of impact, before potentially scaling it up in future.
At Evidence Action, we determine impact based on data, and in partnership with governments, we reached over 280 million children in 2017 alone through our Deworm the World Initiative. Our focus on scale means we rarely have the opportunity to zoom in on an individual’s experience. So in February, we jumped at the chance to visit these two girls, who we first met on a deworming day in Kenya back in 2013.
In late 2017, we had a fantastic opportunity to participate in a ‘Teaching at the Right Level’ (TaRL) workshop in India hosted by Indian education non-profit and pioneer of the TaRL model, Pratham. The crux of the workshop was our favorite theme here at Evidence Action: how to translate rigorous research into effective, scaled action.
At Evidence Action, we often use mobile technology to collect program data that informs decision making. Recently, we experimented with Echo Mobile as a tool for monitoring Winning Start, a program in our Beta incubator that deploys post-university youth to public schools where they help children develop basic reading, writing, and numeracy skills.