Over the last four years, we have worked with the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics to incorporate low-cost behavioral interventions into our Winning Start program to incentivize volunteer retention, motivation, and performance. Since introducing these insights, we’ve seen higher retention rates and engagement, leading to greater reach, and improved cost-effectiveness.
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For several years, we’ve partnered with the Government of India to deliver mass school-based deworming as part of our Deworm the World Initiative. The ongoing success of this partnership has allowed us to explore opportunities to extend our impact in India. Ultimately, we settled on one promising area for further exploration through our Beta incubator: India’s national Weekly Iron and Folic Acid Supplementation (WIFS) program, which is designed to address the pressing challenge of anemia among school-age children.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the last three years, Evidence Action Beta has grown and matured in significant ways.
Testing of No Lean Season, an innovative intervention with the potential to improve millions of lives in low and middle income countries, is expanding to Indonesia.
The first cohort of “No Lean Season” participants in northern Bangladesh are on their way. More than 4,500 rural workers are traveling temporarily to nearby areas with higher wages and greater labor opportunities to support their family during the lean season. A few thousand more are expected to join the ranks before the end of the lean season around mid-December in Rangpur, the target area for the initial roll-out of the program. Here is an update.
Press Release: Evidence Action and RDRS Bangladesh announce partnership on “No Lean Season,” to reduce seasonal income insecurity.
Evidence Action, a global development organization focused on scaling rigorously-evaluated programs, and RDRS Bangladesh, a leading development organization in northern Bangladesh, today announced a four-year partnership.
The partnership will field-test and promote ‘No Lean Season,’ an innovative anti-poverty intervention aimed at reducing seasonal income insecurity in poor rural communities. No Lean Season will reach 310,000 low-income households in Northern Bangladesh in the next four years.
Evidence Action Beta is currently pressure testing several evidence-based interventions to determine whether they are suitable for scale-up. One of these projects is 'No Lean Season' - a project to test seasonal income support for the very poorest in Bangladesh during seasonal famine. Part of pressure-testing ‘No Lean Season’ for the potential to scale up to many more people is to understand whether there would be unintended consequences of the intervention. Here is an update on our work.