NO LEAN SEASON: A ticket out of Seasonal Poverty

No Lean Season aims to reduce the negative effects of seasonality on the poorest in rural agricultural areas by enabling labor mobility that increases incomes.  It is a new program that we are testing in Evidence Action Beta’s portfolio. 

We give a travel subsidy of $19 to very poor rural laborers so they can send someone to a nearby city to find a job during the period between planting and harvesting. This is the time in rural areas when there are no jobs, no income, and when families miss meals.

With a temporary job during this ‘lean season,’ households are are able to put an additional meal on the table for every member of the family each and every day. That’s 500 additional meals during the lean season. 

We are investigating several critical questions to pressure test the hypothesis that alternative strategies to food aid may be effective and cost effective means of providing seasonal income support in Bangladesh and elsewhere. 

Winning Start: A Level Learning Field For All Kids

Winning Start is an Evidence Action Beta project designed to improve literacy and numeracy among primary school students. Youth volunteers target struggling learners with interactive educational activities that complement classroom learning and are tailored to students’ skill level.

Multiple randomised controlled trials conducted in IndiaGhana, and Kenya have consistently shown that using lightly trained volunteers to deliver remedial sessions to students improves learning outcomes. 

With Winning Start, volunteers also benefit. By facilitating remedial sessions and engaging in community projects, youth volunteers receive a platform to develop the professional development skills that will support their transition into the workforce. Governments win too: Winning Start can be adapted to serve different aspects of countries’ national agenda. It gives Governments the opportunity to invest in youth, while pursuing multiple other potential public gains. 

In 2014, Evidence Action partnered with the Government of Kenya to pioneer the Winning Start model through G-United – a national youth volunteering program implemented by the Government of Kenya. Now in it’s third year of operation, G-United continues grow — offering exciting learning opportunities as it does. 

You can also visit our archive to learn about projects we have exited from our pipeline, including why we chose not to pursue these interventions.