Evidence to Policy, a monthly note series on learning what works, highlights studies that evaluate the impact of programs in the critical areas of human development --health, education, social protection, water and sanitation and labor. From how to best supply rural health clinics with drugs to what helps students do better in school, World Bank-supported impact evaluations provide governments and development experts with the information they need to use resources most effectively. As impact evaluations increasingly become more important to policymakers, this series offers a non-technical review of the many innovations the World Bank is supporting, and the growing number of rigorous studies analyzing the impacts of those innovations. The note series is managed by SIEF, which receives generous funding from the British government's Department for International Development and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).
To ensure that children arrive in primary school ready to learn, policymakers around the world are increasingly focusing on what happens in preprimary education programs. In Ghana, SIEF-supported researchers used a randomized control trial to measure the impact of the teacher training on its own and of twinning it with an educational component for parents to inform them about what’s developmentally appropriate in preprimary education.
In Malawi, researchers supported by the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) worked with the government to study the impact of a pilot program to improve the quality of the country’s Community-Based Childcare Centers, which serve children aged three to five years old in rural areas.
The Government of Bangladesh is working with a variety of partners on initiatives to improve early childhood development and provide the country’s youngest citizens with a good start. The World Bank’s Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) supported an evaluation to test the impact of adding a child stimulation component to a national nutrition program.
Researchers worked with the Government of Cambodia to evaluate the impact of three pilot early childhood development programs that were being scaled up with assistance from the World Bank.
This policy note reviews the evaluation of a program in Jamaica that targeted mothers of babies stunted due to malnutrition, offering a rare look at the effects of early childhood intervention over the decades.
Also available in Spanish, French
To test the effectiveness of preschool programs on children’s enrollment in and readiness for primary school, the World Bank supported a study of an early childhood development preschool program in Mozambique run by Save the Children. The evaluation showed that children enrolled in preschool were better prepared for the demands of schooling than children who did not attend preschool and that they were more likely to start primary school by age 6.
Also available in French, Spanish
In Nepal, researchers supported by the World Bank’s Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund worked with the government to develop a program to inform pregnant women and mothers of young children on how to best care for themselves and their children, using already ongoing community meetings to deliver messages.
An evaluation of an effort to improve child development through a social safety nets program found that behavioral change activities improved women’s knowledge and practices. But there was little impact on children’s physical growth or cognitive development.