Haiti Education Service Delivery Support

October 3, 2016

Across the developing world, policy makers are looking for ways to increase teacher accountability and ensure that all students are getting the education they need to succeed in life. But what’s the best way to protect against teacher absenteeism in countries where inspection systems are already overburdened and have little funding? Answering this question and ensuring that teachers come to school is critical to improving student learning.   

Research area: Education

Country: Haiti 

Evaluation Sample: 200 schools

Timeline: Completed

Intervention: Information and communication technology; camera phones 

Researchers: Patrick Ramanantoanina, World Bank; Moussa Blimpo, University of Oklahoma; Melissa Adelman, World Bank; David Evans, World Bank; Noah Yarrow, World Bank



In Haiti, policy makers are looking for ways to increase teacher accountability in the education sector, especially in the country’s large and mostly unregulated low-cost private school system. Nearly 90 percent of primary and secondary schools are private and some 20 percent of schools across the country reported a teacher absence in the previous week. Researchers are working with the Ministry of Education to implement a program that uses cell phone cameras and wireless internet connections to verify teacher attendance. The evaluation of the program will help shed light on the ways in which greater supervision, accountability, and increased teacher presence in the classroom can regulate the large private school sector and improve student learning. 


Researchers used a randomized control trial design to create a sample of 100 treatment schools and 100 control schools among a list of 1,682 eligible schools in the north and northeast part of the country. In the treatment group, school directors are provided with a cell phone that has a built-in camera and is connected to the internet.  The school directors are asked to photograph each teacher before and after school each day, and the daily photos are remotely analyzed by state inspectors.  Cell phone minutes are provided to school directors and state inspectors as incentive to take, send, and process the pictures.  The photos are date and time stamped so that they can’t be manipulated digitally, and the evaluation field coordinator periodically spot-checks the database to verify the consistency of submitted photos with the original photo on record for teachers. The control groups receive no treatment. Researchers are hoping to determine whether the cell-phone monitoring affects teacher attendance, and ultimately, student learning.


For a summary of the impact evaluation results, please read the policy note “Can Smartphones Make Schools Better?”.