Seminars

2019

2018

2017

2016

 

Seminar: Sustainability of Early Childhood Education Services: Evidence from Rural Indonesia  

Presenters: Amer Hasan (World Bank), Nozomi Nakajima (Harvard University)

Chair: Toby Linden (World Bank)

Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About: Researchers and practitioners alike are increasingly concerned about the sustainability of services established using donor funding. In this paper, we document the sustainability of early childhood education centers established under a large-scale donor-funded project in Indonesia. First, we show that the majority of centers continued to provide preschool services after the donor-funding ended. Second, we explore key predictors of center sustainability, such as center financing, classroom quality, local market conditions, supplementary services, and community support. Our results point to actionable lessons that can be taken into account when considering the design and sustainability of future preschool projects.

Materials: Amer Hasan’s presentation, Nozomi Nakajima’s presentation, SIEF webpage,  Evidence to Policy noteVideo Recording

 

Seminar: Improving last-mile service delivery using phone-based monitoring

Presenters: Jeff Weaver (University of Southern California) 

Chair: Alaka Holla (World Bank)

Date: Thursday, February 14, 2019

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washinngton, DC

About: Improving “last-mile” public service delivery is a recurring challenge in developing countries. Could the widespread adoption of mobile phones provide a simple, cost-effective means for improvement? Researchers used an at-scale experiment to evaluate the impact of a phone-based monitoring system on a program that transferred nearly a billion dollars to 5.7 million Indian farmers. In selected jurisdictions, officials were informed that program implementation would be measured via calls with beneficiaries. This led to a 3.9% increase in farmers receiving transfers on time, and a 1.5% increase overall. The program was highly cost-effective, costing 3.6 cents for each additional dollar delivered.

Materials: Presentation, PaperEvidence to Policy note, Video Recording

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Developing Population Measures for Early Childhood

Presenters: Tarun Dua (WHO), Claudia Cappa (UNICEF)

Introduction: Amanda Devercelli (World Bank), Alaka Holla (World Bank)

Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Location: World Bank I Building, Washington, DC

About: Ensuring that by 2030 all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education so that they are ready for school is one of key parts of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To measure success – both in terms of the SDGs and in terms of World Bank projects focused on the early years -- we need to be able to monitor whether children are developmentally on track in health, learning, and psychosocial well-being. But how can we validly measure whether children are developmentally on-track at a population level?  Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF, which are leading efforts to develop population measures that can be used for global monitoring of children’s access to early years programs and support, discussed their work in this field.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Why increasing teacher effort is hard –and what to do about it

Presenters: Shwetlena Sabarwal (World Bank)

Chair: Luis Benveniste (World Bank)

Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019

Location: World Bank G Building, Washington, DC

About: Teachers in developing countries spend too little time teaching. Tackling this has been an important focus of our projects, interventions, and impact evaluations. Yet, very few show any impact, and almost none show strong impacts. Why is it so difficult to increase teacher effort? Why don’t teachers respond to training, incentives, or accountability interventions to increase the time spent teaching?

Materials: Paper, SIEF webpage

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Cash and Change: Evaluation Results from Behavioral Interventions in the Madagascar Human Development Cash Transfer Program

Presenters: Laura B. Rawlings (World Bank), Saugato Datta (ideas42), Josh Martin (ideas42)

Chair: Renos Vakis (World Bank)

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Location: World Bank J Building, Washington, DC

About: Cash transfer programs have historically aimed at addressing short term poverty through income support and long-term poverty by encouraging households’ investments in human capital and productive invest, especially of children.  This focus on behavior and human capital investments aimed at children’s development is a central feature of the Madagascar Human Development Cash Transfer (HDCT) program.

Materials: SIEF webpage

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Learning Fast: How Nimble Evaluations Can Help Improve Program Design

Presenters: Melissa Adelman (World Bank), Seema Jayachandran (Northwestern University), Berk Ozler (World Bank)

Chair: Roberta Gatti, Chief Economist of Human Development, World Bank

Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Location: World Bank J Building, Washington, DC

About: The Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund recently selected 18 evaluations for funding through its fourth call for proposals, focused on nimble evaluations – rapid, low-cost evaluations designed to provide insight on implementation or improve the use of administrative data for impact evaluations in low- and middle-income countries. Panelists discussed evaluations that focused on increasing student motivation and effort in the Dominican Republic, promoting infant-directed speech in Ghana, and the adoption of long-acting reversible contraceptives in Cameroon.

Materials: Video recording, Dominican Republic presentation, Ghana presentation, Cameroon presentation

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: The Impact of Early Childhood Education On Child Development in Rural India, December 12, 2018

Presenters: Seema Jayachandran, Professor of Economics, Northwestern University

Chair: Roberta Gatti, Chief Economist of Human Development, World Bank

Date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Location: World Bank J Building, Washington, DC

About: Primary school enrollment is now nearly universal in many developing countries, but children from poor families arrive less prepared than better-off peers who attended pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Researchers studied the effects of expanding access to pre-K and kindergarten on child development in Karnataka, India, through a randomized evaluation and partnered with a private kindergarten provider to offer two-year scholarships to children from poor families.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Leveraging Patients’ Social Networks to Overcome Tuberculosis Under-detection: A Field Experiment in India

Presenters: Jessica Goldberg (University of Maryland), Mario Macis (Johns Hopkins), Pradeep Chintagunta (University of Chicago)

Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About: Peer referrals are a common strategy for addressing asymmetric information in contexts such as job search. They could be especially valuable for increasing testing and treatment of infectious diseases, where peers may have advantages over health workers in both identifying new patients and providing them credible information, but they are rare in that context. In an experiment with 3,182 patients of 128 tuberculosis (TB) treatment centers in India, we find that peers are indeed more effective than health workers in bringing in new suspects for testing, and that low-cost incentives of about $3.00 per referral considerably increase the probability that current patients make referrals resulting in new symptomatics being tested and new TB cases identified. Peer outreach identifies new TB cases at 25-35% of the cost of outreach by health workers, and can be a valuable tool in combatting infectious disease.

MaterialsPaperSIEF Webpage

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Early Childhood Development Interventions

Presenters: Costas Meghir, Professor of Economics, Yale University

Date: October 18, 2018

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About: There has been an increasing interest in ECD interventions as a means of breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty and of offering better opportunities to children born in deprived environments. But can the interventions be effective? How do parents react to these interventions? And what are the challenges of scaling up. In this paper we review the results from two ECD interventions, one in Colombia and one in India. We then describe a framework for understanding how these interventions work and present results in this respect from Colombia. We find important short run effects on cognition and language. We also find that the interventions operate by shifting the way mothers invest in their children, which seem to underlie the success of the interventions.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Can Preschool Help Minorities Make up Differences in Human Capital? Experimental Evidence from Bulgaria

Presenters: Joost de Laat (PhD), Professor of Economics, Centre for Global Challenges and the Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht University

Chair: Alaka Holla, Program Manager, Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF)

Date: June 12, 2018

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About: There is growing concern that children from disadvantaged families lag behind children from advantaged families because they do not participate as much in quality early childhood development opportunities. This seminar presented findings from a large scale 2x4 multi-arm randomized control trial implemented in 2014-2015 across 236 poor settlements across Bulgaria with the aim to improve full-day kindergarten participation of poor children, especially Roma, Europe’s largest ethnic minority.

Materials: Seminar RecordingPresentation

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Looks great, but how much does it cost? How to capture and analyze costs

Presenters: Sam Fishman, Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF)

Chair: Harry Patrinos, Manager, Education Global Practice

Discussant: Ciro Avitabile, Senior Economist, HD Practice Group

Date: April 11, 2018

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About: Sam Fishman presented a summary of methodological and process guidance on cost collection and analysis. This included a review of 1) how research and operations can benefit from costing; 2) the components that make up useful cost data; 3) how to capture the appropriate costs and design a cost model and; 4) how to overcome the methodological and analytical challenges associated with costing. The presentation helped participants to gain a clear idea of what they can achieve by integrating costing plans into the projects, and how to go about planning and executing cost collection and analysis.

Materials: Seminar RecordingPresentation

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Atomic moms: Using stable isotopes to measure the nutrition of children and mothers

Presenters: Cornelia Loechl, Section Head, Nutritional and Health-related Environmental Studies, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Chair: Leslie K. ElderSenior Nutrition Specialist, Health, Nutrition & Population Global Practice

Date: April 10, 2018

Location: World Bank G Building, Washington, DC

About: Cornelia Loechl presented on the IAEA’s program in nutrition, highlighting the contribution of (non-radioactive) stable isotope techniques to combat malnutrition in all its forms. Stable isotope techniques have an important role in understanding the mechanisms of malnutrition and in designing and evaluating the impact of nutrition interventions. They can assess body composition, energy expenditure, breastfeeding patterns, body vitamin A stores, and factors affecting absorption and retention of essential minerals in the body and estimates of malnutrition using these techniques often differ from self-reported data.  The talk focused on the value of these techniques to generate evidence for informed nutrition programming across the life course, from infant and young child feeding, to maternal and adolescent nutrition, to healthy ageing. Cornelia also discussed the role of stable isotopes in tracking progress towards achieving World Health Assembly targets.

Materials: Seminar RecordingPresentation

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Increasing teacher’s intrinsic motivation

Presenters: Sharath Jeevan, Founder and CEO, STIR; Nithya Gurukumar, Head of Partnerships, STIR

Chair: Omar Arias, Manager, Education Global Practice

Date: March 29, 2018

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About: For the last six years STIR Education has been working to address a question: how to re-kindle the intrinsic motivation at scale among the current teaching force. In India and Uganda STIR has been working with 75,000 teachers and 2.6 million children to develop autonomy, mastery and purpose among teachers, as well as improved classroom practice. A SIEF-funded evaluation has provided rich learning around initial impact, cost effectiveness and the 'business case' to education systems to investing in teacher intrinsic motivation. It has also helped to diagnose areas where the approach can be strengthened, at both the teacher and system level, which is informing STIR's research agenda going forward. 

Materials: SIEF WebpageSeminar RecordingPresentation

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: A Toolkit for Measuring Early Childhood Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries | Book Launch

Presenter: Elizabeth Prado, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition, UC Davis

Chair: Joan Lombardi, Senior Advisor, Bernard van Leer Foundation

Discussants: Reema Nayar, Practice Manager, Education Global Practice, World Bank; Maureen Black, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, RTI International, University of Maryland School of Medicine 

Date: December 13, 2017

Location: World Bank J Building, Washington, DC

About:  This book is a practical guide for researchers, evaluators and others interested in assessing early childhood development in low- and middle-income countries. Readers will learn how to select, adapt and implement early childhood development measurements to produce reliable and actionable data on child development for better programs and policies.

Materials: Book WebpageSeminar RecordingPresentation

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Combining supply- and demand side interventions to improve preschool attendance and school readiness | Evidence from Cambodia

Presenters: Adrien Bouguen, University of Mannheim; Jan Berkes, Education Global Practice, World Bank; Tsuyoshi Fukao, Education Global Practice, World Bank

Chair: Alaka Holla, Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF)

Discussant: Alonso Sanchez, Education Global Practice

Date: November 21, 2017

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About:  The presentation discussed midline results from an ongoing impact evaluation project in Cambodia, funded by the World Bank's Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF). This cluster randomized controlled trial will estimate the impact of three components of a preschool expansion program supported by the Ministry of Education in Cambodia: construction of new community preschools, raising awareness about the availability and importance of early education through a home-based program, and raising awareness through door-to-door visits of village chiefs. Midline results show that constructing new preschools significantly increased enrollment, whereas the demand-side interventions did not.  Based on the midline survey conducted about eight months after program implementation, there were moderate effects on school readiness among 5-year-old children.

Materials: SIEF Webpage, Seminar Recording, Presentation

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Testing and scaling-up supply- and demand-side interventions to improve kindergarten educational quality in Ghana

Presenter: Sharon Wolf, University of Pennsylvania

Chair: Roberta Gatti, Chief Economist for Human Development

Discussant: Amer Hasan, Senior Economist, Education Global Practice

Date: September 27, 2017

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About: Preliminary results from the ongoing impact evaluation of a teacher professional development program for public and private kindergartens in Ghana were presented. The cluster randomized control trial, funded by the World Bank’s Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund, is measuring the impacts of teacher training and a parenting awareness component on teacher professional well-being, classroom quality and children’s school readiness after one and two school years in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. This study includes 240 schools randomly assigned to either receive teacher training, teacher training plus parent awareness training, or to be in the control group. The intervention includes workshops and in-classroom coaching for teachers, and video-based discussion groups for parents. Preliminary findings after one year showed that impacts on school readiness were sustained, including in social-emotional development, executive function, and early academic skills for younger children. But there were some negative impacts seen on some aspects of teaching practice.

Materials:  SIEF webpage, Midline Report, Seminar RecordingPresentation

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Can Classroom Observation and Coaching Improve Teacher Performance? The Case of Brazil

Presenter: Barbara Bruns, Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development

Chair: Jaime Saavedra, World Bank

Discussant: Ezequiel Molina, World Bank

Date: July 13, 2017

Location: World Bank J Building, Washington, DC

About: Researchers evaluated an innovative program that focused improving the classroom effectiveness of teachers in service. In 2014, the state of Ceara in northeast Brazi state Ceará implemented a two-part strategy to improve teachers’ effectiveness: i) providing schools with an information “shock” (benchmarked feedback on  their teachers' classroom practice) and ii) access to expert coaching aimed at increasing professional interaction among teachers in the same school.

Materials: SIEF webpage

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: The Impact of the Mobile Pedagogical Tutors | Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial in rural Mexico

Presenters: Ciro Avitabile and Alonso Sanchez, World Bank

Chair: Reema Nayar, World Bank

Discussant: Salman Asim, World Bank

Date: July 12, 2017

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About: The authors present the findings of the Mexican Mobile Tutors (APIs) program launched by the Consejo Nacional Para el Fomento de la Educacion (CONAFE) with the objective to support parents, children and teachers in a community based model that covers about 350,000 basic education students in Mexico.

Materials: SIEF webpage, Seminar Recording, Presentation (to come)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Cheap Talk or Real Change? CDD, CTTs and Nutrition: A Chance to Put Our Money Where our Mouth Is

Presenter: Gayatri Acharya, World Bank

Chair: Ethel Sennhauser, World Bank

Discussants: Pablo Gottret and Shobha Shetty, World Bank

Date: June 21, 2017

Location: World Bank Main Complex, Washington, DC

About: Through the now closed Social Safety Nets Project in Nepal, a Community Challenge Fund was piloted to study the effectiveness of providing nutritional information alone versus information and cash on child nutrition and development. Presenters discussed challenges in the implementation and opportunities to support nutrition positive programs.

Materials: SIEF webpage,  Working Paper

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Promoting Early Childhood Development Through Safety Nets in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges

Presenters: Laura Rawlings, Andrea Vermehren and Patrick Premand, World Bank

Chair: Lynne Sherburne-Benz, World Bank

Discussant: Sophie Naudeau, World Bank

Date: September 27, 2016

Location: World Bank J Building, Washington, DC

About: This seminar discussed the policy case for linking social protection and early childhood development interventions, outlining opportunities and challenges in program design and implementation. Researchers presented how a behavioral intervention was integrated in a safety nets program in Madagascar, to strengthen linkages between social protection and early childhood development. Finally, results were presented from a recent impact evaluation on the value-added of behavioral accompanying measures to promote parenting practices conducive to early childhood development and nutrition as part of a safety nets project in Niger.

Materials: SIEF webpage

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Combining Pre-School Quality Interventions with Parenting Education: A Cluster Randomized Trial

Presenter: Berk Özler, World Bank

Date: January 14, 2016

Location: World Bank J Building, Washington, DC

About: Researchers evaluated a government program in Malawi, which focused on improving quality at community-based childcare centers (CBCCs) and complemented these efforts with a group-based parenting support program.

Materials: SIEF webpage

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seminar: Nimble RCTs

Presenters: Dean Karlan, Professor of Economics, Yale University and Founder of IPA

Dean Karlan is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. He is also on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the M.I.T. Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.Chair: 

Discussant: The Chief Economist from the Human Development Vice Presidency, Roberta Gatti; Margaret Grosh, World Bank practice manager for social protection and labor; and David Wilson, World Bank program director for health nutrition and population.

Date: May 23, 2017

Location: World Bank, Washington, DC

About: Also known as A/B tests or split-tests, rapid-fire tests are nimble randomized controlled trials specifically aimed at improving product design. They are already common practice among technology-based companies as a way to iterate and rapidly improve their product and expand their use-base.

In a SIEF sponsored talk at the World Bank, Dean Karlan, a professor at Yale University and the founder of Innovations for Poverty Action, presented his research using nimble randomized controlled trials to examine demand for financial products in low-income countries and he proposed how these trials can be used to examine health, education, and social protection issues.

The adage “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always apply to evaluation work, Karlan said.

Materials: SIEF webpage, Seminar Recording, Presentation


Api
Api