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BRIEF June 30, 2021

COVID-19 Emergency Window Evaluations

Take-Up, Use, and Effectiveness of Remote Learning Technologies: Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic

  • Country: Bangladesh
  • Evaluation design: Randomized control trial testing impacts of SMS messages, teacher outreach, and reduction of internet costs 
  • Team: Emily Beam (University of Vermont), Priya Mukherjee (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Laia Navarro-Sola (Institute for International Economic Studies), Erin Kelley (World Bank), Junnatul Ferdosh (Aspire to Innovate (a2i), ICT Division), Md. Afzal Hossain Sarwar (Aspire to Innovate (a2i), ICT Division)

Scaling up virtual learning of online learning in high schools

  • Country: Ecuador
  • Evaluation design: Randomized control trial testing impacts of SMS reminders and encouragement to complete modules on online remote learning platform, weekly lottery tickets for a prize upon module completion, benchmarking for below-median perfomers, videos for teachers presenting experiences of other teachers who used platform in the past, and encouragement to find a study peer.
  • Team: David McKenzie (World Bank), Igor Asanov (University of Kassel), Bruno Crepon (Paris School of Economics), Mona Mensmann (Warwick Business School), and Mathis Schulte (HEC Paris)


Nudges to improve learning and gender parity: Supporting parent engagement and Ghana’s educational response to COVID-19 using mobile phones

  • Country: Ghana
  • Evaluation design: Randomized control trial testing impacts of SMS messages to suggest activities that promote social-emotional development at home and to encourage engagement with remote instruction, variants of these messages that have a gender-parity focus, and the duration of these messages (3 months vs. 6 months)
  • Team: Sharon Wolf (University of Pennsylvania), Elisabetta Aurino (Imperial College London), Isaac Osei-Akoto (University of Ghana), and Eunice Yaa Brimfah Ackwerh (World Bank)


Can technology narrow the early childhood stimulation gap in rural Guatemala? Results from an experimental approach

  • Country: Guatemala
  • Evaluation design: Randomized control trial testing relative impacts of radio skits conveying early stimulation messages; radio skits and recorded voice messages to encourage listening to skits; radio skits, encouragement messages to take-up skits, and phone message with information on how caregivers can interact with children.
  • Team: Irma Arteaga (University of Missouri), Julieta Trias (World Bank), Monica Yañez Pagans (World Bank), and Miriam Martinez (University of Missouri)


SMS GIRL: Sending Messages about Schooling: Gender Innovation for Re-Enrolment and Learning

  • Country: Pakistan
  • Evaluation design: Randomized control trial testing impacts of SMS and phone messages to encourage take-up of a school scholarship and re-enrollment in school; lesson plans and SMS and phone messages to engage with remote instruction (TV), with specific messages for girls’ engagement; and SMS and phone messages and social mobilization to encourage re-enrollment.
  • Team: Koen Martijn Geven (World Bank), Tazeen Fasih (World Bank), Amer Hasan (World Bank), Rabea Malik (Lahore University of Management Sciences), and Kevin MacDonald (consultant)


Teaching and Testing by Phone in a Pandemic

  • Country: Sierra Leone
  • Evaluation design: Randomized control trial testing impacts of SMS reminders to take-up remote instruction (radio broadcasts), phone tutorials from private school teachers, and phone tutorials from public school teachers
  • Team: Justin Sandefur (Center for Global Development), Lee Crawfurd (Center for Global Development), David Evans (Center for Global Development), Susannah Hares (Center for Global Development), and Mari Shojo (World Bank)