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Paying Community Teachers: Impact of the Payer and Transfer Mechanism

October 3, 2016

Teacher quality is important for student success and there’s a growing body of evidence that creating more accountability and motivation for teachers can help improve student outcomes. Paying teachers, and ensuring they get the payments in a timely fashion, is a critical part of this. The evaluation will provide evidence on the impact of different approaches for paying teachers, and whether this can boost teaching quality and student learning.


Research area: Education
Country: Chad
Evaluation Sample: 2,978 schools and 8,501 community teachers 
Timeline: Ongoing 
Intervention: mobile phones, electronic payments, pay for performance
Researchers: Harounan Kazianga, Oklahoma State University; Leigh Linden, University of Texas at Austin; Marie-Helene Cloutier, World Bank



In Chad, primary school enrollment now stands at nearly 100 percent, but students perform poorly on assessments and dropout rates remain high. The low quality of teaching has contributed to these problems. Many teachers have limited content knowledge and pedagogical skills, training is inconsistent, and many classrooms have high student-teacher ratios. And while contract teachers constitute a key part of the primary education teaching corps, payments to them are often delayed and they receive considerably less than civil servant teachers. As part of its efforts to strengthen the education system, the Government of Chad is instituting a new way to pay contract teachers in rural parts of the country. The evaluation will measure the impact of different payment methods, such as through mobile phones, on teacher behavior and student learning. 

Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank


Researchers conducted a randomized impact evaluation in five out of the 23 regions of Chad (Mayo KebiOuest, Mayo Kebi Est, Tandile, Mandoul and HadjerLamis).  A random sample of schools was assigned to one of three treatment groups and a fourth group was assigned to the control: the first treatment group includes schools that receive a new government subsidy to pay one or several contract community teachers, who sign a potentially renewable contract with the state; in the second treatment group, contract teachers receive their payment through mobile phone (instead of in person), conditional on confirmation from the director, parent-teacher association and regular teachers; and a third group consisted of schools that are directly paying their teachers and not using mobile payments. The control group received no intervention. Splitting the treatment groups allowed researchers to isolate the impact of mobile payments on teacher attendance.

The evaluation will collect data on schools, parent-teacher associations, teachers, and students in effort to measure changes in learning and enrollment outcomes. Researchers will also determine the effects of the intervention on absenteeism, as well as levels of motivation and satisfaction among teachers and parents. Each of the groups—three treatment arms and a control—includes at least 100 schools.