Phase Two Endline Report – Can Communities take charge? The Assessment of Learning Outcomes and Social Effects of Community-Based Education: A Randomized Field Experiment in Afghanistan

Publication Date: 01/06/2019

The Assessment of Learning Outcomes and Social Effects of Community-Based Education in Afghanistan (ALSE) is a multiyear, randomized controlled trial that aims to deepen our understanding of ways (1) to maximize primary school access and learning through CBE, and (2) to sustain the gains achieved through CBE into the future. ALSE’s Phase One explored the effects of CBE on education access, children’s learning achievement and villagers’ trust in and the legitimacy of local and national government institutions. Phase Two focused on testing a CBE sustainability model, where village-level community institutions take charge of the CBE management jointly with local government education offices. Key findings from the Phase Two study include:1. ALSE’s cost-comparison analysis of CBE administration shows that the cost of the sustainability model of CBE is 53.7% the cost of NGO management of CBE per village. 2. Community administration of CBE under the sustainability model is as effective as under continued NGO administration in terms of promoting access to education and children’s learning, significantly outperforming what one might expect, given the cost difference mentioned above. 3. Community management under the sustainability model provides access and learning opportunities for both boys and girls; the model performs slightly more effectively for girls than for boys in increasing access to education, although this difference is not statistically significant. 4. The confidence in village community institutions among heads of households and CBE teachers did not differ from their confidence in those institutions under NGO administration. However, under the sustainability model, community leaders’ confidence in local institutions was lower than their confidence in these institutions under NGO management. Moreover, CBE teachers’ confidence that CBE classes will continue under the sustainability model was weaker than that of their peers in communities under the NGO model. The absence of mechanisms, including funds to ensure long-term access to the CBE classes, likely influenced this decline in confidence. 5. The level of villagers’ trust in and the legitimacy of local and national government institutions under the sustainability model of CBE were not significantly different than the level found in areas under continued NGO administration.

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