The impact of expanding access to early childhood education services in rural Indonesia

Prof. Dr. Menno Pradhan , Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam

This paper examines the effects of an intervention that sought to expand access to low-cost, government-sponsored community-based playgroups in rural Indonesia. It utilizes three waves of longitudinal data on a cohort of children aged 4 at baseline to assess impacts on enrollment rates, duration of enrollment, and child development. Instrumental variable and difference-in-difference models indicate that while the intervention raised enrollment rates and durations of enrollment for everyone – on average there was very little impact on child development. The two approaches provide evidence on the impact of different degrees of exposure to the project. The difference-in-difference approach which captures greater exposure to the project shows that when these results are unpacked, the impact on child development outcomes is larger for children from more disadvantaged backgrounds. Overall the results suggest that low-cost, government-sponsored community-based playgroups can have a modest impact on child development outcomes in the short- and medium-terms – especially for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. There is also evidence that these project-provided playgroups encouraged substitution away from other services, such as kindergartens.

About the speaker

Menno Pradhan is an economist who focuses on impact evaluation of health and education interventions in developing countries. He holds a PhD from Tilburg University, and has since then worked at the VU University Amsterdam, Cornell University and the World Bank. He has investigated the effects of health insurance, social funds, teacher training and early childhood development interventions on human development outcomes. He also has investigated poverty more broadly, by including dimension such as subjective poverty, health inequality and conflict. 

Venue: Conference room (0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 02 March 2017

Time: 12:00 - 13:00