Improving Educational Quality through Enhancing Community Participation: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment in Indonesia

Menno Pradhan, Amsterdam Institute for International Development (AIID), Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

This study evaluates the effect of four randomized interventions aimed at strengthening school committees, and subsequently improving learning outcomes, in public primary schools in Indonesia. All study schools were randomly allocated to either a control group receiving no intervention, or to treatment groups receiving a grant plus one or a combination of three interventions: training for school committee members, a democratic election of school committee members, or facilitated collaboration between the school committee and the village council, also called linkage. Nearly two years after implementation, we find that measures to reinforce existing school committee structures, the grant and training interventions, demonstrate limited or no effects; while measures that foster outside ties between the school committee and other parties, linkage and election, lead to greater engagement by education stakeholders and in turn to learning. We see test score improvements in Indonesian by 0.17 standard deviations for linkage and 0.22 standard deviations for linkage+election. The election intervention alone leads to changes in time household members accompany children studying per week, but this does not lead to learning. Linkage is the most cost effective intervention, causing a 0.13 change in standard deviation in Indonesian test scores for each 100 USD spent.

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 University of Amsterdam, VU University, 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 dimensions such as subjective poverty, health inequality and conflict.

Venue: UNU Merit Conference Room (Keizer Karelplein 19)

Date: 07 July 2011

Time: 16:00 - 17:00