Randomizing Speed School II: Identifying a mechanism for boosting the transfer of children, especially girls, to lower secondary education
Contact leader for the project
A large number of school-aged children in Sahel are out of school. By introducing an improved Speed School 2 model (SS2), adolescent children will be offered a two-year accelerated education program covering the curriculum of primary school. The objective is to facilitate for transfer to local secondary schools. Adolescents targeted by the SS2 program are particularly vulnerable, and their alternatives to schooling are often risky. By ensuring their transfer back into the formal education system the program also aims to reduce the likelihood of early marriage and parenthood, involvement in harmful labor and migrations, and radicalization. Strømme Foundation, in collaboration with Fafo and ENS at the University of Niamey, are conducting a research project to document the effects of the SS2 program. The study is designed as a randomized controlled trial (RCT), where participating communities are drawn from a pool of eligible communities, and participating children will be drawn from a list of eligible children within the selected communities. Both selected and un-selected communities will participate in further research that will involve children, siblings and households. There is a growing literature of RCTs related to education interventions in Africa, most of them on effects of cash transfer linked to schooling. The World Bank's recent summary of findings concludes that interventions linking cash and schooling mainly have positive short-term effects. A couple of years after the transfers end, variation between beneficiaries and control groups disappear. Lasting effects are only seen among children who had dropped out of school prior to joining the program. The assumption is that transfers alone produce some temporary effects, but no lasting ones. Human capital investments in education, on the other side, appear to produce lasting effects. A pure human capital investment, the project study will not confound the effects of cash with that of education.