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Secondary Education Quality and Access Enhancement Project (SEQAEP), Baseline survey:

The World Bank, Bangladesh and Data Analysis and Technical Assistance

 

Background:

Bangladesh has achieved impressive progress in poverty reduction and certain human development outcomes. Per capita GDP growth has been above 5% since early 2000s, while headcount poverty has declined from 59% in 1991 to 40% in 2006. Gross primary enrolment rate is around 90 percent, secondary enrolment has more than doubled since independence, and the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) gender parity target has already been achieved at both the primary and secondary education level. These are all remarkable feats when compared to countries at similar level of income in the region.  At the secondary level, the Ministry of Education (MOE) oversees a unique system of public-private partnership which combines public financing with private provision of education. More than 98 percent of the secondary schools are managed and operated by the private sector with financial support from the government. Furthermore, the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) has launched several reform measures in the education sector.  GoB, with support from a series of programmatic Education Sector Development Support Credits from the World Bank, has been implementing a comprehensive policy reform agenda to ensure systemic improvement in governance, quality and relevance of secondary education.

 

To address demand side constraints, initially focusing on low female participation rates in secondary schooling, GoB with support from development partners, implemented the Female Secondary Stipends program which provides stipends and tuition waivers to female students throughout the country except in four major metropolitan areas – conditional upon maintaining regular attendance, passing grades, and remaining unmarried while in secondary school.  Subsequently the female-to-male ratio increased from 62% in 1992 to 114% in 2006 (i.e. share of females in total enrolments is now close to 55 percent, compared to under 40 percent in early 1990s).  Despite these achievements, there remain significant challenges in quality, inclusion of poor children, institutional capacity, and monitoring and evaluation. 

 

The new stipend project proposes to:  (a) improve education quality and the capacity to monitor learning outcomes in project areas through:  (i) give incentive awards to students, schools and teachers to improve academic performance; (ii) assess educational quality outcomes through regular testing of students; and (iii) provide water and sanitation facilities; (b) improve equitable access in project areas mainly through proxy means testing (PMT) of potential students; (c) strengthen the institutional capacity of MOE both at central and local levels, and (d) establish an effective monitoring and evaluation system.  The success of the project will be assessed via several outcomes: i) increasing completion rates in secondary school cycle; ii) increase pass rates in SSC exams; iii) increase the number of pupils appearing for the SSC exam; iv) strengthen the institutional capacity to monitor learning level; v) improving gender balance; and vi) increasing the share of poor children enrolled in secondary schools.

 

Objectives:

While a wide array of econometric techniques will be used to infer impact of various project interventions to outcomes, the most rigorous causal inference will be established on the impact of the PMT intervention.  While all project upazilas will share common project interventions from the start of the project, only a subset of randomly picked upazilas will receive the PMT intervention during the first year.  Out of the 121 FSSAP-II upazilas, means-tested conditional stipends for both girls and boys will be implemented only in 60 randomly chosen upazilas during the first year of the project, while the remaining upazilas will operate under the existing FSSAP-II modality.  Targeting will be scaled-up to cover all 121 IDA upazilas from the second year of the project onwards.  Control groups will come not only from the 61 randomly chosen upazilas which did not get the intervention during the first year, but from a matched subset from remaining upazilas under GoB funding which will continue operating under the old system for at least the next few years.  This is the first time in Bangladesh that PMT-type implementation will be experimented on such a large scale.  It is imperative that we established not only causal impact of this CCT on enrollments (and other outcomes such as learning outcomes), we must assess the efficiency of this targeting modality.  Lessons learned from the evaluation will not only help to inform scaling-up of PMT in IDA-funded upazilas, but for the rest of the country as well.

 

The research indicators and outcomes indicators associated with the PMT component is as follows:

 

1. Was it well targeted?

2. What was the fraction of households which misreported their actual assets?

3. Did it bring in more pupils to secondary school from poor households?

4. Did it improve the gender balance in secondary school enrollments?

5. What happened to girls who no longer receive the stipend because they were identified as belonging to non-poor households?

6. Did it improve the grade transition rate of pupils from poor households?

7. Did it improve quality of learning (examination results, numeracy and literacy assessments) of pupils from poor households? Did it have any adverse impact on quality of learning on pupils from non-poor households?

8. What was the impact on child (female and male) labor supply and time-use?

 

Our tasks in this project (SEQAEP)...............

 

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Strengthening Dairy Value Chain Project, CARE Bangladesh (Baseline survey):

CARE Bangladesh, IFPRI and and Data Analysis and Technical Assistance

 

Overall objectives:

 

  1. To design the monitoring and evaluation system/framework for the project

  2. To design the baseline framework and conduct the baseline research accordingly

  3. Conduct mid-term evaluation of the project at the end of the second year

  4. Conduct the impact assessment of the project

 

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Labor Migration As An Intervention: Mitigating Severe Seasonal Deprivation in North-Western Bangladesh (3 Round survey):

The University of Sydney, Australia and Data Analysis and Technical Assistance

 

This is a panel Survey on “Labor Migration As An Intervention: Mitigating Severe Seasonal Deprivation in North-Western Bangladesh", funded by The University of Sydney, Australia. Field survey and data input of 1st round is complete. Preparation for data delivery process (consistency checking, file labeling) is ongoing.

 

Fuel Subsidies to the Poor Bangladeshi Farmers (Phase I & II):

The World Bank, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and Data Analysis and Technical Assistance

 

Overall objectives:

The overall objective of the study is to determine the impact of the increase of the price of inputs on farmers and of the intended diesel subsidies and to assess options of institutional mechanism for delivering the subsidies to farmers.   More specifically, a study shall be undertaken to understand the following and make recommendations based on them for options for institutional mechanisms.

  1. Determine the impact on farmers following the increase in the prices of energy and fertilizer as well as the increase in the price of rice
  2. Identify the characteristics of the small and marginal farmers that are more likely to be affected by the increase in price

Provide policy options, based on international experience and the results of the study for determining the target groups and modalities of disbursement

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Addressing Extreme Poverty in Bangladesh – the Case of Monga:

The World Bank, Bangladesh and Data Analysis and Technical Assistance

 

   

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