Phase 1 of the project is being initiated in the Fall of 2007 and is designed to examine the protective effects of education on children in emergency situations based on the existing array of schooling opportunities in the IDP camps. Phase 2 of the project, which is proposed as part of this education partnership, will be designed in collaboration with operational agencies on the ground to follow longitudinally the same children and their families who participated in phase 1 as well as some additional younger children over a five-year period. The data collected in Phase 1 will form part of the baseline for the longitudinal analysis.
The proposed evaluation and impact assessment will consist of three waves of data collection and research over a period of five years. Each wave will consist of three sets of data collection and analysis activities: (i) community mappings and school censuses, (ii) qualitative data collection through interviews and focus groups with parents, children, teachers, relief agency staff, and community leaders, (iii) a longitudinal household survey based on a structured questionnaire that tracks individual children across the three waves of the survey. Both the qualitative and quantitative data collection activities will include children with varying exposure to educational programs, including some with no exposure at all, so as to be able to discern the impact in a quasi-experimental setting.
It is estimated that over 100 million school-age children are currently affected by conflict or live in fragile states. As this project is not a direct service project but an impact evaluation project with implications beyond the IDP camps where the study will be based, the beneficiaries of this project potentially include displaced or conflict affected children of conflict living elsewhere. Lessons learning from impact evaluation of education programs in emergencies can be applied in many other settings.
The project will be based in the Poverty Gender and Youth Division of the Population Council and will be managed out of the regional office in Cairo in collaboration with the local office in Kartoum. Dr. Ragui Assaad, regional director in Cairo, Dr. Cynthia Lloyd, a senior associate in NY and El Daw Suliman, an associate from Sudan in the Cairo office will be responsible for the implementation of the project.
The success of this Commitment to Action will be measured in 3 ways: (1) the evidence of the impact of phase 1 will be based on a survey of implementing agencies to determine the extent to which the research played a role in setting priorities for future program development for education programs serving children of conflict, (2) the amount of funds raised to implement and carry out the 5-year impact evaluation promised in phase 2, (3) evidence of the impact of phase 2 will be based on whether and how the results of the impact evaluation are used to scale up successful programs and/or redesign programs to avoid past mistakes. The number of children affected by these program improvements or expansions will provide an additional measure of success.
Additional resources are sought to supplement the initial investment made by the MacArthur Foundation to expand the project in time and scope so that various initiatives funded in Darfur under EPCC can be fully evaluated. For more information, contact Cynthia Lloyd, Senior Associate, Population Council at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>.