The Effects of "Girl-Friendly" Schools: Evidence from the BRIGHT School Construction Program in Burkina Faso
We evaluate the causal effects of a program that constructed high quality "girl-friendly" primary schools in Burkina Faso, using a regression discontinuity design 2.5 years after the program started. We find that the program increased enrollment of all children between the ages of 5 and 12 by 20 percentage points and increased their test scores by 0.45 standard deviations. The change in test scores for those children caused to attend school by the program is 2.2 standard deviations. We also find that the program was particularly effective for girls, increasing their enrollment rate by 5 percentage points more than boys', although this did not translate into a differential effect on test scores. Disentangling the effects of school access from the unique characteristics of the new schools, we find that the unique characteristics were responsible for a 13 percentage point increase in enrollment and 0.35 standard deviations in test scores, while simply providing a school increased enrollment by 26.5 percentage points and test scores by 0.323 standard deviations. The unique characteristics of the school account for the entire difference in the treatment effect by gender.
This paper is based on an evaluation of the BRIGHT program funded by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government agency. We are grateful to several officials at MCC, including Sophia van der Bijl, Malik Chaka, Sophia Sahaf, and Franck Wiebe, for their help throughout the project. We are also grateful to the many people in Burkina Faso who were instrumental in making this study possible, including Michel Kabore (USAID) and several Ministry of Education officials who allowed us to interview them and gave us access to the application data, a key source of data. We also thank staff members at the four implementing agencies (Plan International, CRS, TinTua, and FAWE) for the information they provided to us, in particular to Fritz Foster (Plan International), Makasa Kabongo (chief of party, BRIGHT project), and Debra Shomberg (CRS country director). This study would not have been possible without the work and commitment of the many people who collected data in the evaluation. Collecting school and household data in almost 300 rural villages in Burkina Faso was an important and challenging task in this study. We are particularly grateful to Jean Pierre Sawadogo, Robert Ouedraogo, and Pam Zahonogo at the University of Ouagadougou for their commitment, hard work, advice, and leadership in the data collection process. We would like to thank Ama Baafra Abeberese, Jesse Antilles-Hughes, Joel Smith, and Ama Takyi for excellent research assistance. Finally, we would also like to thank many people who gave us insightful comments on the research, including Peter Schochet, Anu Rangarajan, and seminar participants at APPAM, Harvard Kennedy School, Mathematica Policy Research, MCC, SREE, and USAID. Corresponding author: Linden, email@example.com. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Harounan Kazianga & Dan Levy & Leigh L. Linden & Matt Sloan, 2013. "The Effects of "Girl-Friendly" Schools: Evidence from the BRIGHT School Construction Program in Burkina Faso," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 41-62, July. citation courtesy of