Empowering Girls. Rachel Glennerster Executive Director, J-PAL Department of Economics, MIT

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1 Empowering Girls Rachel Glennerster Executive Director, J-PAL Department of Economics, MIT July 16, 2013

2 Overview Challenge and background Research design Kishoree Kontha program Results and implications

3 3 Early marriage in Bangladesh Girls drop out of secondary school Early marriage Early pregnancy Limited health seeking Poor maternal health

4 4 Action and concern Secondary school stipend For poor girls and boys in school, unmarried, good grades Earlier program for all in-school girls conditional on good grades Attempts to change social norms: We are working to create massive awareness against early marriage, (Tariq-ul-Islam, secretary to the Ministry of Women s and Children s Affairs) Empowerment programs Teach girls about reproductive health, health seeking Help girls negotiate to stay in school, seek health care Provide livelihood training, allowing some independence

5 Outcomes are improving BDHS 2007 BDHS 2011 Age group % Completed secondary education % married before age % begun childbearing % used contraception % gave birth at home < *Recent data suggests maternal mortality has fallen to 195 per 100,000

6 6 Partnership for learning Save the Children (Bangladesh), J-PAL, BDS, Innovations for Poverty Action Funded by Nike Foundation, 3ie and National Institutes of Health Randomized evaluation of alternative ways to empower girls (around Barisal) Empowerment program (Kishoree Kontha) Incentive to delay marriage

7 7 Kishoree Kontha program Empowerment program (KK) Community engagement on issues of adolescent girls created girls learning and recreation centers (in house or school) trained local girls to deliver curricula on reproductive health, negotiation, study sessions, nutritional information, health seeking met 3-5 days a week for 2 hours, for 6 months Safe space committees included adults and boys and maintained community engagement throughout project lasted for 4 cycles Incentive to delay marriage targeted girls aged (used baseline age) Conditional on unmarried, not conditional on going to school Administered through Save food security program

8 Kishoree Kontha program Peer education Role playing Outdoor community activities Financial literacy and saving Cooking oil for unmarried adolescent girls

9 Randomization Safe space 77 villages Safe space Livelihood skills 77 villages 76 villages 153 villages 77 villages Status Quo Comparison Incentive Safe space Livelihood skills Incentive

10 Implementation lessons 10 Girls preferred shorter frequent sessions Reaching most marginalized difficult Takeup correlated with education, income, knowledge Marginalized scattered, made creating groups hard 46% eligible girls were members of basic 54% take up in KK+incentive Lower in livelihood areas (40%) 47% of girls in eligible age group received oil Implementation quality varied Some weak evidence of stronger effects where implementation better

11 Issues during the survey 33% migration rate Hard to reach especially those working in cities Girls who migrate are different so important to track and include 4% of Bhola villages washed away by flooding, resettled Rumors in Muladi that enumerators were abducting or converting girls Survey suspended Intense dialog with communities Survey reopend but lower response rates 13 villages not covered when rumors started, 2,300 girls from Muladi had not been interviewed Do analysis with and without rumor and washed out affected households and girls

12 12 Tracking results Overall Excl. rumor and washed out Sample % reached Sample % reached Census 75, , Households 9, , Girls 11, , of which moved 3, , at home 7, ,

13 0 mean, in school In school: midline descriptive statistics 0.78 fraction, unmarried/married girls in school by midline age married girls in school unmarried girls in school Above 30% of year olds still in school, a third are married

14 Marriage: descriptive statistics fraction, married by midline age

15 Migration: descriptive statistics migration by age at midline marriage education work other Half of year olds have migrated, young girls migrate for work

16 Midline results: education and marriage Impact by program type KK Incentive KK+Incentive Education average effect * (0.0352) (0.0377) (0.0431) Whether married * ** significant at 5%, * significant at 10% (0.0280) (0.0317) (0.0329) Currently can only examine impacts on older girls 18 or above for education results 19 or above for whether married KK basic and KK livelihoods combined as very similar Highest class passed, math and literacy scores improved

17 Marriage results from census KK Incentive KK+Incentive Control Mean Sample Size Whether married *** ** ,867 (0.009) (0.011) (0.012) ** significant at 5%, * significant at 10% Much larger sample for census No significant results

18 Results: other areas Impact by program type KK Incentive KK+Incentive Income generating activity ** (0.0152) (0.0166) (0.0174) Credit (0.0136) (0.0189) (0.0257) Savings (0.0171) (0.0194) (0.0204) Physical health ** (0.0241) (0.0276) (0.0285) Health utilization (0.0158) (0.0213) (0.0179) Mental health (0.0117) (0.0164) (0.0138) ** significant at 5%, * significant at 10%

19 ** significant at 5%, * significant at 10% Results: other areas KK Incentive KKIncentive Attitudes (0.0106) (0.0122) (0.0117) Mobility * ** (0.0141) (0.0162) (0.0193) Knowledge * (0.0205) (0.0225) (0.0229) --knowledge contraception ** (0.0296) (0.0365) (0.0336) Childbirth choices *** (0.0178) (0.0191) (0.0203) Time spent (0.0109) (0.0134) (0.0129)

20 Results: other areas KK Incentive KKIncentive Negotiation *** (0.0170) (0.0201) (0.0183) Decision making (0.0167) (0.0214) (0.0193) Harassment (0.0122) (0.0142) (0.0146) Migration (0.0178) (0.0207) (0.0208) Activities 0.271*** *** (0.0222) (0.0231) (0.0289) Nutrition (0.0197) (0.0251) (0.0257) Marriage attitudes ** (0.0141) (0.0164) ** significant at 5%, * significant at 10%, (0.0143) 6 out of 19 measures significant for KK+incentive

21 21 (Female) secondary stipend Government s FSSS introduced to address drop out and marriage Ranged from US$4-9 annually depending on grade Now focused on poorer girls and some boys Ranges from US$15-31 annual depending on grade Was focusing on poorer girls a good idea? Survey results suggest imperfect targeting of stipend Many girls report dropping out because of financial issues Room for a stipend for unmarried even if not in school? Larger stipend if school going? Finances major (stated) barrier to education Not simply that girls drop out because of pressure to marry

22 Reasons for not attending school

23 Lessons Midline results only Will greater knowledge of contraception impact pregnancies? How will later marriage impact health and other outcomes? More positive results on reduce risky sexual behavior, self employment from similar program in Uganda Different context Older girls, longer program, more vocational training Small conditional stipend is effective Given to out of school and in school girls Redesigning empowerment programs? Changing attitudes is hard, more direct vocational training? Quotas for women in India had dramatic effects on gender attitudes

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