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Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India

  • Abhijit V. Banerjee
  • Rukmini Banerji
  • Esther Duflo
  • Rachel Glennerster
  • Stuti Khemani

Participation of beneficiaries in the monitoring of public services is increasingly seen as a key to improving their quality. We conducted a randomized evaluation of three interventions to encourage beneficiaries' participation to India: providing information on existing institutions, training community members in a testing tool for children, and training volunteers to hold remedial reading camps. These interventions had no impact on community involvement, teacher effort, or learning outcomes inside the school. However, in the third intervention, youth volunteered to teach camps, and children who attended substantially improved their reading skills. This suggests that citizens face constraints in influencing public services. (JEL H52, I21, I28, O15)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-30

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:1:p:1-30
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.1.1
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  1. Benjamin Olken, 2005. "Monitoring corruption: Evidence from a field experiment in indonesia," Natural Field Experiments 00317, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Das, Jishnu & Hammer, Jeffrey, 2007. "Money for nothing: The dire straits of medical practice in Delhi, India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-36, May.
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  10. Martina Björkman & Jakob Svensson, 2009. "Power to the People: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 735-769.
  11. Anne Marie Goetz & Rob Jenkins, 2001. "Hybrid Forms Of Accountability: Citizen engagement in institutions of public-sector oversight in India," Public Management Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 363-383, September.
  12. Jimenez, Emmanuel & Sawada, Yasuyuki, 1999. "Do Community-Managed Schools Work? An Evaluation of El Salvador's EDUCO Program," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(3), pages 415-41, September.
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