Socio-demographic and service provision characteristics associated with primary school attendance among the Most Vulnerable Children in Tanzania
This study examined the associations between the services provided to the Most Vulnerable Children (MVC) in Tanzania (N=234) by a faith-based community agency, referred to as PASADA, and multiple socio-demographic characteristics and MVC's primary school attendance. For lack of randomized treatment and control groups, the study employed a residualized change model to adjust for selection bias. This involved placing a pre-test (Time 1) measure of the number of days MVC attended school for 40days before receiving PASADA services into the OLS regression model, which predicted a post-test (Time 2) measure of school attendance 40days after receiving services for 2months. Descriptive results indicate that after receiving services, MVC's primary school attendance increased 18%. The OLS residualized change model determined that providing school fees, food assistance, and support meetings were all positively related to MVC's school attendance at Time 2. Of the 16 sociodemographic characteristics, only MVC's gender was statistically significant, indicating that male MVC were more likely to have fewer days of primary school attendance than females. Compared with the traditional multivariate OLS model, the OLS residualized change model accounted for approximately 28% of additional variation in Time 2 school attendance. Social work practice and social policy implications for improving the MVC's primary school attendance were drawn from the findings.
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