Evaluating the Food for Education Program in Bangladesh
The Food for Education (FFE) program was introduced to Bangladesh in 1993 and has been operating for more than 8 years. This paper evaluates the effect of this program on school participation and duration of schooling using household sample survey data collected in 2000. Various evaluation methodologies are employed. We found that the program is successful in that the participating children on average have 20 to 30 per cent higher school participation rates, relative to their counterfactuals who did not participate in the program. Conditional on school participation, participants also stay at school 0.5 of a year to 2 years longer than their counterfactuals. Using estimated earnings functions from the Bangladesh Household Income and Expenditure survey, these combined education effects of the FFE program would represent an increase in lifetime earnings of between 7 and 16 per cent if the participant is going to work in the rural sector, and 13 to 25 per cent if in the urban sector. These increases would bring large numbers of households above the poverty line.
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