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Impact evaluation of school feeding programs in Lao PDR


  • Buttenheim, Alison
  • Alderman, Harold
  • Friedman, Jed


Despite the popularity and widespread implementation of school feeding programs, evidence on the impact of school feeding on school participation and nutritional status is mixed. This study evaluates school feeding programs in three northern districts of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Feeding modalities included on-site feeding, take-home rations, and a combination. District-level implementation of the intervention sites and selective take-up present considerable evaluation challenges. To address these limitations, the authors use difference-in-difference estimators with propensity-score weighting to construct two plausible counterfactuals. They find minimal evidence that the school feeding schemes increased enrollment or improved children’s nutritional status. Several robustness checks and possible explanations for null findings are presented.

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  • Buttenheim, Alison & Alderman, Harold & Friedman, Jed, 2011. "Impact evaluation of school feeding programs in Lao PDR," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5518, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5518

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    Cited by:

    1. Independent Evaluation Group, 2014. "Social Safety Nets and Gender : Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21365.
    2. Pouirkèta Rita Nikiema, 2017. "Impact of school feeding programmes on educational outcomes: Evidence from dry cereals in schools in Burkina Faso," WIDER Working Paper Series 182, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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    Education For All; Youth and Governance; Nutrition; Primary Education; Food&Beverage Industry;

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