Improving educational quality through enhancing community participation : results from a randomized field experiment in Indonesia
This study evaluates the effect of four randomized interventions aimed at strengthening school committees, and subsequently improving learning outcomes, in public primary schools in Indonesia. All study schools were randomly allocated to either a control group receiving no intervention, or to treatment groups receiving a grant plus one or a combination of three interventions: training for school committee members, a democratic election of school committee members, or facilitated collaboration between the school committee and the village council, also called linkage. Nearly two years after implementation, the study finds that measures to reinforce existing school committee structures, the grant and training interventions, demonstrate limited or no effects; while measures that foster outside ties between the school committee and other parties, linkage and election, lead to greater engagement by education stakeholders and in turn to learning. Test scores improve in Indonesian by 0.17 standard deviations for linkage and 0.22 standard deviations for linkage+election. The election intervention alone leads to changes in time household members accompany children studying per week, but this does not lead to learning. Linkage is the most cost effective intervention, causing a 0.13 change in standard deviation in Indonesian test scores for each 100 dollars (US) spent.
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