Chapel Hill, NC: Carolina Population Center, 2009. 42 p.
United States Agency for International Development, USAID
Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Constella Futures, John Snow, Inc
Macro International Inc.
MEASURE Evaluation Working Paper series
In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 12 million children under the age of 18 have lost a parent to AIDS. Despite this situation, the evidence regarding effectiveness of interventions targeting these children remains scant. This paper contributes to the literature by evaluating the impact of a community-based program implemented by a Zambian nongovernmental agency (NGO) on educational outcomes among orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Lusaka, Zambia. These outcomes included school enrollment and being at the correct age-for-grade. Our study design included two rounds of post-intervention data collection, in 2003 and 2006. There were 2,302 children, ages 6-19, interviewed in 2003; and 3,105 children or young adults, ages 8-22, interviewed in 2006. We used a sub-sample of 2,922 orphans and vulnerable children, ages 8-19. The effectiveness of Bwafwano Community Home-Based Care Organization, an NGO working in Lusaka, was evaluated, first using the individual cross-sectional samples and then using a differences-in-differences model on the pooled sample. Both cross-sectional analyses found positive and statistically significant effects of the intervention on school enrollment, with marginal effects of 0.104 and 0.168 respectively. The differences-indifferences estimates for school enrollment were positive, but small and not statistically significant. For the estimations of the effects of Bwafwano on the outcome of appropriate age-for-grade, only the difference-in difference models showed positive program effect, with participation in the program being associated with a 15.7 percentage point increase in appropriate age-for-grade for intervention children, relative to control children. This study suggests that the Bwafwano program is a promising approach to improving educational outcomes among orphans and vulnerable children in urban Zambia.
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