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Mobile phones, civic engagement, and school performance in Pakistan

Author: Minahil Asim; Thomas S Dee; National Bureau of Economic Research,
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : National Bureau of Economic Research, 2016.
Series: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 22764.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The effective governance of local public services depends critically on the civic engagement of local citizens. However, recent efforts to promote effective citizen oversight of the public-sector services in developing countries have had mixed results. This study discusses and evaluates a uniquely designed, low-cost, scalable program designed to improve the governance and performance of primary and middle schools in  Read more...
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Details

Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Minahil Asim; Thomas S Dee; National Bureau of Economic Research,
OCLC Number: 961186168
Notes: "October 2016"
Description: 1 online resource (27, 6 pages) : illustrations.
Series Title: Working paper series (National Bureau of Economic Research), no. 22764.
Responsibility: Minahil Asim, Thomas Dee.

Abstract:

The effective governance of local public services depends critically on the civic engagement of local citizens. However, recent efforts to promote effective citizen oversight of the public-sector services in developing countries have had mixed results. This study discusses and evaluates a uniquely designed, low-cost, scalable program designed to improve the governance and performance of primary and middle schools in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The School Council Mobilization Program (SCMP) used mobile-phone calls to provide sustained and targeted guidance to local school-council members on their responsibilities and authority. We examine the effects of the SCMP on school enrollment, student and teacher attendance, and school facilities using a “difference in difference in differences” (DDD) design based on the targeted implementation of the SCMP. We find that this initiative led to meaningful increases in primary-school enrollment, particularly for young girls (i.e., a 12.4 percent increase), as well as targeted improvements in teacher attendance and school facilities, most of which were sustained in the months after the program concluded.

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