Education and Early Childhood Development

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Education is a fundamental human right and it also paves the way for economic empowerment and growth, while it is also the key to building healthy and prosperous lives. The importance of education starts very early on in a person’s life during early childhood. The early years of life are crucial not only for individual health and physical development but also for cognitive and socio-emotional development. Events in the first few years of life are formative and play a vital role in building human capital, breaking the cycle of poverty, promoting economic productivity, and eliminating social disparities and inequities. Education continues to be important in the later years of life with higher levels of education leading to better life outcomes in terms of health, life skills, job skills, and earnings for the person. At Development Analytics we focus on measuring the effects of education policies and intervention aiming to improve early childhood outcomes. 

Projects

 

UNICEF Tajikistan Country Programme Evaluation 2020

Evaluation, Country Programme Evaluation

The goal of the UNICEF country programme is to accelerate progress towards the realisation of the rights of all children in Tajikistan. Country Programme Evaluations (CPEs) in UNICEF are strategic evaluations that provide an assessment of the totality of UNICEF's programme of work in a country. In this respect, the overall objectives of this evaluation are to look back and assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and resilience, coherence and longer-term changes associated with UNICEF's portfolio, and programmatic and strategic choices made in the design and implementation of the country programme (CP) to identify good practices and draw lessons and forward-looking recommendations that can inform the 2021–25 CP planning process, which will commence during the last quarter of 2019. Development Analytics is part of the consortium led by IOD PARC in conducting the Country Programme Evaluation of UNICEF Tajikistan (2016-2020).

February 2020 - ongoing

Thematic Studies on the Extension of the CCTE Programme to Refugees in Turkey

Refugees, cash transfers, education

As of 2018, over 3.8 million Syrians were under temporary protection of whom 1.8 million of them are children. The magnitude of the problem and a high number of Syrians in the country required establishing various social protection programmes. The Government of Turkey along with UNICEF and other partners have put a significant amount of effort as a response to this crisis. One of these actions is the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE). This CCTE programme has cash and a protection component where families receive financial support for every child attending school. This study analysed the key aspects related to the access and effects of the programme for working children, including seasonal agricultural labour, ii) boys and girls, iii) children of different age groups (1-4th grade, 5-8th grade, 9-12th grade). The aim of the study was to understand the supply and demand-side bottlenecks that hinder these children’s access to CCTE programme and payment as well as Child Protection visits. To this end, 23 FGDs with children and their parents were conducted in three provinces, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and Adana in addition to 14 key informant interviews with programme implementers and MONE staff in these provinces. 

May 2018 – February 2019

Breakeven Analysis for Neighbourhood Child Care Centres

This study focuses on the feasibility of opening up and running neighbourhood childcare centres in poor and medium-income neighbourhoods in Turkey. Breakeven analysis is employed using different kinds of data sources and different scenarios with respect to centre capacity and subsidy type. In the study (i) a supply-side dataset collected from private childcare centres in 5 provinces in Turkey and (ii) information provided by childcare centres of KEDV are used as two different data sources. Set up costs, operational costs, and prices of childcare centres are taken into account in order to estimate the number of months it requires for the childcare centres to pay the setup costs through the prices that they charge (breakeven point). The breakeven point is estimated for childcare centres with different capacity levels and in different subsidy scenarios. The subsidy scenarios include (i) subsidized director salary, (ii) subsidized teacher salaries, (iii) subsidized rent, (iv) both the director and teacher salaries, and the rent are subsidized. The aim of the study is to show the general attractiveness of opening up childcare centres in poor or medium-income neighbourhoods from a financial point of view and the kinds of subsidies that would be more helpful in attracting more cooperatives or private entrepreneurs to set up childcare centres. 

April 2018 - June 2018

Education of Disadvantaged Children in the OIC: the Key to Escape from Poverty

Education, Poverty

This report focuses on access to education among disadvantaged groups in the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The report provides an overview of the current status and recent trends in education focusing on access to quality education by poverty status, location, gender, spoken language /ethnicity, and disability status of children as well as policies and programmes to improve access among disadvantaged groups. The main focus is on primary and lower secondary education. The report consists of four parts. i) An outline of the conceptual framework used in analysing the state of education in OIC countries. ii) A summary of the state of education across OIC member states. This includes an analysis of trends across and between countries as well as an assessment of which groups are most disadvantaged with respect to access to education. iii) Case studies for the member states Jordan, Pakistan, Senegal, and Turkey provide a more detailed assessment of factors affecting education provision in these countries. iv) Policy recommendations to increase access to education among disadvantaged groups.

      Download the PPT

📖 Download the report  and  the infographic

📖 Download the infographics of  Pakistan  Jordan   Senegal

March 2017-October 2017

Status of Children (Ages 0-6) in Turkey Advocacy Campaign Research Study

Early Childhood Development, Education, Health and Nutrition

This project aims to reveal the status of children in the 0 –6 year age group in Turkey, with a focus on a statistical analysis of the current situation, international comparisons on children’s well-being. The study will look at the existing literature in Turkey, as well as international studies to look at and identify gaps in policies and programs targeting children in this age group. Within the scope of the study, 4 main themes will be covered (i) Child and Family  Characteristics (ii) Child Protection (iii) Infant and Child Health and  Nutrition, and (iv) Early Childhood Education. 

📖 Download the report in Turkish

November 2015- September 2016

Ex-ante Policy Evaluation of Supply and Demand Side Childcare Subsidies

Early Childhood Education and Care, Policy simulations

This study presents policy simulations looking at the fiscal implications of a subsidy for the childcare market under various scenarios, and considering its impact on expanding capacity, service utilization, and female employment. The scenarios also present in each case the distributional impact of the subsidy under various modes of delivery of the subsidy (per capita grants to schools vs vouchers etc.). Policy scenarios evaluated in the paper include (i) making municipalities of a certain size liable for providing child care services – through without supporting the operations with central government financing (Scenario 0-1), (ii) provision of an investment grant only (Scenario 2), (iii) provision of an operational grant (with or without a price cap (Scenarios 3-4), (iv) providing a voucher scheme (Scenario 5), and (v) provision of the interaction of an investment grant with an operational grant or a voucher scheme (Scenarios 6-8).  The purpose of the policy measures is assumed to be three-fold:  (i) to increase the capacity of these services, (ii) to increase accessibility and affordability of services for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and (iii) to increase female labour force participation by increasing employment rates of mothers who will utilize services as well as creating new employment at these child care centres for care-taker women.   

📖 View the presentation at this link

📖 Download the full article

January 2016 - June 2016

School to Work Transition in Moldova: Informing Schooling and Jobs Decisions

Youth and Employment, School to Work Transition

The main objective of the task “Informing Schooling and Jobs Decisions in Moldova” was to inform ongoing and planned reforms in Moldova that aim to improve labour market outcomes, in particular through better aligning the education system with labour market needs, with a focus on better understanding how males and females from different socioeconomic groups form their expectations regarding labour market outcomes and how they make their schooling and employment decisions in relation to these expectations. 

For this purpose, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected by the World Bank, combining mixed-methods individual interviews and focus group discussions. This Project entailed the qualitative coding and analysis of data from 22 focus groups of young people in vocational schools, junior and secondary schools universities, recent graduates, as well as parents and teachers. 

The main focus for the analysis included: (i) Reasons to choose specific education paths, (ii) Student aspirations, (iii) Perception of the education system, and the different career orientation activities.

August 2015- November 2015

August 2015- November 2015

Supply and Demand for Child Care Services in Turkey: A Mixed Methods Study

Early Childhood Education and Care, Female labour Force Participation

This is a mixed-methods study that investigates the status of childcare services in Turkey, particularly from the angle of quality, affordability, accessibility, and sufficiency of such supply. The overall work was done considering the potential interaction between such services and female labour force participation and productivity. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected for the study in 5 provinces of Turkey: Istanbul, Samsun, Eskisehir, Denizli, and Gaziantep. The study has 4 main components:

(i) Mapping of Child Care visually maps the availability and capacity of existing childcare and early childhood education supply in relation to the potential demand (i.e. number of children), female labour force participation levels, and (information allowed) average household income levels, both at the national level and in selected provinces;

(ii) Supply Side Assessment  includes the collection of quantitative data from 603 preschools and child care centres in Turkey and investigates the types of childcare services available to households, both public and private, as well as community-based and other models, and explore their quality, cost, and accessibility in detail;

(iii) Demand Side Assessment explores the normative and social aspects of the use and access to childcare services. It will include both focus groups and individual questionnaires to better understand care needs of families with children, household preferences when it comes to childcare, and barriers to access childcare, as well as women’s and men’s expectations of a new childcare support model. The demand assessment is structured around the dynamics of care demand and supply at the household level, having women and their labour force engagement as the centre. includes 25 focus group discussions with working, non-working mothers and fathers in 5 provinces;

(iv) The costing exercise investigates the actual operating costs of childcare centres in these provinces. The exercise also takes into consideration average family income in those provinces as well as household willingness to pay for childcare centres. 

 

📖 Download the report in English / in Turkish

📖 Download the infographic in English / in Turkish

 

📖 Read our article: "Investing in women and the next generation: The case for expanding childcare in Turkey"

April 2014 - September 2015

Estimating the Economic Value of Unpaid Elderly and Child Care by Turkish Women

Female labour Force Participation, Early Childhood Care and Education

The study estimates the economic value of unpaid elderly and child care activities provided by Turkish women in the household. We plan to use two established methodologies to estimate the value of time spent on care activities by women in Turkey: (i) the opportunity cost method and (ii) the proxy good method (Berg et al 2004). Two household data sets will be used for the estimation, the Turkey Labour Force Survey (2011) and Time Use Survey (2006), both collected by TURKSTAT representative at the national level in Turkey. 

 

📖 Download the full paper 

March 2014 - September 2015

Montessori Preschool Teacher Training Project

Early Childhood Care and Education, Capacity Building

This project aims to extend the knowledge and practice of the Montessori method in nurseries and kindergartens of Istanbul. Montessori Teacher Training project targets to reach new graduates of Early Childhood Development departments of universities or vocational schools, and nurses in KEDV’s daycare centres. Implementation of this project will reinforce young teachers to improve their capabilities in early childhood education with Montessori philosophy. During the project implementation period, 20 nurses/voluntaries/teachers in KEDV's preschools, and 40 senior university students/new graduates will be taught by a London Montessori Centre International certified teacher trainer. A teachers’ handbook on Montessori method will be written and distributed. 

 

 

📖 Read our article: Montessori Teacher Training in Neighborhood Crèches of Istanbul: The Project and Beyond

 

Watch our documentary video on Montessori Preschool Teacher Training Project

 

📖 Read our book on Montessori method and teacher training: Following the Child:  The history, philosophy, and application of Montessori education (Turkish)

Sep 2014 - August 2015

Demand for Child Care and Elderly Care in Western Balkans and Central Asia: A Cross-Country Qualitative Assessment

Childcare, Elderly Care, Gender

The Project involved the coding and analysis of the qualitative data that were collected via 66 focus group discussions in seven countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, Armenia, and the Kyrgyz Republic. The report focused on women’s care responsibilities in ECA Countries, how care responsibilities impact women’s lives, as well as their perceptions and demand for center-based child care and elder care services.  The project was part of a larger work program by the World Bank focusing on supply and demand-side assessment of child and elderly care services in ECA Countries.

November 2014-July 2015

Supporting Access and Continued Employment of Women by Enhancing Child Care Services

Female Labour Force Participation, Early Childhood Care and Education

This study evaluates the possibility of expanding childcare facilities by analysing the demand conditions currently in the market for undertaking private-sector childcare investments in order to enhance female employment. It also aims to provide a demand assessment for possibilities of investments by the private sector, organized industrial zones (OIZs), and municipalities. In this sense, the study aimed to collect qualitative data from municipalities, organized industrial zones, and corporate firms as providers of private childcare services in three provinces of Turkey. A total of 50 in-depth interviews were carried out with stakeholders at municipalities, organized industrial zones, corporate firms, and financial institutions for the feasibility study, and results were compiled using a coding structure that enabled the team to code and analyses the qualitative data in a quantitative format.  In order to achieve these objectives, the report gives (I) an overview of the childcare services sector for Turkey looking at public and private provision and assessing the institutional set-up of the sector, (II) assesses demand for childcare by households using data from a recent World Bank study on childcare in Turkey; (III) focuses on private and local providers of child care in Turkey, first looking at the microeconomics of private providers (cost and pricing structure) in the sector and then focusing on fieldwork results taken from in-depth interviews carried out for this study with agents at workplaces (Corporates, Organized Industrial Zones) as well as municipalities.

November 2014 - April 2015

Master Class on Value of Money in Education

This half-day technical session delivered in Johannesburg, South Africa to senior-level bureaucrats in Ministries of Finance from African countries, was designed to introduce concepts and methodologies in value for money analysis in the education sector. The session included measurement methods such as (i) benefit incidence analysis (ii) provider level quantitative surveys (PETS) and (iii) an introduction to quantitative impact evaluation methods. The course used country and program case studies to illustrate methodologies.

September 2014

Final Evaluation Report for "A Fair Start for Young Children in Turkish Rural Communities" Project

Early Childhood Care and Education, Gender and Women's Empowerment

“A Fair Start for Young Children in Turkish Rural Communities” project was conducted by the Mother-Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) in Tokat from 20122015. The purpose of the project was two-fold: (i) to improve the physical, mental, social, and emotional development of young children in rural Turkey by engaging them in an early childhood education program, and (ii) to increase community awareness in early childhood education.  The mixed-methods evaluation of the project utilized quantitative data that was collected from treatment and control villages in the baseline and post-test surveys, as well as qualitative data from 16 focus groups with beneficiary and non-beneficiary mothers and fathers in the program area, in-depth interviews, and a short quantitative survey of teachers in the final phase of the program. 

November 2014 - August 2015

Impact Evaluation of UN-Women Father Training for Violence-Free Families Project

Women’s Empowerment

The project evaluated the impact of a 3-year project funded by the UN- Women Trust Fund for Reducing Gender-Based Violence and implemented in Turkey by the Mother-Child Education Foundation (AÇEV). The Father Training for Violence-Free Families Project (FTVFFP) aims to prevent violence against women and girls (VAW/G) by engaging men in a comprehensive and community-based violence prevention program. Throughout the three-year project, fathers and their wives were trained in a program that aims to foster democratic, anti-violent, and gender-sensitive attitudes and behaviours within the family. The impact evaluation study used a mixed-methods methodology using both quantitative surveys and qualitative focus groups and key informant interviews. 

The evaluation aimed (i) to measure improvements and changes in outcomes as a result of the trainings, in terms of the fathers’ attitudes towards their children and wives, and the mothers’ awareness of violence and the existing legal structure in Turkey for protecting against VAW/G; (ii) to describe the external and contextual factors that may have also been at play and influenced the factors measured during the evaluation;  (iii) to identify the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and trends in the project activities that have implications for strengthening its future administrative, programmatic and strategic directions.

August 2013 - November 2013

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Publications

Building an ex-ante simulating model for estimating the capacity impact, benefit incidence, and cost effectiveness of child care subsidies: an application using provider-level data from Turkey

Meltem A. Aran, Ana Maria Munoz Boudet, Nazli Aktakke

Public financing and subsidization of childcare can allow for more equitable access to childcare in places where public provision and capacity are low. The mechanisms of the delivery of the subsidy matter, however, in terms of who gets the benefits of the subsidy and overall cost-effectiveness, given the initial conditions in the childcare market. This paper sets out an ex-ante simulation model using a supply-side provider level and demand-side household model and combining the two models for estimating the benefit incidence of expanded capacity and enrolments as a result of the childcare subsidies, looking at different mechanisms of the delivery including investment grants to providers, operational monthly grants to childcare providers, combinations of the investment and operational grants and demand-side vouchers to households. The model is applied to empirical data from childcare centres and households in Turkey and results reveal that the choice of the subsidy delivery model is not trivial, and has a strong bearing on both the benefit incidence and cost-effectiveness of the subsidy. In the case of Turkey, where significant supply-side constraints exist in the market, a demand-side voucher system is shown to be the least cost-effectiveness measure of delivery of the subsidy, and while a demand-side voucher can be pro-poor targeted, it is not necessarily the option that reveals the most “pro-poor results” both in terms of newly generated capacity and the impact of the subsidy on household welfare. The simulation model developed here can be applied in other country contexts, with the only data requirements being microdata on costs and pricing structure of childcare providers as well as household data with variables on household welfare and childcare utilization.

📖 Download the full article

November 2018

Can Regulations Make It More Difficult to Serve the Poor? The Case of Childcare Services in Istanbul, Turkey

Meltem A. Aran, Ana Maria Munoz Boudet, Nazli Aktakke

This paper considers the impact of regulations on private childcare capacity in the context of Turkey's highly regulated child care market. Using data from a recently fielded survey that sampled 141 private ECEC facilities in Istanbul, Turkey, the paper looks at the impact of fixed regulations on prices and poor children’s access to services. The paper, in particular looks at the outdoor space requirement that was originally imposed on private providers in the 1960s and has over time become more difficult to fulfill in densely populated districts of the city. The paper estimates that controlling for other provider characteristics, in districts where such requirement is more binding, the price of childcare services increases by 376.2 TL per child per month and the percentage of children enrolled coming from "poor" backgrounds is lower by 15.1% points than in districts where this standard proves less challenging.   

 

📖 Download the article

November 2016

Maternal and Child Health in Turkey Through the Health Transformation Program

Meltem A. Aran, Nazlı Aktakke, İpek Gürol, Rıfat Atun

Improving maternal and child health outcomes is a major development objective. Targets related to these outcomes were included in the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and they continue to galvanize global support through the Sustainable Development Goals (under Goal 3 health targets). Turkey is among the few successful middle-income countries that have significantly reduced the under-5 mortality rate below the MDG 2015 target levels. This study analyses improved demand-side (health insurance, conditional cash transfers) and supply-side inputs (expanded health services) in Turkey’s health system as part of the Health Transition Program (HTP), as well as contextual improvements (such as improved economic well-being and increased maternal educational attainment), to identify how these input factors have advanced health outcomes. The results show that while demand-side measures, such as universal health coverage through the extension of health insurance to low-income families (Green Card program), improved health utilisation variables, the main impact of on maternal and child health was through supply-side improvements which expanded for all women access to free antenatal and midwifery care, regardless of health insurance status.

 

📖 Read the paper on SSRN

December 2015

Inequality of Opportunity in Access to Basic Services Among Egyptian Children

Meltem A. Aran, Lire Ersado

This paper estimates inequality of opportunities among Egyptian children over time between the years 2000 and 2008 using Egypt Demographic and Health Surveys. The Human Opportunity Index (HOI) is calculated across four categories of access to services, including health utilization, nutrition, basic infrastructure services and school enrolment.

Over these years, Egypt implemented several policies in the health and education sectors that improved the access of children to services through the nation-wide Family Health Model (FHM), as well as through a social marketing campaign to promote iodized salt. This paper finds improvements in the Human Opportunity Index linked to such policies, with HOI increasing from 38.8 to 67.7 for instance for the probability of blood sample being taken from mother during pregnancy, and from 37.6 to 63.4 for births taking place in public or private health facilities. Increases in the overall coverage of health services were responsible for improvements in the HOI. However, in terms of malnutrition, indicators have deteriorated during this time period, with HOI for not being stunted decreasing from 78.2 to 74. The decomposition of the HOI finds that the probability of malnutrition among Egyptian children is not closely linked to family circumstances, contrary to what one might expect, calling for more supply-side (and less targeted) efforts to reduce malnutrition for all Egyptian children.

 

📖 Read the paper

 

📖 Read our article "Child Development Indicators in the Egyptian Context"

July 2013

Early Childhood Health and Education Outcomes and Children's Exposure to Multiple Risks in Turkey

Meltem A. Aran, Cristobal Ridao-Cano

This paper considers changes in children's early health and education opportunities and outcomes in Turkey. The study aims to look at changes in health utilization, nutrition, access to early childhood education and school enrolment rates for children between 2003 and 2008. The findings suggest that health utilization has improved over time in these years and access to health care has increasingly become delinked from initial circumstances of children in the household, in parallel to Turkey's expansion of the Health Transformation Program. On the other hand, nutrition outcomes remained correlated with maternal education and household wealth status. Access to early childhood education and care programs also came out to be highly regressive, with only households and children in the top quintile having access to childcare programs outside the home. The paper also considers later educational attainment outcomes for older children, by circumstance groups and finds that while some progress has been made in enrolment in basic education in these years, variables that define gender, mother tongue spoken at home and parental education remain significant determinants of early drop-outs as of 2008. In the final section, the paper investigates exposure of a certain small group of children in Turkey to multiple risk factors at the same time, and evaluates the incidence by circumstance group the probability of facing overlapping risks in early childhood. the paper argues that children in these circumstance groups, and that have exposure to multiple risk factors, should be the primary target of social protection and early childhood intervention programs.

 

📖 Read the paper

October 2013

Can Child Care Vouchers Get Turkish Mothers Back to Work? Estimating the Employment and Redistributionary Impact of a Demand Side Child Care Subsidy in Turkey

Meltem A. Aran, Herwig Immervoll, Cristobal Ridao-Cano

Lack of access to affordable and quality childcare is one of the impediments to increasing female labour force participation rates in Turkey. With less than one-third of working-age women active in the labour market, the Turkish government has been considering options for expanding female labour force participation by providing a demand-side subsidy conditional on employment (or activation). To achieve this, utilization of childcare is being considered as a policy option. This paper considers the labour supply impact and cost-effectiveness of such a demand-side subsidy by evaluating the labour supply model of women in Turkey under the current conditions and simulates -- under various targeting scenarios and for different benefit levels of the subsidy - (i) the number of women that would join the labour force or become formally employed; (ii) the budgetary implications and cost-effectiveness of the subsidy; and (iii) the potential benefits accrued by the bottom quintiles of society.

Given the constrained supply of existing services, the paper finds that the immediate employment impact of such a demand-side intervention is likely to be low, and the distribution regressive in the short term. A targeted subsidy based on welfare level and employability of the woman is likely to be most cost-effective in the medium term when supply-side constraints on childcare are addressed and concurrent policies to expand the supply of childcare have been implemented. In the short term, when the subsidy is provided conditional on childcare utilization (and there is no targeting of the poor) the benefits are likely to be highly regressive, with only 3 percent of benefits accruing to the bottom quintile of the population. The formal employment impact of the program is also estimated to be low: we find that in the short term the number of women activated through the program would range from 2,800 to 43,000 women (entering formal employment) at a cost varying from 1.4 million TL to 37 million TL per month (not including administrative costs of running the program) if the benefits are fixed at 50 % of the net minimum wage. In the medium term, when the supply of ECEC is assumed to be more flexible and supply of services is not a constraint, the demand side transfer is expected to activate into the formal sector an upper bound estimate of 187,600 women, constituting a less than 1 percentage point change in female labour force participation -- at a cost of about 138 million TL per month.

 

📖 Read the paper

October 2014

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Seminars

 
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Experts

 

Executive Director

Meltem is a human development economist with research focusing on poverty, inequality, and overall distributional impact of social policies. Since 2004, she has been involved in various research projects and impact evaluations relating to poverty and human development with the World Bank in East Asia, ECA and MENA regions.

 

Research Associate

Naureen’s work focuses on education, and specific topics include promotion incentives for teachers, and social distance and learning outcomes. She has previously conducted work for the World Bank, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Oxford Policy Management, and the Young Lives Project. This work has included both research and policy work.