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Date: 2024-06-23 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00003838

IPA study initiative in Zambia

Innovations for Poverty Action(IPA) ... improving negotiating skills of girls in schools in Zambia

I sent the following message to the contact person for this study. It will be interesting to hear the response.

Negotiating a Better Future
Peter Burgess
Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 3:41 PM

How did your study in Zambia control for the effect of the onset of a girl's menstrual cycle on school attendance. Some impressive work in East Africa suggests that this is a material factor.


It would be interesting to see the performance of this initiative using the approach of TrueValueMetrics Value Accountancy. From a value chain perspective the money flows are probably best at the level of the people doing the study, and everything else perhaps totally insignificant. This study sounds good ... but does it have much impact beyond putting another study in a Harvard library.

This initiative contrasts with the work of another one-time Harvard student who has been responsible for enabling girl students in East Africa to go to school after the onset of their menstrual cycle by local production of affordable sanitary pads, and addressing critical basic hygiene issues in schools. NEED CONTACT INFO ... TO COME

Innovations for Poverty Action(IPA)

A Note from Annie Duflo

Dear Peter,

2012 has been an exciting year for IPA, as we keep expanding our breadth of evidence on what works. In Zambia, many of our projects focus on improving outcomes for women and girls. This month, we wanted to highlight an exciting study currently in progress.

The story begins with IPA affiliate Nava Ashraf who has been conducting research in Zambia for nearly a decade, and became increasingly troubled by the high rates of school dropouts among adolescent girls.

As a faculty member of Harvard Business School, she wondered whether basic negotiation principles taught to MBA students could be adapted to the context of adolescent girls in Zambia to help them gain more control over their health, education and relationships. With negotiation experts, Kathleen McGinn and Corinne Low, Professor Ashraf developed a training based on Harvard’s negotiation curriculum.

In early pilots, the researchers saw that the training program had positive impacts on girls' knowledge and awareness of negotiation and communication techniques and results suggested an increased perception of control over their lives. Working with local officials, they then began planning for an expansion of the program to 2,400 girls, which is part of a full-scale rigorous evaluation scheduled to begin in 2013. The study aims to assess the program's impact on a whole host of issues related to girls’ empowerment -- school attendance, psychological well-being, nutrition, and ability to avoid HIV and unwanted pregnancies. They will also look at impact on the family to measure how gains for girls participating in the program affect other members of the household.

You can read more about the study here We look forward to sharing the results with you. In the meantime, everybody at IPA joins me in wishing you a wonderful end of the year, and best wishes going into 2013! Sincerely,

Annie Duflo
Executive Director

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