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Impact evaluation of school feeding programs in Lao PDR
Author:Buttenheim, Alison; Alderman, Harold; Friedman, Jed; Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5518
Country:Lao People's Democratic Republic; Date Stored:2011/01/03
Document Date:2011/01/01Document Type:Policy Research Working Paper
SubTopics:Primary Education; Nutrition; Education For All; Food & Beverage Industry; Youth and GovernanceLanguage:English
Major Sector:EducationRel. Proj ID:1W-Evaluation Of Alternative Food For Edu. Approaches -- -- P100887;
Region:East Asia and PacificReport Number:WPS5518
Sub Sectors:General education sectorVolume No:1 of 1

Summary: Despite the popularity and widespread implementation of school feeding programs, evidence on the impact of school feeding on school participation and nutritional status is mixed. This study evaluates school feeding programs in three northern districts of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). Feeding modalities included on-site feeding, take-home rations, and a combination. District-level implementation of the intervention sites and selective take-up present considerable evaluation challenges. To address these limitations, the authors use difference-in-difference estimators with propensity-score weighting to construct two plausible counterfactuals. They find minimal evidence that the school feeding schemes increased enrollment or improved children’s nutritional status. Several robustness checks and possible explanations for null findings are presented.

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