XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
"Evaluating the impact of the Ishraq program in Egypt"
I assess the impact of Ishraq, a second-chance informal education program for adolescent girls in rural Upper Egypt. The program provides literacy and life skills. Participation is voluntary resulting in a potential selection bias. An experimental design with randomization of treatment and control villages was infeasible. Instead, propensity score matching to identify control villages matching Ishraq villages in terms of population size, poverty level and prevalence of girls' education. The evaluation method used is propensity score matching at the end of the program. Additionally, the IV method is used where the instrument is the distance to the youth center YC, where the program is housed, as it proxies cost of participation. A set of attitudinal and knowledge outcomes is used to measure the impact of Ishraq: (1) improvement in girls' functional literacy, (2) mobility and access to safe social spaces, (3) acquisition of life skills, including financial literacy skills, knowledge of hygiene, general health, puberty changes and reproductive health, and participation in sports, and (4) empowerment-related outcomes including attitudes toward gender roles and marriage, knowledge of women’s rights and basic civic facts, attitudes toward FGM, self-esteem and participation in decision-making.
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