Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study
This six-round longitudinal study aims to identify critical aspects of school quality that put adolescents who face the dual challenges of poverty and HIV/AIDS on a safer, healthier, and more productive path to adulthood. Our research seeks to uncover those aspects of schooling that will lead to more protective behaviors and lower HIV risk among young men and women.
In 2007, the first round of data collection for the longitudinal study of schooling quality and adolescent transitions in Malawi was completed, and preliminary analysis was begun. Throughout February 2007, the survey procedures and instruments were pretested in four schools in the Zomba district, and interviews were conducted with approximately 120 students and 20 teachers and head teachers.
Field work took place between May and July 2007 in two southern districts of Malawi, Machinga and Balaka, at the beginning of the second school term. Fifty-nine primary schools were visited, 30 in Machinga and 29 in Balaka. 1,764 in-school and 886 out-of-school adolescents, aged 14–16 at the beginning of the year, were interviewed. Students were randomly selected at the beginning of the 2007 school year from enrollment rosters at the 59 randomly selected primary schools. The probability of a particular school being included was proportional to its enrollment in 2006. At each school, approximately 30 students in standards 4–8 (the last four years of primary school), stratified by gender and grade attending, were selected for inclusion in the study. We identified out-of-school adolescents through key informants in the villages and at the school, and they were sampled from 4–5 randomly selected school catchment villages. The ratio of 14–16-year-olds attending standards 4–8 relative to those out of school was based on the proportion observed in the 2004 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), which indicated that 77% of 14–16-year-olds who were in school were in standards 4–8, and that approximately 25% of 14-16-year-olds were not in school. Thus the ratio of 14–16-year-olds in standards 4–8 relative to those out of school was 70:30 based on the DHS, whereas our Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Survey ratio is 67:33.
Through a combination of face-to-face interviews (FTFI) and audio computer-assisted self-interviews (ACASI), data were collected on students' educational status, performance, and schooling experiences in Round 1. Information on individual, family, and community resources that interact with school quality and experience also was collected. Interviews with out-of-school adolescents were conducted for comparative purposes. In addition to an extensive questionnaire covering such topics as schooling history, family background, formal and informal labor, and sexual behavior, we asked adolescents to complete short literacy and numeracy tests, pitched at the level of the standard 3 curriculum.
The head teacher and all teachers in standards 4–8 were interviewed at each school. Approximately 330 teachers were asked about their household characteristics, education, and training, as well as their classroom practices and treatment of students, including punishments and assignment of chores. Head teachers at each school were asked additional questions regarding the characteristics of the school, including the availability of supplies and materials, administrative oversight, and donor activity. We used a school facilities instrument to collect information about the physical condition of the classrooms, offices, and toilet facilities at each of the schools. Approximately 277 community instruments were also administered in villages that served as the catchment area for the primary schools visited. This instrument captured information on health facilities, the location of the nearest secondary school, religious and civic groups, and productive resources (e.g., maize mills, roads, and markets).
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6 and beyond|
Location: Malawi (Balaka and Machinga districts)
Poverty, Gender, and Youth
Duration: 1/2007 - 4/2015
Ann Biddlecom (Alan Guttmacher Institute)
Chris Sudfeld (Invest in Knowledge/Harvard Humanitarian Initiative)
Johanna Rankin (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Joseph P.G. Chimombo (CERT, University of Malawi, Zomba)
Linda Kalilani-Phiri (College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre)
Monica J. Grant (Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin)
Mphatso Mwpasa (Invest in Knowledge, Malawi)
Newton Kumwenda (Malawi College of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Research Project, Blantyre)
Peter C. Fleming (Invest in Knowledge, Malawi)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Spencer Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
UK Department for International Development