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  • Employing community health workers may help governments address the shortage of healthcare providers in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, it is unclear how offering incentives such as career advancement opportunities might affect who self-selects into community health worker jobs. Researchers partnered with the Government of Zambia to test the effect of two incentive strategies on applicants’ characteristics and job performance. They found that making career incentives rather than social incentives salient attracted workers who were more qualified and performed better on the job and had similar levels of pro-social preferences.  
  • Can online sexual health education courses improve students’ sexual health knowledge, attitudes, and behavior? Do such courses also have positive effects on the peers of students who take the course? Researchers evaluated the impact of an online sexual health education course on the knowledge and sexual behavior of urban Colombian high school students. The education program led to significant impacts on knowledge and attitudes. No impacts were found on self-reported measures of behavior, but the program led to a reduction in incidence of sexually transmitted diseases among sexually active females. Moreover, results pointed to a significant increase for the treatment group in redemption of vouchers for condoms among students.
    Education, Health
  • Farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, especially those in the Sahel region, face a wide range risks to their welfare and livelihoods, such as drought, price fluctuations and family illness.  In this study in Burkina Faso and Senegal, researchers evaluate the impact of weather insurance and three savings devices on a variety of investment and welfare outcomes, and assess which products are most effective at enabling individuals to manage risk. 
    Burkina Faso, Senegal
  • As girls pass through adolescence, a number of factors influence whether they complete secondary school, avoid teenage pregnancy, and develop the life skills, attitudes, behaviors and relationships that will set them on a path to a healthy and productive adulthood. This evaluation investigates whether being part of a mentorship and life skills program, “Sisters of Success,” during early adolescence improves outcomes for girls in Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia.
  • Recent efforts to increase primary school education enrollment in developing countries have been extremely successful, yet major challenges persist in improving educational outcomes. In sub-Saharan Africa, high drop out rates, especially for girls, as well as student and teacher absenteeism are major impediments to learning. Many students, especially girls from low-income families in rural areas, miss so much school that they become chronic repeaters. This study assesses the impact of a program that aims to improve student retention and learning outcomes for marginalized pupils in Ghana through distance learning and an after-school girls’ empowerment program.
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