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Scaling Primary School Capitation Grants in Tanzania

Work & Education
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Tanzanian Ministry of Education scales evidence to improve primary education

In 2013, Constantine Manda returned from the East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) fellowship to work on a randomized evaluation testing complementarities between resources and incentives in primary schools in Tanzania. The experiment, in collaboration with CEGA affiliate Karthik Muralidharan, compares capitation grants that are sent directly to schools with teacher incentives based on student performance, as well as both interventions together. They show that combining spending on school inputs (which is the default policy) with student performance-based teacher incentives raises student test scores, and in turn, increases the cost-effectiveness of public spending on education.

Manda and colleagues worked with Tanzania’s Commission for Science and Technology, as well as the Ministers of Education and Local Government to scale evidence from the evaluation. Today, all public primary and secondary schools administer capitation grants informed by the study, which was published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics in 2019.

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