Prior research demonstrates that parent’s participation, particularly that of mothers, in learning activities with their child improves early childhood development (ECD) of the child. The Lively Minds project in northern Ghana and eastern Uganda was introduced in the interest of improving parent involvement in learning and promoting children’s cognitive development. Through the program, rural mothers receive training in running educational play sessions in kindergartens, as well as cultivating informal learning at home. An understudied area in the project is the spillover effect of the ECD interventions on the siblings of the participatory children. The interactions between siblings are often the most frequent and relevant interactions a child may have.
This study uses a randomized evaluation to measure the effectiveness of the Lively Minds project and the existence of possible spillovers. The project adopts a transdisciplinary approach to measure the impact of the project on physical health and cognitive development of the participating children and their siblings, as well as teacher morale and motivation.
The Lively Minds program is being rolled out in five waves of approximately 336 schools each, starting from September 2022 through April 2025. The randomized evaluation will compare outcomes for children who were enrolled in earlier waves to children who are yet to receive the intervention. Data will be collected primarily through surveys and home assessments.
This research is expected to inform scaling up decisions of the Lively Minds program, in partnership with the Ghana Education Service. Results forthcoming.
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