World Bank Group

A Growth Mindset to increase Test Scores

Like many other countries, Peru is worried about standardized test outcomes and what they mean for students, especially for the increasing gap between students from high- and low-income households. The standard approach to improving student achievement involves investing more in teacher training and learning materials. Researchers from the World Bank, the University of Oxford, and the Group for Analysis for Development (GRADE) in Peru decided to take a different approach. They developed a project called “Expand Your Mind” which is focused in developing motivation and perseverance. Through this growth mindset intervention, students and teachers in 800 selected public schools and high schools were asked to read an essay titled “Did You Know You Can Grow Your Intelligence?” and to do a series of activities to demonstrate that they understood the content of that essay. Messages that promote the idea that intelligence is a skill that can be improved through practice and effort significantly increased student achievement in Peru. The intervention led to a 0.14 standard deviation increase in math test scores, equivalent to four months of schooling, at a cost of less than $0.20 per student. eMBeD reached 50,000 students in an initial phase, and an additional 250,000 subsequently. Replicated interventions in  South Africa and Indonesia have had similarly promising results.

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February 17, 2022

Bike Ambulances to improve Emergency Obstetric Care in Rural Areas

Maternal mortality and morbidity rates remain high in Cote d’Ivoire. It is estimated that more than six women out of a thousand are dying while delivering birth, while 0.7% of the women of childbearing age have fistula in the country (MICS, 2016). While the strengthening of the health system is taking place, women in the country, especially in the rural area, stay vulnerable to the high risk of maternal death and morbidity. From behavioral perspectives, the barriers that leads to the three delays–(1) deciding to seek care; (2) identifying and reaching a medical facility; (3) receiving adequate and appropriate treatment may include the following (Cichowitz et al., 2018): Factors related to the first delay: social norms (community prefers to deliver at home), limited transportation and health care services at night, and negative experience in hospitals in the past (lack of trust). Factors related to the second delay of reaching a medical facility: a lack of available transportation, long travel times, and perception of high medical costs (walking 36.5%, car 34.6%, bus 13.5%, and motorcycle 13.5% in case of a study in Tanzania). In this context, this rapid prototyping initiative seeks to develop a new low-cost, safe transportation for women to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity in rural areas, by tackling the barriers that often lead to delay of emergency obstetric care (EmOC). It also aims to collect and utilize the GPS data/information of the bike ambulances to enable regional hospitals and the government to make better decisions in providing care, utilize hospital ambulances efficiently, and enhance communication between the care-seeker and care-provider.
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