Demand-Side School Incentive Programmes

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Helpdesk Query:

What is the evidence of impact from demand side school incentive programmes (Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs), Vouchers, Scholarships) on uptake, retention and educational performance in Asia? What are the key literature sources/ websites etc providing information on on operationalising incentive schemes from around the world such as: ratio of total cost to administration costs, relationship between fund size and reach and unit cost (i.e. are there economies of scale?); and targeting strategy and fund delivery mechanisms.


This report reviews the impact of demand side school incentives programmes.  It presents articles and case studies on:

  1. Cash (or in-kind) transfer programmes
  2. Vouchers
  3. Scholarships
  4. Operationalising incentive schemes

Cash transfer programmes in Bangladesh showed evidence of being effective including that enrolment increased by 35% on average, attendance improved and female enrolment growth was almost twice that of male enrolment growth.  Evidence of impact was also found from a girls’ scholarships programme in Cambodia.

Other reports found positive impacts of demand-side incentives and are listed in sections 2, 3 and 4. These reports either give less detail of the impact or give evidence from countries outside of Asia, often Latin America. Some of these reports detail how the schemes work. Section 5 includes some documents that more specifically address the operationalisation of demand-side incentive schemes.


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