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Early Grade Reading Activity Malawi

Metadata Updated: April 17, 2023

The Malawi Early Grade Reading Activity (MEGRA) is a multifaceted educational development approach intended to enable sustained literacy among children, promote a literate community, and help the country increase economic growth and reduce poverty. The USAID/Malawi funded program was implemented starting August of 2013, by RTI (Research Triangle Institute) International. The MEGRA educational program was implemented alongside a Feed the Future project called Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains (INVC) and a Global Health Initiative project called Support for Service Delivery Integration (SSDI), both of which were also expected to affect the success of learners in school. Through this interconnected strategy, USAID/Malawi aimed to have a greater impact on outcomes of interest (such as learning reading scores) than would otherwise be possible through one project alone. The key elements of the MEGRA reading intervention involved:

• Conduct teacher training, including practicums • Provide scripted lesson plans to teachers • Provide in-service teacher support and mentoring (or coaching) • Provide rewards for high-performing teachers and schools • Develop and distribute books, story cards, letter cards, and bookshelves • Organize reading fairs and other events to engage parents, caregivers, and the community in learner learning • Invite parents to participate in their learners’ classrooms and/or become engaged in extracurricular activities • Ensure a supportive policy environment by attending the Basic Education Technical Working Group and writing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to gain necessary Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology(MoEST) support and buy-in • Facilitate the extension of school instructional time

In order to test possible complementary or multiplier effects of the MEGRA reading intervention and the INVC and SSDI activities, all three interventions were implemented in and evaluated for four distinct treatment levels: • Treatment Level 1: Three focus districts (Balaka, Machinga, and Lilongwe Rural) that provide an opportunity to evaluate the impact of a fully-integrated development approach with multiple activities across sectors, including MEGRA, INVC, and SSDI, on early grade reading outcomes. • Treatment Level 2: The district (Salima) where MEGRA overlaps with only the SSDI intervention. This serves as a test ground for the hypothesis that synergies between education and health initiatives catalyze changes that are greater than the sum of their parts. • Treatment Level 3: The district (Ntcheu) where MEGRA overlaps with only the INVC intervention. This serves as a test ground for the development hypothesis that synergies between education and agricultural livelihood and nutrition initiatives catalyze changes that are greater than the sum of their parts. • Treatment Level 4: Five districts (Blantyre Rural, Mzimba North, Ntchisi, Thyolo, and Zomba Rural) that only receive the MEGRA initiative. These districts are used to test the MEGRA theory of change that education support leads to improved literacy and general education outcomes.

MEGRA was implemented at the zonal level, at baseline in 2013, where zones were randomly selected in each of the four levels to implement the MEGRA intervention (taking into account areas where INVC and SSDI were already working). However, since INVC and SSDI were not randomly assigned at baseline, the evaluation can only be able to determine whether EGRA is better than no EGRA and whether EGRA plus INVC and SSDI is better than no treatment.

While MEGRA expected to include both treatment and comparison schools in each district at each level, at baseline, it was unable to because the SSDI and INVC activities were already underway. As such, the program found that in the Level 2 district, Salima, it was impossible to select comparison zones that were not already contaminated with the SSDI intervention because SSDI was already working across the entire di

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Metadata Created Date April 17, 2023
Metadata Updated Date April 17, 2023
Data Update Frequency R/P2Y

Metadata Source

Harvested from USAID JSON

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date April 17, 2023
Metadata Updated Date April 17, 2023
Publisher USAID
Data First Published 2018-11-12
Data Last Modified 2018-12-31
Category Basic Education
Public Access Level public
Data Update Frequency R/P2Y
Bureau Code 184:15
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Collection Metadata true
Harvest Object Id b6dcd3ce-4c45-40a3-9f20-d7445719a575
Harvest Source Id 0aeddf52-9cb0-4ab6-bc1f-b53172fe5348
Harvest Source Title USAID JSON
Homepage URL
Program Code 184:020
Related Documents,,,,,
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash b2dea45894f9dff83eaa89e7a684888542b36f90
Source Schema Version 1.1

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