Student Report

Spring 2022

Professors Douglas Besharov, Douglas Call, and Carl DeLorenzo


In Spring 2022, students worked with Catholic Relief Services and the World Bank, conducing a cost analysis, an implementation evaluation, and a research review.

The following are the projects prepared by the students.

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Nongovernmental

Catholic Relief Services

1. Cost Analysis on Impact of Savings Groups on Educational Spending of the Poor: Sierra Leone (SILC program). Studies have been conducted discussing the importance of educational spending and how a program could influence households to emphasize educational spending. In a study conducted in 2000, Jensen, R., it was concluded that rainfall shocks in rural and agricultural areas were causing a decline in school enrollment while also causing an increase in malnutrition. Additionally, it was also found that an increase in wealth in a household led to higher school enrollment. Therefore, it can be concluded that when a household is wealthier, there is a higher investment in education for children that belong to said household. In the study discussed below, data is gathered to conclude whether there is a causal relationship between wealth in a household and the increase in school attendance. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) conducts a study for an 18-month period with a model developed by the organization called a Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC). SILCs offer a convenience and safe opportunity to create more access to finances. Thereafter, a cost analysis is conducted to further analyze the cost of running a program of this kind and to reveal its benefits and costs.

Paper Presentation

2. Reforming Care Models in Burkina Faso. This case study documents the process of reforming care models in childcare institutions across Burkina Faso. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has supported childcare institutions (CCIs) in Burkina Faso for decades. This support has allowed CCIs to continue caring for children in their communities. Research on residential care has shown that, despite best intentions, residential care is causing more harm than previously understood. To address this, CRS has made strides toward reforming care models with implementing partners. In March of 2020 CRS began working with 5 CCIs across Burkina Faso to reform their care models from residential care to family-based care. This project relied on a peer-to-peer framework to support the CCIs’ transitions. The peer-to-peer framework builds capacity by creating dialogue and support across the transitioning CCIs. Transitioning care models is a time and labor-intensive effort. CRS’ program follows a phased implementation plan. This study documents those phases with particular attention on the role of peer support in building CCI capacity. The analysis focusses on shared experiences during each implementation phase. This is the first case study to explore the role of peer support in transitioning CCI care models.

Paper Presentation

The World Bank

3. Psychological Framework of Poverty. Develop a psychological framework of poverty to draw on psychosocial aspects of trajectories of poverty.

Presentation