Given the evidence that poor parenting practices—which affect the long term development of children—are common in Liberia, and that educational indicators such as reading comprehension are low, the IRC has implemented a parenting program that includes skills hypothesized to improve health and education outcomes in young children. The core parenting intervention seeks to improve the relationship between parental practices and positive outcomes for children. Parents attended parenting sessions over the course of 10 months (one session per month), and parents and children participated in the randomized impact evaluation, which included observational measures in addition to standard qualitative and quantitative measures of parenting practices, health outcomes, education, and child wellbeing. A total of 270 families participated in the impact evaluation, which used a randomized waitlist controlled trial. Results show that the intervention reduced the use of harsh punishment and improved positive parenting practices, but there was no immediate impact on malaria prevention or early childhood development outcomes. Using findings from this impact evaluation, the IRC revised the intervention and improved evaluation design to address outstanding questions around the impact of parenting on child outcomes.
The Airbel Impact Lab at IRC is a team of researchers, strategists and innovators committed to the accelerated design, rigorous evaluation and cost-effective scaling of the most impactful solutions supporting people affected by crisis.