Evaluating the Impact of a Focused Reading and Math Intervention Integrated with a Social-Emotional Learning Program on Student Learning Outcomes and Psychosocial Wellbeing

Based on 30 years of experience in conflict-affected settings, the IRC implemented the existing Healing Classrooms model in conflict-affected areas of the DRC through a USAID-funded intervention. The intervention augmented the Healing Classrooms model with core practices from ‘Social and Emotional Learning’ and focused teacher training. Despite the vast evidence supporting the impact of social-emotional learning in the United States, there is still extremely limited evidence on the effectiveness of Social and Emotional Learning programming in low-resource and conflict-affected settings. The goal of this evaluation was to rigorously evaluate the impact of the intervention on outcomes for children in 350 schools in DRC and use the results to increase the effectiveness of interventions in this challenging setting. Results show positive impacts in the first year of project implementation, fading out in the second year. These results may be due to a number of factors such as fatigue among teachers given increased workloads during the two-year intervention period or high levels of internal displacement among students.

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.