Learning and Engaging all in Primary School (LEAPS) III Evaluation Activities

Lao girl in classroom

Photo credit: Phoonsab Thevongsa 

The Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is committed to improving literacy of school-age children. In many low- and middle-income countries, increasing student attendance and performance can be tied to children receiving nutritious meals at school. The provision of these meals also improves children’s diets and overall health.

LEAPS III is the third phase of the LEAPS project supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, implemented by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in partnership with Save the Children International (SCI) and the Government of Lao PDR.

Building on the success of LEAPS I and II in improving the literacy of school-age children while increasing the use of health and dietary practices in Savannakhet, the largest province in Lao PDR, LEAPS III will focus on sustainability and handover of implementation to the Government of Lao PDR in the Atsaphone, Nong, Phalanxai, Phine, Sepon, and Vilabouly districts.

Over the course of LEAPS I (2012-2016) and II (2016-2021), the program provided 38 million meals to more than 77,000 pre-primary and primary students in 350 schools in Savannakhet Province. CRS also provided a holistic package of programming to support education and health at the school level.

Performance Evaluations

Lao boys at schooldesk
Photo credit: Lambo Khaiyavong 

CRS contracted AIR to conduct a baseline, midterm, and endline performance evaluation of the LEAPS III project which will assess student learning outcomes, nutrition status, health and sanitation behaviors, and teaching practices, to determine the effectiveness of the project activities and factors contributing to results.

As part of the evaluation, we will also conduct a special study to explore the efficacy of the project’s handover to the Government of Lao PDR to manage the school meals program.

We designed a mixed methods approach to conduct the evaluation, consisting of classroom observations; a student survey; the Literacy Boost Reading Assessment (LBRA); and key informant interviews (KIIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs) with project stakeholders and beneficiaries.

We will conduct three rounds of data collection, providing CRS with the necessary information to routinely assess the project’s progress and implementation, to determine if and where adjustments need to be made to enhance results.