Evaluation of the Early Childhood Program Hogares Comunitarios De Bienestar in Colombia
32 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009
Date Written: July 9, 2009
This document summarizes the main results of the Impact Evaluation Study of Hogares Comunitarios de Bienestar in Colombia. During 2007, Universidad de los Andes and PROFAMILIA collected information for about twenty eight thousand children including participants and potential participants of the program and evaluated the effects of the intervention on nutritional status, health, cognitive and non-cognitive development of children. The results indicate that there is a positive and significant effect of the program on nutritional status measured by a reduction in the probability of chronic malnutrition of around 2 percentage points for children between the ages of 2 and 4. In addition, we report a negative effect of the program on children’s health as measured by incidence of diarrhea and respiratory illness. However, the negative effect declines as exposition to the program increases. The results also indicate positive effects on cognitive development of children with at least 15 months of exposition to the program and medium-run cognitive effects as measured by gains in standardized tests in fifth grade. Finally, we report significant improvement in psychosocial development of participants with at least 15 months of exposition to the program, in particular, better play interactions and lower play disconnection.
Keywords: Early childhood programs, estimation of treatment effects, nutrition, health, cognitive development, non-cognitive development
JEL Classification: I12, I38, J13, J18
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