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Are Large-Scale Randomized Controlled Trials Useful for Understanding the Process of Scaling Up?

Thu, April 27, 4:05 to 5:35pm, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Floor: Ballroom Level, Hemisfair Ballroom 2


This paper reports a large scale program evaluation that included an RCT and a parallel study of 167 schools outside the RCT that provided an opportunity for the study of the growth of a program and compare the two contexts. Teachers in both contexts were surveyed and a large subset of the questions are asked of both scale-up teachers and teachers in the treatment schools of the RCT. We find large differences in the level of commitment to program success in the school. Far less was found in the RCT suggesting that a large scale RCT may not be capturing the processes at play in the scale up of a program.