As we are a single-cause organisation with just one flagship programme, it is critical that we, and our government partners, know whether the programme is working as intended. We use learnings to make continuous improvements and innovations to the programme, and disseminate widely to add learning to the whole ECD field.
Randomised control trial
Between 2017 and 2018 a rigorous Randomised Control Trial of our programme in Ghana was conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Innovations for Poverty Action. This collected data on over 2500 Mother and 2500 children in 80 communities. Read full evaluation and Policy Brief.
Key effects on children were:
improvement in literacy for the poorest children
improvement in Numeracy improved for the poorest children
reduction in acute malnutrition &
0.21 cm increase in upper arm circumference
reduction in externalising behaviours, such as bullying and lying
To put these results in context, these effects are similar or larger than effects seen in more intensive and expensive ECD programmes. It is estimated that these gains are the equivalent of an extra year of school.
Key effects on parents were:
increase in mothers time spent on developmentally appropriate activities with their children
improvement in mothers “teaching style” (i.e., the way they interacted with their children in the context of teaching a new task)
Current reach (April-September 2023)
rural parents empowered to run Play Schemes
Government trainers trained to deliver the programme
communities running the programme
Lively Minds Together airs in 18 local languages
across 21 stations, with approximately 2 million listeners
Our performance in 2022
annual cost per child
Participants in the programme can earn continuous professional development points
surprise visits to Play Schemes showed they were successfully running
Programme has been adopted by Ghana Education Service and is contained in their Early Childhood Education Strategy
districts in Ghana met their termly performance targets
How we measure and maintain impact
We work with a range of external evaluation partners to conduct rigorous evaluations and use results from these to improve the programme curriculum, tools and materials.
We have also developed a comprehensive performance management system to enable us to easily track quality and compliance of programme delivery. Each activity in the programme has quality and compliance metrics. Regular supervision is conducted by government supervisors to score programme activities, and spot checks are also conducted by Lively Minds staff. Results are shared through a real-time dashboard and analysed by government partners at regular review meetings. We are on hand to provide advice and guidance where needed.
Screenshots showing monitoring form and dashboard to visualise results
Other evaluation reports
We partnered with Farm Radio to assess the impacts of the Lively Minds Together radio programme in Ghana. The Key findings were:
97.4% of respondents agreed that the radio program helped parents and primary caregivers support their pre-school children to learn at home.
91.5% of respondents agreed that the LMT program had influenced their decision to start using new practices at home related to early childhood care and education.
A large scale RCT is being conducted of the programme as it scales in Ghana by research team from IFS, IPA, University of Yale, University of Ghana. Read more about it here.
A mixed methodology evaluation of the programme is underway in Uganda conducted by EDI.
Our research partners