Do Early Warning Systems and Student Engagement Activities Reduce Dropout? Findings from the Four-Country SDPP Evaluation

Publisher: Washington, DC: USAID School Dropout Prevention Summit
Sep 10, 2015
Nancy Murray

Key Findings:

  • SDPP improved attendance. The percentage of school days attended among students in the intervention group was 65.2 (control group = 63.5 percent) in India, 91.2 (control group = 90.4) in Tajikistan, and 82.0 percent (control group = 80.3 percent) in Timor-Leste.
  • SDPP reduced dropout rates in Cambodia. Dropout rates were 38.7 and 39.3 percent in each of the two treatment groups versus 41.1 percent in the control group.
  • Although the program was implemented in different grades and for varying amounts of time in each of the four countries, the evaluation found statistically significant impacts for dropout or attendance in all four countries.
  • In some of the countries, significant changes were noted in teacher dropout prevention practices and at-risk students’ attitudes toward school.

Mathematica is designing, implementing, and rigorously evaluating evidence-based school dropout prevention pilot interventions in four Asian countries—India, Tajikistan, Cambodia, and Timor Leste. During the initial stages of the project, Mathematica worked with Creative Associates and other participating organizations to develop a methodology to review existing U. S. and international evidence on interventions designed to prevent student drop out, based on the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) model. Mathematica also participated in the review of the studies included in the resulting report. Mathematica is also advising Creative Associates on the development of the project website, using the WWC model as a guide.


Latin America and Caribbean Reading Evaluation (LAC Reads)


U.S. Agency for International Development

Time Frame


Senior Staff

Nancy Murray
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