Raising Readers: Kenya schools’ use of technology to improve parent and carer engagement and literacy learning (led by Worldreader)

Country: Kenya | Topic Area: Participation and messaging

Project summary

This research explores how technology can be best used to strengthen parental and caregiver engagement with children’s reading. Testing a set of interventions surrounding use of a reading application — in this case Worldreader’s BookSmart app — by Kenyan Grade 3 learners (aged 8), we will co-design a distinct set of tools schools can use to facilitate greater parental engagement. These include training, nudges, feedback loops, incentives, and information campaigns. Using design-based research (DBR), these will then be trialled across a set of 12 Kenyan primary schools. This will lead to greater understanding of the impact these approaches have on parent and caregiver engagement. The most promising modalities will be scaled up through a clustered multi-armed randomised controlled trial with a view to arriving at statistically significant findings on how these tools impact i) caregiver–child engagement and ii) reading outcomes across gender and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Credit: Worldreader

Research questions

  • How do different intervention modalities impact caregiver-child engagement in a reading application?
  • What is the cost-effectiveness of each of these modalities for improving caregiver-child engagement?
  • How do the different modalities impact caregiver-child engagement and reading outcomes across gender and socioeconomic backgrounds?

Discover evidence

Study contacts

  • Susan Nicolai, Principal Investigator — Contact Susan
  • Akanksha Bapna, Methods Specialist (quantitative data)
  • Christia Myers, Methods Specialist (qualitative data)

Key partner roles

We are partnering with Worldreader – a global nonprofit organisation that brings high-quality, affordable digital learning to children in regions where books are difficult to access. It researches and implements EdTech interventions for improving reading abilities and literacy delivered through blended approaches, low-cost digital books, preloaded tablets and a mobile phone application, online and offline. 

As our partners in Kenya, Worldreader are our implementing partners who will be the primary contact points between the project and the schools/ parents that will be the intervention sites for this project. Worldreader will be responsible for designing and implementing the interventions at the sites this project is focusing on, together with collecting data collected through various data instruments.

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