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Afghanistan village by the mountains

About ALSE

ALSE Project

ALSE is implemented by Principal Investigator, Dana Burde of New York University (NYU), and co-Principal Investigators, Joel Middleton of University of California at Berkeley, and Cyrus Samii of NYU.

The research aims to measure (1) the effectiveness of different forms of CBE interventions on boys’ and girls’ attendance and learning outcomes, and (2) how these educational gains from CBE can be sustained. To measure the effects of CBE and different CBE program variations, the researchers used a phased-in design: 148 villages were randomly selected to receive CBE in 2014, while the remaining villages received CBE in 2016. The outcomes of this first phase of the study can be found in our Phase One Outcomes Report. For the sustainability portion of the study, community-based institutions (shuras) took over the management of the schools in some villages. The community management model was based on the framework proposed in the Citizen’s Charter National Priority Program. ALSE will study the effects of this sustainability model on learning and access by comparing the classes that remained under NGO management (the current benchmark of quality) and those that were transferred to the management of community institutions. For this second phase of the study, ALSE randomly assigned 69 CBE classes to be transferred from NGO management to management by local community institutions. In collaboration with the Afghan Ministry of Education (MoE) and NGO partners, the CBE classes in these villages were transferred in March 2017.

All decisions regarding the specific variations were made in collaboration with the MoE, NGOs, and funding partners. For more details on the design of the research, please visit the Design page. 

ALSE also works to strengthen the research skills of the MoE so that the Ministry is able to (1) commission and consume rigorous educational research and (2) conduct their own education research. ALSE has conducted three Executive Seminars and a research capacity assessment of the Department of Planning's Research and Evaluation Unit. Furthermore, ALSE and the MoE follow a ‘learning by doing’ approach in which MoE staff work hand-in-hand with ALSE staff in the development of data collection tools and participate in data collection in the field.

ALSE is committed to making our research accessible and relevant for education stakeholders in Afghanistan and more broadly. On a quarterly basis we publish short, two-page Research Briefs that provide ‘just in time’ data and analyses that address pressing questions in the education sector in Afghanistan. Please see our Phase One Baseline ReportPhase One Outcomes Report and Phase Two Baseline Report. Our data collection instruments are available for reference on our website as well.


Principal Investigators

Dana Burde | Associate Professor, Director of International Education Program and Principal Investigator

Joel A. Middleton | Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator 

Cyrus Samii | Associate Professor and Principal Investigator


Cornelia Sage | Research Director 

Mohammad Amin Sadiqi | Project Director

Otgonjargal Okhidoi | Deputy Research Director

Susana Toro Isaza | Administrative and Financial Manager

Matthew Lisiecki | Data Manager

Jo Kelcey | Senior Research Associate

Jade Fugini-Laws | Graduate Research Assistant

Abdul Hamid Hatsaandh | Research Officer

Iqbal Ali Shahrwand | Research Officer

Mohammad Jaffar Arifi | Research Officer

Mohammad Jawed Nazari | Research Officer

Hamidullah Gharibzada | Research Officer

Zabihullah Buda | Research Officer

Mohammad Amin Zafari | Operations Manager

Ahmad Sajad Taheri | Project Assistant

Project Alumni

Amy Kapit | Former Research Director

Vedrana Misic | Former Senior Research Manager