Guyana's Hinterland Community-Based School Feeding Programme
Guyana's Hinterland Community-Based School Feeding Program (SFP) began in 2007 with the objective of building more community participation in schools and improving children's human development outcomes, such as student enrollment and attendance, nutritional status and learning outcomes. In addition, the program supports improvement of schools organization of primary level in Regions 1, 7, 8 and 9. To evaluate the program, the Government of Guyana and the World Bank collected survey data from schools, students, teachers and parents in three rounds 2007, 2008 and 2009 in Regions 1 and 7. This report shows the findings and impacts of SFP using all survey rounds.
Regions 1 and 7 are characterized by high poverty levels and agricultural labor intensity. Both factors highlight the potential of organizing SFP around local producers, so that a regular supply of low-cost food can be guaranteed to the local schools and children living in precarious conditions. Seventeen of the sixty-four schools participating in the impact evaluation are in Region 7, and the rest are in Region 1. Randomization for the selection of comparison groups was not achieved, due to the participation rules. However, sample selection correction methods were used to correct for observable and unobservable biases.
This study's findings fall under the following topics: enrollment and attendance, nutritional status, students' classroom behavior and school performance, academic performance by students, parental/community participation, household diets, food prices shocks and SFP as a safety net. Finally, the SFP's achievements with regard to improving community participation in school activities can make a key contribution in finding solutions to many of the challenges faced by the Ministry of Education for service delivery and quality education in rural, remote areas.