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Education and Learning after the Pakistan Earthquake:
Can the Children Recover?  

Tahir Andrabi, Pomona College
Ali Cheema, Lahore University of Management Sciences
Pakistani Funding (HEC):  $240,000
US Funding (USAID):    $83,700
Project Dates on US Side: February 1, 2007 - January 31, 2011

Project Overview

On October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake hit Pakistan’s Northern Provinces of NWFP and AJK and left the region in complete disarray. At the time this project began in early 2007, there was still little data available on the state of villages, households, and schools in the area. The researchers collaborating on this project are undertaking a series of surveys that will help to characterize the educational status of children by completing both a village mapping of educational facilities and a full module on the schooling environment at the level of the household. This represents an expansion of the originally funded project made possible thanks to a supplemental World Bank grant of $190,000 grant to Pomona College. The project is now comprised of four major parts: a household and facilities census, a household survey, a school and teacher survey, and child testing in four subject areas, and the effort covers 126 villages in the districts of Abbottabad, Muzaffarabad, Bagh, and Mansehra. 

Major Results

  • Discovered that four years after the earthquake, humanitarian assistance by foreigners and foreign organizations has left a lasting imprint on population attitudes: trust in foreigners increased tremendously after the earthquake
  • Published the paper “In Aid We Trust: Hearts and Minds and the Pakistan Earthquake of 2005" (jointly authored by Tahir Andrabi and Jishnu Das of the World Bank), which was widely covered in major media and attracted strong interest in US and Pakistan aid policy circles
  • Published the working paper “Education and Learning after the Pakistan Earthquake: Can the Children Recover?” (jointly authored by Tahir Andrabi, Ali Cheema, and Jishnu Das),  which presents implications from measuring the losses in education caused by natural disasters
  • Obtained $190,000 supplemental grant from the World Bank to conduct a household census of 28,000 households in 126 villages and a detailed survey of 2,800 households
  • Trained more than 35 surveyors in Pakistan in modern survey and testing methods and provided training to six students at Pomona College and three at Lahore University of Management Sciences who worked as research assistants at various times in the life cycle of the project

Quarterly Update

The researchers continued writing on the rich data generated from this earthquake research project and were expecting to produce at least three papers on the subjects of mortality, school level changes in learning and the effects of reconstruction grants. The research results were presented at the Pacific Coast Development Conference, University  of California Berkeley in March 2011.

Progress Report Summaries

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