Evaluating the impact of solar lamps on study behaviour and educational exercise booklets
Context Twaweza, meaning ‘we can make it happen’ in Swahili, is an NGO that works on enabling education for children and encouraging open and responsive governance in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Alongside the Wanaenda Shuleni Booklet Twaweza provides the Uwezo Test in its TPS Exercise Book through Africa’s largest annual citizen assessment of children’s numeracy and literacy levels. In 2010, Twaweza supported the Student Light Campaign of d.light, a pico solar company, through subsidizing $1 for every solar lamp sold to a secondary school student in Tanzania. In 2012, Twaweza reached out to Marketing for Impact (previously Route67), as they required an assessment of their current operations.
The big questions
What was the impact of solar lights distributed through The Student Light Campaign on the study behaviour of children?
What has been the recall and engagement of students and teachers with the Wanaenda Shuleni Booklet, TPS Exercise Book/ Uwezo Test?
Approach In order to identify the topics and research gaps, Marketing for Impact carried out an initial workshop with the Twaweza team. Based on the input from that session, the research proceeded with semi-structured qualitative interviews and a quantitative survey for students and teachers. In these interviews, participants were questioned about their experiences of d.light products and the educational materials. Findings were delivered and presented in the form of a report, a presentation to Twaweza employees and a video. Result The research unveiled that solar light had had a significant positive effect on the study behaviour of students. Moreover, it was found that a solar lamp represents much more than a safer, cleaner and brighter source of light, as it provides peace of mind because students can study independently of their parents’ ability and willingness to purchase kerosene. In addition, the research findings suggested that there was an opportunity to improve the follow-up sales and after sales service, as many lights were reported to be broken. It was also recommended that the communication message and visual design of the TPS Book/Uwezo Test, to be better adjusted to meet the desired objective of the target group. The full report is available here.