OLPC Afghanistan XO Laptop Impact Research Plans


In Afghanistan now that we did our first pilot school we are now launching a major effort to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the impact of the use of OLPC in schools in three areas - Education, Health, and Economic.

olpc afghanistan
Empowering girls' education

Educational Impact Assessment Plan
We will be testing all pupils on comprehension, problem solving, reading, writing and mathematics before receiving the laptop and at regular intervals afterwards. Teachers will be taking part in a focus group. We will be comparing this to two control schools that do not have OLPC.

We hope to generate statistically significant pedagogical evidence on the impact of the OLPC Laptop in education. Our hypothesis is that the XO laptop will not only improve standard measurements of educational achievement but also encourage creativity and resourcefulness which is also of the utmost importance.

Health Impact Assessment Plan
We have prepared in co-operation with the Ministry of Public Health various awareness / information pre-loaded on the laptop (promotion of hygiene, common diseases, family nutrition etc) and will use focus groups to explore the impact of this in the home. Female medical students will be able to work more closely with mothers in the house than others.

It is our hypothesis that the XO laptop can be an effective tool to distribute messages to
positively change behaviour towards health / hygiene. This can be a difficult subject to
monitor as it concerns people's private homes including the woman's part of the home

Economic Impact Assessment Plan (Coming Soon)
We have prepared information on interview skills, business directories, a basic guide on how to start a small business and will develop further material focusing on agriculture and cottage industries. Again focus groups will be the main tool to try to assess the impact.

The plans are basic but we hope to share with the world a better understanding of the impact of OLPC and strengthen the case for more widespread deployment. We very much welcome and would be pleased to facilitate anyone interested in more in depth research either by correspondence or we can arrange research trips in Afghanistan (yes, it's safe). Contact details are in the research plans.

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Sounds great. Olpc really need this sort of well-planned evaluation. And I am glad that it is extending beyond education to health and economic development. I think people make a great mistake in thinking of olpc as having only educational significance. Networked computers have thousands of different uses, and so we should expect that communities will make good use of XO's in all sorts of areas.

By the way, planet.laptop.org has a number of recent reports on OLPCorps.


The best & most comprehensive OLPCorps feed is here: http://tinyurl.com/olpcorps-feed

I've compiled even more OLPCorps bloggers than planet.laptop.org

Nice feed, thanks for the information.

Would you like to have other research partners? Walter Bender and I have been in contact with MIT, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and other universities and education schools to talk about research programs.

We would be interested in any research partners that would be willing to come on board - for whatever research they would be interested in performing...

We are very researcher friendly (we already had 2 people through their internship here write their thesis on Afghan related topics)...

Contact details can be found in the research plans themselves for anyone interested...

It's super that you're undertaking this impact evaluation. (And I agree with other commenters, it's great that you're looking at a broad range of indicators.)

With regard to research partners and your objective of "strengthen[ing] the case for more widespread deployment": Obviously, the case will be stronger if you have an independent evaluation. It might be hard for you to detect areas where your positive bias for the program influences evaluation decisions. An independent evaluation will have way more credibility.

That said, if you're getting moving in a hurry with your collection of baseline data, you can probably find people on this blog or elsewhere who can review your eval plan and English-language versions of your survey instruments.

It is pleasing to know about the proposed study. I would be very happy to assist the research team the way they want me to do.

I have a long list of concerns that I am interested to investigate. Let me list some of these concerns below:
1. Has OLPC affected enrollment in the experimental schools?
2. What is the effect on dropouts?
3. How is Teachers’ attitude like toward XO deployment in their classes?
4. Are teachers actively participating in it?
5. Is their behavior and teaching strategies changed?
6. Like wise parents attitude and their perception of learning with XOs
7. What is Its effect on surrounding school that are without XOs.
8. An interesting aspect would be to learn about children attitude; their favorite activities; their contribution to
9. Who is doing better on OLPC the teacher or student -if possible see what factors are responsible for these.

Please feel free to contact me via e-mail or phone.
All the best,

Habib Khan, EdD (Harvard)
Email: drhabibk@postharvard.edu
Phone:+92314 201 4184

Hi, I am a private consultant and actually working (as a volunteer) on the review of litterature of evaluation of OLPC deployment.Focusing on learning outcomes, the idea is to make a proposal for some kind of an evaluation framework.
ACER (Australian Council for Education Research) did a brief review.
here is is the link

What happens with your plan of evaluation?