Does social action fund promote schooling in conflict affected countries? Mixed evidence from Angola

Although recent evidence shows detrimental effects of armed conflict on educational attainment, coupled with the fact that 50% of children out of school live in conflict affected countries, there is a lack of studies rigorously assessing the effectiveness of different social and economic development interventions aiming to mitigate the impact of armed conflict on education outcomes. In order to fill this knowledge gap, this study assesses the impact of education investments financed by the Angola Social Action Fund from 1994 to 2001 on years of schooling. I use the Angola 2001 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey to evaluate this impact. Using difference in differences estimation and a fixed effects model, I find that for individuals currently enrolled in schools and living in non-migrant households, an additional year of exposure to Angola Social Fund leads to an increase of years of schooling by 0.175 years. I find that Angola Social Action Fund has no impact on years of schooling for individuals currently out of school and for individuals living in migrant households. I find no heterogeneous effects of ASAF by variables considered. Interventions such as social funds can be used to mitigate the impact of civil war on education for individuals already enrolled in schools and living in non-migrant households. However, for individuals out of schools, there is great need to design innovative interventions specifically addressed to their circumstances and to test them rigorously in order to find interventions that can effectively mitigate the impacts of civil war on education.

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