An analysis of the social impact of the stipend program for secondary school girls of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


The present study carries out an impact analysis of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program for secondary-school girls in seven districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan, including Battagram, Bonair, Hangu, Kohistan, Shangla, Tank, and Upper Dir. In 2012 we collected household-level primary data and used a probit model for quantitative analysis. Further, we conducted various focus group discussions and key informant interviews in the target areas. Results show that the chances of female schooling decrease with a rise in family size. The chances of female education increase by 1.8 and by 3.3 % if household heads and their spouses have one additional year of schooling, respectively. Better educational services and rises in family income increase the chances of female ecucation by 11 and 0.3 %, respectively. Finally, socioeconomic awareness, improved economic conditions, and CCTs increase the chances of female education by 5.2, 4.7, and 0.03 %, respectively. Overall, the stipend program (CCTs) shows a pareto improvement. Our results indicate that 35 % of girls will drop out in the absence of a stipend program. The present study recommends that to increase program effectiveness, local-level monitoring and program evaluation may be improved, delays in stipend payments to female students should be reduced, a grievance redressal mechanism for parents and guardians should be introduced, and clear synergies should be developed with other transfer programs.

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    United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (2012),

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    Source: Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement 2010–2011.

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    Class 6–8 is middle-level schooling.

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    The term ghost school refers to those educational institutions that have a physical infrastructure but no teachers or students. There have been instances where local influential persons use these state-owned premises for their own interests.


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The authors are economists at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute. We would like to acknowledge the financial support of UNDP and the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan and the technical advice of two internal referees.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Zeshan.

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Ahmed, V., Zeshan, M. An analysis of the social impact of the stipend program for secondary school girls of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Educ Res Policy Prac 13, 129–143 (2014).

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  • Education
  • Poverty
  • Conditional cash transfers
  • Gender

JEL Classification

  • P36
  • J16
  • J18