NGOs, human capital, and women's empowerment : evidence from Bangladesh
This thesis studies the effects of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on human capital investment and women's empowerment in Bangladesh. Chapter Two studies how the entry of NGOs in primary education has affected educational outcomes of girls and examines the mechanisms which account for the relative performance of NGO versus state schools in improving female educational outcomes. The results show that the entry of NGO schools has significantly increased girls' enrollment as compared to boys. The two most prominent characteristics of NGO schools that encourage girls' enrollment are the high percentage of female teachers and having Parent-Teacher Associations. NGO schools show strong effects in improving children's test scores. Chapter Three analyzes the factors which affect teacher presence, student attendance, and community participation in primary schools in Bangladesh. The results show that, after controlling for other factors, NGO school teachers are more likely to be present in school, NGO schools are associated with higher student attendance rates, and guardians of NGO school students, in particular mothers, are more likely to participate in school meetings. Motivation appears the most important factor explaining teacher presence among NGO school teachers. Teacher attendance rate and other factors relating to curriculum and school facility explain student attendance in NGO schools. Chapter Four investigates the effects of having the Grameen Bank in the village of residence on fertility decisions and women's empowerment. The results suggest that the Grameen Bank affects fertility decisions in the direction towards lower fertility. The changes include a reduction in women's ideal number of children and the number of births in the year prior to the survey, and an increase in husband's approval rate, and actual use, of family planning methods. Having the Grameen Bank in the village shows positive relationship with women's empowerment as measured by contribution to family support and mobility.