Can't Wait to Learn: A quasi-experimental mixed-methods evaluation of a digital game-based learning programme for out-of-school children in Sudan.

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    • Abstract:
      Innovations are needed to address the global issue of access to high-quality education, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This paper shows quasi-experimental evidence that a digital game-based learning programme ('Can't Wait to Learn') led to significantly greater improvements in mathematics competency, Arabic literacy competency, and psychological wellbeing of children aged 7–9 in Sudan, compared to state-provided education for out-of-school children, 6 months after the start of the programme implementation (n = 221). These findings were corroborated and extended by qualitative data from 33 focus group discussions and key informant interviews with children, learning directors, caregivers, community leaders, and supervisory staff. We found no difference between groups on child-reported hope, and we found evidence for a significant negative intervention effect on child-reported self-esteem, though the psychometric properties of these instruments were not adequate. We report several considerations related to the experience of local facilitators, programme implementation challenges, and the importance of community acceptance and engagement for fidelity of implementation. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]