Community Monitoring Improves Public Service Provision at Scale: Experimental Evidence from a Child Development Program in Nicaragua
Expanding small-scale interventions without lowering quality and attenuating impact is a critical policy challenge. Community monitoring overs a low-cost quality assurance mechanism by making service providers account-able to local citizens, rather than distant administrators. This paper provides experimental evidence from a home visit parenting program implemented at scale by the Nicaraguan government, with two types of monitoring: (a) institutional monitoring; and (b) community monitoring. We find d a positive intent-to-treat effect on child development, but only among groups randomly assigned to community monitoring. Our findings show promise for the use of community monitoring to ensure quality in large-scale government-run social programs.