Improving Equity in Education through Youth Mentoring: An Evaluation of a Randomized Educational Intervention in Colombia

Project Description

Aims and Central Research Question

We evaluate the effects of a mentoring program for disadvantaged youths in Bogotá. We specifically look into school performance, tertiary education choices, labor market entry decisions and teenage pregnancies, in the mid and long term. We are also interested in how values such as time preferences, attitudes toward inequality and poverty, and trust between different social groups are transmitted between mentors and mentees.


Many youths in Bogotá face massive obstacles to social mobility and educational equity. Among other problems, children often lack role models that could inspire and help them escape poverty. We have developed and piloted the mentoring program “Más allá de 11” (beyond 11th grade), in which a university student acts as mentor to a disadvantaged youth during the year before the achievement test at the end of grade 11, the “Saber 11”.
School-based mentoring programs in the US and Europe have shown promising effects, but have not been evaluated for developing countries. We aim to fill this gap and find whether the effects will carry over to this very different setting.


We are planning to run the program for at least three years and aim at 500 mentor-mentee couples and an equally size dcontrol group. We measure several student baseline characteristics likely to be good outcome predictors, and later include them as covariates to estimate the treatment effects. An outcome of key interest is student achievement in the Saber 11 test. To study mid- and long-term effects of the intervention, we will match existing administrative data with our own findings.  Lab-in-the-field and survey experiments will allows us to see how attitudes, norms and preferences are transmitted between mentors and mentees.



Starting Date


Project Partners - Internal

surveyLab at the University of Konstanz

The surveyLAB specializes on planning and implementing web-based and telephone-based survey studies. It was founded in 2011 as an infrastructure platform and can be used by social scientists from the university and outside. The surveyLAB particularly focuses on survey experiments (such as factorial surveys). Find more information about the surveyLab here.

Prof. Dr. Stephan Schumann (Cluster PI)

Prof. Dr. Stephan Schumann is a Professor at the Department of Economics at the University of Konstanz. Other Cluster projects he's working on are 'Students' Perceptions of Inequality and Fairness and their Impact on Educational and Political Participation' and 'Integration at Work'. Find more information about Stephan Schumann here.

Project Partners