Lessons and Impacts of Ahlan Simsim TV Program in Pre-Primary Classrooms in Jordan on Children’s Emotional Development: A Randomized Controlled Trial
This study, led by Global TIES for Children at New York University, is one of the first causal impact evaluations of a mass media program that is: 1) designed for countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) affected by the Syrian conflict and refugee crisis and 2) focused on preschool-age children’s emotional development. Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) collaborated with NYU on this study. It evaluates the effects of Ahlan Simsim, a television show co-produced by Sesame Workshop and Jordan Pioneers that has been viewed by more than 23 million children across the MENA region, including 57% of displaced Syrians across Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. Each season of Ahlan Simsim focuses on social-emotional development, including teaching specific emotion words and strategies for managing strong emotions. For the study, a selection of 26 episodes from the first four seasons of Ahlan Simsim were shown in Ministry of Education pre-primary classrooms every day for 12 weeks in Jordan. These classrooms consisted largely (97%) of Jordanian host community families. Though the benefits of educational media interventions on children’s learning are well-established, there is relatively little research in the MENA region rigorously testing its effectiveness targeting emotional development.