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Study Overview

Impact Evaluation of Blumont’s Closing Gaps: A Study in Colombia Understanding the Impact of Rental Support on Household Food Security, Well-Being and Financial Sustainability
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This evaluation by Blumont in Colombia, focuses on the provision of rental support to extremely vulnerable internally-displaced households residing in three cities: Cali, Montería, and Florencia. The impact evaluation aims to measure the effect of 6 months of rental support on households’ food security, wellbeing, and financial sustainability. It is expected that this support will allow households to focus on finding work to support their families, using the money they save on rent to purchase more and healthier foods in addition to routine expenses.

Registration Citation:
Health, Nutrition, and Population
Social Protection
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Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Miguel Uribe
Casual Design
Name of Second PI:

Study Sponsor

The Humanitarian Assistance Evidence Cycle (HAEC)
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Casual Design
Type of Organization:
Private firm
United States

Intervention Overview


The Closing Gaps activity is providing six months of rental support to 94 extremely vulnerable households, comprised of approximately 353 individuals, in three cities - Cali, Montería, and Florencia. The primary goal is to improve the economic stability and well-being of these households. The program aims at enhancing access to safe housing, reduce the financial burden of rent, alleviate food insecurity, and empower households to make informed decisions about their living conditions. Eligible households must be registered with Colombia’s Victim Registry, and be designated as “most vulnerable” using a set of criteria defined by Blumont. All beneficiaries are female-headed households with children, elderly, persons with disabilities, ethnic groups, or victims of gender-based violence.



Theory of Change:

The Blumont Closing Gaps intervention is underpinned by a Theory of Change that delineates how the rental support program aims to enhance the economic capacity, food security, and overall well-being of vulnerable households. Central to this theory are several key mechanisms that the impact evaluation will scrutinize to understand the program's impact. Firstly, the program seeks to improve housing conditions by providing stable, safer accommodations, fostering better health outcomes and reducing stress. Secondly, rental support aims to alleviate financial burdens, leading to increased disposable income for families to allocate towards essentials like food, utilities, and education. This financial relief is expected to enhance food security, promoting healthier diets and improved physical well-being. Moreover, the program aims to encourage income diversification by enabling investments in education, entrepreneurship, or savings, ultimately making households more resilient to economic shocks. Finally, participation in the program is envisioned to empower households, fostering a sense of control over financial decisions, future planning, and aspirations.

Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

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Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

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Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Regression with controls
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Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

The impact evaluation will employ a multi-stage approach, starting with propensity score matching (PSM) to construct a comparison group similar to the treatment group. Four checks will be conducted to verify the robustness of the matching exercise in creating a valid comparison group for the impact evaluation: common support, balance of predictors, parallel trends in pre-treatment period, and eligibility testing. This matching will be based on baseline data collected by Blumont. Follow-up and endline data will be collected using household surveys.

Regression analysis will then be performed on the matched sample to identify the causal impact of receiving rental assistance on various outcomes. This analysis will include two primary models: a treatment-only model and a model including covariates. The models will estimate the average treatment effect (ATE) of receiving rental assistance on outcomes such as food consumption, coping strategies, household hunger, subjective well-being, agency, disposable income use, ability to pay rent, and monthly household income.

Qualitative data from interviews will also be analyzed using ATLAS.ti software for deeper insights. Additionally, a cost analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis will complement the evaluation, providing insights into the efficiency of the rental subsidy program.

This comprehensive approach aims to provide a rigorous assessment of the impact of the intervention on beneficiary households' economic capacity and well-being.

Outcomes (Endpoints):

The impact evaluation will measure the impact of receiving rental assistance on eight outcomes across three categories corresponding to the evaluation questions: food security, wellbeing, and sustainability:

  1. Food security
    • Percent of households with poor, borderline, and acceptable Food Consumption Scores
    • Mean and median Reduced Coping Strategy Index (RCSI)
    • Percent of households with moderate and severe Household Hunger Scale (HHS) scores
  2. Well-being
    • Subjective wellbeing: A self-reported measure of beneficiaries’ perceived level of wellbeing after displacement, during rental support, and after the end of rental support.
    • Agency: A self-reported measure of beneficiaries’ capacity for their family to make decisions and act to move forward in their life after displacement, during rental support, and after the end of rental support.
    • Use of disposable income: How beneficiary families spend their income during rental support for different categories.
  3. Sustainability
    • Ability to pay rent: Self-reported measure of beneficiary households’ ability to continue paying rent on their own after the end of rental support.
    • Monthly household income: Changes in households’ monthly income before and after rental support.
Unit of Analysis:

This study seeks to answer how rental support impacts vulnerable households’ self-reliance across a number of domains. Specifically:

  1. What is the change from comprehensive rental support interventions in recently displaced households’ food security?
  2. What is the change from comprehensive rental support interventions in recently displaced households’ wellbeing, including their a) subjective wellbeing and b) agency?
  3. What is the change from comprehensive rental support interventions in recently displaced households’ financial sustainability, including their a) income, (b) use of income and c) ability to pay rent?
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
239 households
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
94 households in the treatment group and 145 households in the control group

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
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Outcomes Data

The sampling frame consists of all IDPs who registered at the Colombia’s Victims Registry Unit in one of the three cities between October 2022 and March 2023 and who satisfy the following characteristics: are female-headed households, meet the activity’s selection criteria, are planning on staying in the city, and are willing to receive the rental support. The data set includes information collected from baseline, follow-up, and endline surveys administered to eligible households.
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Treatment Assignment Data

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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

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Registration Category

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Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected

Completion Overview

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Preliminary Report:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Study Stopped