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Study Overview

Complementarities in microcredit and financial services interventions for financial inclusion and empowerment: evidence from randomized evaluation in South West Nigeria
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:
The intervention being evaluated is the Amoye Digital Microcredit Initiative for Women Empowerment, in collaboration with a microfinance provider; Amoye Microfinance Bank, Ikere Ekiti Nigeria. The intervention offers microcredit alone and microcredit combined with digital banking services to clients. The key objective of study is to assess the effectiveness of the interventions, paying particularly attention to whether microcredit combined with digital banking services offers incremental impacts over what the demand side alone (microcredit) would have offered. The main identification strategy is a randomized control trial, involving random allocation of eligible beneficiaries into two treatments: microcredit only, microcredit + digital financial services, and a control group. The experimental design to examine spillover effects follows a clustered Randomized Saturation design. At least 75 clusters per block are required to generate sufficient power (min 0.80) and effect size (0.20) to examine the main research questions, leading to a total of 375 clusters. Findings will provide evidence informing Nigeria’s national financial inclusion and gender empowerment policy.
Private Sector Development
Additional Keywords:
Microcredit, Digital banking services, Microfinance, Micro-entrepreneurs, Women empowerment, Household vulnerability.
Secondary ID Number(s):
DPW1/1023 - 3ie Impact.

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Damilola Olajide
Initiative for Evidence Based Development and Empowerment
Name of Second PI:
Maria Laura Alzua

Study Sponsor

Study Sponsor Location:
United States
Funding Proposal:

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Amoye Microfinance Bank, Ikere Ekiti Nigeria
Type of Organization:
Private firm

Intervention Overview

The intervention being evaluated is the Amoye Digital Microcredit Initiative for Women Empowerment, in collaboration with a microfinance provider; Amoye Microfinance Bank, Ikere Ekiti Nigeria (AMfB) The intervention offers small microloan alone and microloan combined with access to digital banking services to clients. The key objective of the complementary interventions is to enhance economic empowerment amongst women microentrepreneurs through increased financial inclusion, in line with Nigeria’s national policy of significantly reducing the population of women excluded from the financial system by 2020. The beneficiaries are women microentrepreneurs in Ikere community, Ekiti State Nigeria. The implementing bank is using the evaluation as part of a learning process and strategy to reaching the largely unbanked/underbanked women microentrepreneurs in Ikere community.
Theory of Change:
The Theory of Change (ToC) shows the causal pathways through which the intervention is expected to lead to the desired outcomes. In the ToC, beneficiaries can use their microcredit in ways that reduce vulnerability to shocks, in addition to investment in income-generating activities. In this context, poverty reduction results from either; increase in household income that empowers beneficiaries, reduced vulnerability (i.e. ability to mitigate socioeconomic risks when they occur), or both. However, the assumptions on which the causal pathways are based differ between the microcredit only and microcredit + digital banking services interventions. For microcredit only, the key assumption is that program design or institutional factors do not constrain activities, hence realization of outputs and outcomes. For microcredit + digital banking services, the assumptions include: (i) all the required institutional infrastructure are in place and functioning (e.g. digital channels); and (ii) beneficiaries have access to these digital channel facilities and capacity to use digital to use them at affordable costs. Moreover, the causal pathways have both intended and unintended aspects. The intended aspects are realized if the underlying assumptions are in place, whilst a breakdown of the relevant assumptions will manifest in the unintended aspects. The ToC allows for heterogeneity impacts.
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
Amoye Microfinance Bank Ikere Ekiti
Type of Organization:
Private for profit organization

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Start Date:
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (specify)
Other (not Listed) Method:
Randomized saturation design- a two-level clustered-type randomization design where within-cluster assignment to treatment follows some degree of intensity.

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
The central evaluation method is a clustered randomized design with blocking in which groups of women microentrepreneurs (clusters) are randomized into two treatment groups and a control group within each block. In order to capture within-community spillovers however, we adopt a randomized saturation (RS) design. RS design is a two-level clustered-type randomization in which within-cluster random assignment to treatment follows some degree of intensity ranging from 0% within-cluster random assignment to 100% full treatment. Our evaluation approach takes into account the interests of the implementing agency, our application of the RS design involves a three stage ransom assignments, namely: (i) random selection of women groups in each block to form the evaluation sample; (ii) random allocation of the women groups (clusters) into control and treatment clusters; and (iii) In each block, the treatment group will undergo further random assignment into equal-sized Treatment cluster 1 (microcredit only) and Treatment cluster 2 (microcredit + digital banking services). Our power calculation suggests that the optimal treatment intensity within each cluster is 50%.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
The primary outcomes are beneficiary level outcomes for economic empowerment, and household level outcomes for reduction in household vulnerability, whilst the secondary outcomes are institutional outcomes. The main indicators for economic empowerment include Financial inclusion; Decision making in household; Expenditure on household members; Contribution to household expenses (e.g. education, health), Peer networking / community participation; and Consumption expenditure (durable assets). Indicators for household vulnerability includes Household income; Savings; Child work; Food shortage in household; Health services demand; and Migration from household; and Copying with shocks. Indicators for institutional level outcomes include; Usage of digital banking services; Intensity of usage; Nature of usage; and Type of income generating activities.
The primary outcomes - economic empowerment, financial inclusion and reduction in household vulnerability are measures as composite variables to be constructed from other variables. Each of the primary outcomes will be constructed using scoring from the response to specific questions on the relevant variables in the survey. Financial inclusion will be constructed using scoring from variables such as ownership of bank accounts, saving, borrowing, payments, use of digital banking and financial services, insurance. The higher the points scored the more financially included. Economic empowerment will be constructed from variables such as contribution to household income, decision making in household, ownership of productive asset, contribution to household income/expenditure, and networking, community activities & self-confidence. The higher the score, the more empowered. Financial inclusion can also be included as an empowerment measure. Household vulnerability will be constructed from variables such as exposure to shocks and type, child work, health service demand, household asset, and food shortage in household. Lower scores indicated less household vulnerability.
Unit of Analysis:
Women beneficiary is the main unit of analysis
Change History for Unit of Analysis
Changed On Previous Value
02/04/2018 Women beneficiary is he main unit of analysis
In line with the research questions, the hypotheses to test include: (i) Microcredit combined with digital banking services does not offer incremental impacts over what the demand side alone (microcredit alone) would offer. That is, the impact of microcredit on economic empowerment and household vulnerability are statistically not different between having access to microcredit alone or having access to both microcredit and digital banking services. (ii) The impacts (if any) do not differ between economic empowerment and household vulnerability amongst the beneficiaries. (iii) There is no evidence of heterogeneous effects (e.g. type of business) on the size of the outcomes. (iv) The complementary interventions do not generate spillovers, hence no effect on their overall impacts.
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Women groups (clusters) is the unit of assignment for receipt of the intervention.
Number of Clusters in Sample:
The number of groups or clusters in the analysis is 375
Number of Individuals in Sample:
The number of individual observations is 3750.
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Treatment 1 (microcredit only) =100 women groups, Treatment 2 (microcredit+Digital banking services)=100 women groups, and 175 women groups in the control group.

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
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Outcomes Data

The data that will be used to measure outcomes will be collected through survey of eligible beneficiaries and their household members. Administrative data will also be sourced from the implementing bank for the purpose of monitoring and analyzing beneficiary transactions on the digital channel . Qualitative data will be obtained through the focused group discussions and interactive interviews.
Data Already Collected?
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Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
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Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
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Data Analysis

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Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:
Questionnaire: Draft Questionnaire.pdf

Registration Category

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

Completion Overview

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Unit of Analysis:
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Preliminary Report:
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Summary of Findings:
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Data Availability

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Other Materials

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Description of Changes:

Study Stopped