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Study Overview

Title:
Components and Variants of an Ultra-Poor Graduation Program in Uganda
Change History for Title
Changed On Previous Value
06/11/2015 "Cash or Cash-Plus" Components and Variants of an Ultra-Poor Microenterprise Program in Uganda
Study is 3ie funded:
No
Study ID:
RIDIE-STUDY-ID-52bb3799ccf6a
Initial Registration Date:
12/08/2013
Last Update Date:
09/25/2015
Study Status:
Ongoing
Location(s):
Uganda
Abstract:
In this randomized controlled trial, we seek to assess the impact of components and variants of a group-based graduation program for rural ultra-poor Ugandans. The graduation program is comprised of the following components: (i) skills training, (ii) cash grants to start three-member businesses, (iii) business mentorship, and (iv) savings groups. The impact of Village Enterprise's four-component program will be established using control clusters as well as within-cluster controls. In addition, we will evaluate components and possible variants of Village Enterprise's program by collecting impact data on alternative treatment arms involving: (i) the full program minus the formation of business savings groups; (ii) unconditional cash transfers; and (iii) unconditional cash transfers plus an intervention that attempts to achieve improved development outcomes through behavioral design. More limited impact data will be collected on further components and variants of Village Enterprise's program for operational research purposes.
Change History for Abstract
Changed On Previous Value
06/26/2015 In this randomized controlled trial, we seek to assess the impact of components and variants of a group-based graduation program for rural ultra-poor Ugandans. The graduation program is comprised of the following components: (i) skills training, (ii) cash grants to start three-member businesses, (iii) business mentorship, and (iv) savings group formation. The impact of Village Enterprise's four-component program will be established using control clusters as well as within-cluster controls. We will also evaluate components and possible variants of Village Enterprise's program by collecting impact data on alternative treatment arms involving: (i) the full program minus the formation of business savings groups; (ii) unconditional cash transfers; and (iii) unconditional cash transfers plus an intervention that attempts encourage appropriate investments through behavioral design. More limited impact data will be collected on further components and variants of Village Enterprise's program for operational research purposes.
06/11/2015 In this randomized controlled trial, we seek to assess the impact of components and variants of a group-based microenterprise program for rural ultra-poor Ugandans. The microenterprise program is comprised of the following components: (i) skills training, (ii) cash grants to start three-member businesses, (iii) business mentorship, and (iv) savings groups. The impact of Village Enterprise's four-component program is established using control clusters as well as within-cluster controls. In addition, we will evaluate components and possible variants of Village Enterprise's program by collecting impact data on alternative treatment arms involving: (i) the full program minus the formation of business savings groups; (ii) unconditional cash transfers; and (iii) unconditional cash transfers plus an intervention that attempts to achieve improved development outcomes through behavioral design. More limited impact data will be collected on further variants and components of Village Enterprise's program for operations research purposes.
Registration Citation:
Categories:
Private Sector Development
Social Protection
Other
Change History for Categories
Changed On Previous Value
06/26/2015 Agriculture and Rural Development, Private Sector Development, Social Protection, Other
Additional Keywords:
Ultra-poor, graduation, cash transfers, microenterprise, entrepreneurship, scarcity, behavioral design, aspirations, self-affirmation
Change History for Additional Keywords
Changed On Previous Value
06/11/2015 Ultra-poor, unconditional cash transfers, microenterprise, entrepreneurship, training, scarcity, behavioral design, savings groups, mentoring
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Sulaiman M, Proefke R, Sedlmayr R, Shah A
Change History for Name of First PI
Changed On Previous Value
09/25/2015 Sulaiman M, Proefke R, Zhao J, Shah A, Sedlmayr R
Affiliation:
BRAC Research and Evaluation Unit; University of Oxford; University of Chicago
Change History for Affiliation
Changed On Previous Value
09/25/2015 BRAC Research and Evaluation Unit; University of British Columbia; University of Chicago; University of Oxford
07/09/2015 BRAC Research and Evaluation Unit; University of British Columbia; University of Chicago
Name of Second PI:
Affiliation:

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Innovations for Poverty Action, Uganda
Change History for Name of Partner Institution
Changed On Previous Value
07/09/2015 Village Enterprise and Innovations for Poverty Action, Uganda
06/11/2015 Village Enterprise
Type of Organization:
NGO-international
Location:
Uganda
Intervention

Intervention Overview

Intervention:
The intended beneficiaries in this study are poor rural households identified through a two-step targeting process: (i) a participatory wealth ranking, and (ii) the administration of the Uganda Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) scorecard to the household with additional inclusion and exclusion criteria adapted to context. The following treatment variants will be evaluated: A. The VE microenterprise program, comprised of: (i) business and financial skills training; (ii) two installments of cash transfers equivalent to 150 USD in total per three-member business group; (iii) business mentorship; and (iv) the formation of business savings groups. B. The VE microenterprise program minus component (iv). C. Unconditional cash transfers, equivalent UGX to 130 USD per household, representing the cash equivalent of the VE microenterprise program costs per household, less 7.4% for targeting and delivery. D. Cash transfers equivalent to C, plus a behavioral intervention which will incorporate motivational, goal-setting; and plan-making activities; affirmation exercises; instruction in a mental accounting tool; and facilitation in developing reminders.
Change History for Intervention
Changed On Previous Value
07/09/2015 The intended beneficiaries in this study are poor rural households identified through a two-step targeting process: (i) a participatory wealth ranking, and (ii) the administration of the Uganda Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) scorecard to the household with additional inclusion and exclusion criteria adapted to context. The following treatment variants will be evaluated: A. The VE microenterprise program, comprised of: (i) business and financial skills training;(ii) two installments of cash transfers equivalent to 150 USD in total per three-member business group; (iii) business mentorship; and (iv) the formation of business savings groups. B. The VE microenterprise program minus component (iv). C. Unconditional cash transfers, equivalent UGX to 130 USD per household, representing the cash equivalent of the VE microenterprise program costs per household, less 7.4% for targeting and delivery. D. Cash transfers equivalent to C, plus a behavioral intervention which will incorporate motivational, goal-setting; and plan-making activities; affirmation exercises; instruction in a mental accounting tool; and facilitation in developing reminders.
06/11/2015 The intended beneficiaries in this study are poor rural households identified through a two-step targeting process: (i) a participatory wealth ranking, and (ii) the administration of the Uganda Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI) scorecard to the household. We are evaluating the following treatment variants: A. The VE microenterprise program, comprised of: (i) business and financial skills training, and the formation of business groups; (ii) two installments of cash transfers per business group - the first of which is the UGX equivalent to 100 USD and the second to 50 USD; (iii) business mentorship; and (iv) the formation of business savings groups. B. The VE microenterprise program minus component (iv). C. Unconditional cash transfers, equivalent UGX to 130 USD per household, representing the cash equivalent of the VE microenterprise program costs per household, less 7.4% for targeting and delivery. D. Cash transfers equivalent to C, plus a behavioral intervention which will likely incorporate motivation, goal-setting and plan-making activities, affirmation exercises, instruction in a mental accounting tool, and facilitation in developing reminders.
Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?
Yes

Implementing Agency

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

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Yes
Start Date:
12/09/2013
End Date:
09/12/2015
Change History for End Date
Changed On Previous Value
06/11/2015 08/29/2015
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
Because of the two-level randomization (both between and within villages), two control measures are available - both control clusters and within-cluster controls. We currently expect to compare treatment observations within-cluster controls and to use control clusters to estimate spill-over effects.
Change History for Details of Evaluation Approach
Changed On Previous Value
06/26/2015 Because of the two-level randomization (both between and within villages), two control measures are available - both control clusters and within-cluster controls. We currently expect to compare treatment observations within-cluster controls, and use control clusters to estimate spill-over effects. Further details may be available in a future pre-analysis plan.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
The primary outcome variables are: household per-capita consumption, employment, income, and assets, as well as respondent subjective wellbeing and savings and credit practices. The secondary outcome variables include: number of household income sources, household food security as measured by the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), household dietary diversity as measured by the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), use of health and educational services, school attendance, grade progression, the locus of intra-household decision-making, and respondent cognitive performance (second and third cohorts). Further, we will aim to explore the impact on social capital, household fertility, child mortality, and domestic violence.
Change History for Outcomes (Endpoints)
Changed On Previous Value
07/09/2015 The primary outcome variables are: household per-capita consumption, employment, income, and assets, as well as respondent subjective wellbeing and savings and credit practices. The secondary outcome variables include: number of household income sources, household food security as measured by the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), household dietary diversity as measured by the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), use of health and educational services, school attendance, grade progression, and the locus of intra-household decision-making. Further, we will attempt to evaluate the impact of the intervention on cognitive outcomes in the second and third of the three intervention cohorts.
07/09/2015 The primary outcome variables are: household per-capita consumption, employment, income, and assets, as well as respondent subjective wellbeing and savings and credit practices. The secondary outcome variables include: number of household income sources, household food security measured by the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), household dietary diversity measured by the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), use of health and educational services, school attendance, grade progression, and the gendered locus of intra-household decision-making. Further, we will attempt to evaluate the impact of the intervention on cognitive outcomes in the second and third of the three intervention cohorts.
06/11/2015 The primary outcome variables are: household employment and self-employment, household income, respondent savings and credit, household assets, household consumption expenditures, subjective wellbeing, and PPI score. The secondary outcome variables include: household food security measured by the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), household dietary diversity measured by the Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), healthcare access, child nutritional status measured by mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and weight-for-age, and child school enrollment, attendance, and grade progression. The study will also look at the impact on respondent time allocation and intra-household decision-making. Further, we will attempt to evaluate the impact of the intervention on cognitive outcomes in the second and third waves of the intervention (early and mid-2015). However, this analysis is more exploratory. As of December 2013, we have not yet developed a cognitive test that is adequate for the setting at hand.
Unit of Analysis:
Primary: households. Secondary: clusters.
Hypotheses:
Primary: 1. VE's program stimulates economic activity, leading to the creation of income-generating activities that create financial gains that are sustained over at least two years. 2. VE's businesses reduce household poverty, as measured by income, assets, and consumption. 3. VE's program increases subjective wellbeing. 4. Savings groups enhance borrowing and saving but do not increase household income and assets. 5. Cost-equivalent cash transfers alone have financial returns (i.e., an impact on income as well as assets and consumption), but this impact is lower than that of the VE program. 6. Cost-equivalent cash transfers create larger short-term, but smaller long-term, consumption benefits than the VE program. 8. Adding a behavioral design component improves the financial returns of cash transfers. 9. Poverty reduction improves cognitive performance. Secondary, for operations research purposes: 1. VE's BIAB program stimulates economic activity more than VE's standard graduation program, resulting in larger reductions in household poverty. 2. VE's SMART increases the profitability of income-generating activities.
Change History for Hypotheses
Changed On Previous Value
07/09/2015 Primary: 1. VE's program stimulates economic activity, leading to the creation of income-generating activities that generate financial returns that are sustained over at least two years. 2. VE's businesses reduce household poverty, as measured by income, assets, and consumption. 3. VE's program increases subjective wellbeing. 4. Savings groups enhance financial market participation but do not increase household income and assets. 5. Cost-equivalent cash transfers alone have financial returns (i.e., an impact on income as well as assets and consumption), but this impact is lower than that of the VE program. 6. Cost-equivalent cash transfers create larger short-term, but smaller long-term, consumption benefits than the VE program. 8. Adding a behavioral design component improves the financial returns of cash transfers. 9. Poverty reduction improves cognitive performance. Secondary, for operations research purposes: 1. VE's BIAB program stimulates economic activity more than VE's standard graduation program, resulting in larger reductions in household poverty. 2. VE's SMART increases the profitability of income-generating activities.
06/11/2015 Primary: 1. VE's program stimulates economic activity, leading to the creation of income-generating activities that generate financial returns that are sustained over at least two years. 2. VE's businesses reduce household poverty. 3. VE's program increases subjective wellbeing. 4. VE's program is more effective in delivering on key outcomes in the presence of a savings group. 5. Cash transfers reduce household poverty. 6. Cost-equivalent cash transfers generate lower financial returns than the VE program. 7. Cost-equivalent cash transfers create larger short-term and smaller long-term consumption benefits than the VE program. 8. Adding a behavioral design component improves the financial returns of cash transfers. Provided that an adequate cognitive test can be finalized: 9. Improving incomes improves cognitive performance. Secondary: 1. VE's BIAB program stimulates economic activity more than VE's standard microenterprise program, resulting in larger reductions in household poverty. 2. VE's SMART increases the profitability of income-generating activities.
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
This is a two-level randomization, whereby villages are assigned to treatment arms, and households to treatment groups. Households are the primary unit of analysis, but both will be analyzed.
Number of Clusters in Sample:
The study will involve 138 village clusters.
Number of Individuals in Sample:
The study will involve 6,678 households.
Change History for Number of Individuals in Sample
Changed On Previous Value
07/09/2015 The study will involve 6, 678 households.
06/11/2015 The study will involve 6,204 households.
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
1,080 (control clusters); A. 1,260 treatment (T) and 1,080 control (C); B. 840 T, 720 C; 504 C and 252 each cash only (C.) and cash plus behavior (D.); E.210 T, 180 C; F. 300 treatment
Change History for Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples
Changed On Previous Value
07/09/2015 1080 (control clusters); A. 1260 treatment (T) and 1080 control (C); B. 840 T, 720 C; 504 C and 252 each cash only (C.) and cash plus behavior (D.); E.210 T, 180 C; F. 300 treatment
06/11/2015 1080 (control clusters); A. 1080 each treatment/control (T/C); B. 720 each T/C; C. 432 control 216 cash, and D. 216 cash plus behavior; E.180 each T/C; F. 300 treatment

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
Other Documents:
Data

Outcomes Data

Description:
Data will be collected at three points via a household survey: (i) a baseline survey prior to intervention; (ii) a midline survey; and (iii) an endline survey after intervention. In addition, cognitive data (pre- and post-disbursement) will be available for selected participants of the second and third study cohorts.
Change History for Description
Changed On Previous Value
06/11/2015 Data will be collected at three points via a household survey: (i) a baseline survey prior to intervention; (ii) a midline survey during intervention; and (iii) an endline survey after intervention. Village Enterprise’s program is delivered in three cycles every year – with no alterations to content. Uptake for the study will be taken at each of these cycles. Therefore, there will be three rounds of data collection each for (i), (ii), and (iii).
Data Already Collected?
No
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Yes
Description:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

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Registration Category

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

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:

Findings

Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
Data URL or Contact:
Access procedure:

Other Materials

Survey:
Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Program Files:
Program Files Links or Contact:
External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped

Date:
Reason: