Identifying Scalable and Cost-effective Approaches to Improving Parenting Practices for Young Children in Developing Settings

Last registered on September 27, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Identifying Scalable and Cost-effective Approaches to Improving Parenting Practices for Young Children in Developing Settings
Initial registration date
September 27, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
September 27, 2022, 12:05 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
PI Affiliation
University of Missouri Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Over the past three decades, a series of studies have shown that providing mothers in developing countries with guidance on how to offer psychosocial stimulation can improve the cognitive and social-emotional outcomes of their young children over the short- and medium-term, and in some cases, their probability of employment and wages during adulthood. However, the ways in which mother training for early stimulation has been provided, - for example, through home visits, existing social programs, and mother groups—are costly and challenging to scale.

This study examines a cost-effective and easily scalable approach: brief audio recordings delivered to mothers by phone targetting beneficiaries of India’s public childcare system, the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS). We conduct a randomized evaluation of a program developed by an Indian non-profit (Dost Education) that provides mothers with regular audio recordings with guidance on how to offer psychosocial stimulation to children from 6 to 30 months.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Arteaga, Irma, Andreas de Barros and Alejandro Ganimian. 2022. "Identifying Scalable and Cost-effective Approaches to Improving Parenting Practices for Young Children in Developing Settings." AEA RCT Registry. September 27.
Sponsors & Partners


There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information
Experimental Details


In the intervention, Dost will send brief audio messages to mothers of 6-to-30-month-olds with guidance on how to provide them with psychosocial stimulation. Specifically, each mother will receive 80 audio messages, each of which lasts about 1 minute, 4 times a week for a total of 20 weeks. The messages will focus on three domains within responsive caregiving: language, cognitive, motor, and social-emotional skills. Each message has the following structure: Introduce the topic and empathize, tips and activities for real life, review key strategies, and feedback via touch tone response.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Child development
2. Expressive language
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1. Child development: Caregiver Reported Early Development Index (CREDI)
2. Expressive language: An adapted version of the Communicative Development Inventory (CDI)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1. Home environment: Family Care Indicators (FCI) - Play Subscale
2. Maternal anxiety: General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) Questions
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We plan to work in one district of Uttarakhand. We will start with the universe of centers in the sampled district and exclude centers with worker vacancies (to make sure that the worker can recruit mothers into the program) and those sharing buildings with other centers (to minimize the chances that our intervention may affect out-of-sample centers). We will sample 80-110 centers to build a study sample of 2250 mothers who have at least one child ages 6 to 30 months and a cell phone. Individually, we will randomly assign roughly half of the mothers to the treatment group to receive the program, a total of 1,125 mothers, and the remaining 1,125 mothers in the control group that receives the program at a later date.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual-level randomization within each health center
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
80-110 health centers
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,250 mothers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approx. 1,125 mothers will receive the Dost intervention immediately, and 1,125 mothers will receive the intervention after 6 months.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
NYU Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number