Promoting Venezuelan migrants' registration to Sisbén

Last registered on January 11, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Promoting Venezuelan migrants' registration to Sisbén
Initial registration date
October 10, 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
October 17, 2022, 4:09 PM EDT

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

Last updated
January 11, 2024, 4:23 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Universidad de los Andes

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Universidad del Rosario
PI Affiliation
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
PI Affiliation
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
PI Affiliation
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
PI Affiliation
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
PI Affiliation
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This intervention aims to estimate the effectiveness of information to promote migrant registration in the social registry Sisbén and to explore the role of social capital for this purpose. The Colombian government uses Sisbén to classify the population according to their economic and social situation and target social programs. Qualitative evidence has shown multiple barriers to migrants’ registration in this database, which may preclude their visibility and potential eligibility for social assistance. In the first phase of the study, we randomly assign a sample of Venezuelan migrants into a control group and two treatment groups: i) a group that receives information on the process of Sisbén registration via SMS; and ii) a group that receives the same information on Sisbén registration via WhatsApp. In the second phase of the study, which is not an experiment, another group of Venezuelan migrants receives messages via WhatsApp inviting them to refer their Sisbén information with their friends thus to study information diffusion and social capital. We expect the results to shed light on how to eliminate the documented barriers and misinformation that leads to not registering for Sisbén using cost-effective communication methods, and help trace out the importance of social networks among displaced Venezuelans living in Colombia.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Ham, Andres et al. 2024. "Promoting Venezuelan migrants' registration to Sisbén." AEA RCT Registry. January 11.
Experimental Details


The study has two main phases. In the first, we seek to evaluate the effect of different information nudges on Sisbén registration. In the second phase, we aim to identify the dynamics of participants’ social capital and if it correlates with Sisbén take-up or not.

The first stage consists of an RCT. We will send the participants a baseline survey that includes screening questions. We will assign eligible participants, who from now on we will call “Generation 0”, into three groups, one control and two treatments (see Figure 1). Participants assigned to the control group will not receive any information, besides the baseline and endline survey. Participants in Treatment 1 group will receive informational nudges via SMS. Participants in Treatment group 2 will receive information through WhatsApp. The content of the messages is the same for the two treatment groups.

The second phase of the study will complement the first phase’s intervention by mapping out migrant networks and information diffusion among those networks. In this second phase, we will send eligible participants -participants that already requested Sibén- three to four messages inviting them to ask other Venezuelans to contact us and be part of the study. From now on, we will refer to this first group of participants as “Generation 1.” Each participant from Generation 1 will receive a unique code that referrals must send us through WhatsApp to register in the study.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcome variable is a binary indicator that is equal to 1 if the individual has registered in Sisbén and zero otherwise.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The purpose of the intervention is to encourage unregistered Venezuelan migrants to register in Sisbén through information provision. Given the eligibility criteria of the intervention, none of the selected participants should be registered at the beginning of the trial. The main outcome is therefore whether the intervention motivates migrants' registration into the Sisbén database.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We also have secondary outcomes that are "quiz" questions to measure disinformation with respect to Sisbén. These are binary indicators on several myths that are 1 if the individual responds correctly and zero otherwise.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
In qualitative work, several myths about Sisbén were commonly found, specifically regarding its nature (conceptions of it not being an information system, but a social program or other aid) and the required documents to request registration. We will ask participants their perceptions through quiz questions to understand whether the provided information helps eliminate these myths.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
For the first phase of the study, given the sample and the goals of the intervention, we randomly assign treatment at the individual-level, allocating persons into one of three groups: i) control group, which does not receive information on Sisbén registration; ii) a group that receives information on the Sisbén registration process via SMS; iii) a group that receives the same information on Sisbén registration via WhatsApp.

Given eligibility criteria and consent, 860 individuals will be part of the RCT. We assign one third into each of the three groups, with sample sizes of 303 (Control), 280 (Treatment 1), and 277 (Treatment 2).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by computer (Code available upon request)
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
860 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
860 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We assigned one third of the planned number of observations into each of the three groups, with final sample sizes of:
303 (Control)
280 (Treatment 1)
277 (Treatment 2)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We conduct power calculations by simulation since we have no pre-intervention data on Sisben registration for these eligible individuals (it is zero for all). We then split these into the three groups and simulate a binary outcome with a normal distribution with mean 0.10 and standard deviation 0.4, calculating power for different effect sizes (from 1 to 20 percentage points). The minimum detectable effect with our sample size is 0.048, so we can detect a change of 4.8 percentage points or higher in Sisbén registration. For the secondary outcomes relating to quiz questions asked in a survey, we may detect a change of 10 percentage points on binary variables that identify correct answers.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action Institutional Review Board (IRB)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: d1e45bbd3defb9ec890cc4a51eb6a2bf

SHA1: d74f4a9cc3466a04fa7214640ab86f77ee20aac4

Uploaded At: October 10, 2022


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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
October 31, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
December 02, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
860 individuals
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
860 individuals
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
303 (Control), 280 (Treatment 1), and 277 (Treatment 2)
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials