Evaluating The Hunger Project Epicenter Scale-up Strategy

Last registered on January 08, 2014


Trial Information

General Information

Evaluating The Hunger Project Epicenter Scale-up Strategy
First published
January 08, 2014, 1:46 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Northwestern University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Ghana - Legon
PI Affiliation
Yale University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The evaluation of The Hunger Project’s epicenter scale-up strategy looks at the multifaceted links between health, education, food security, and micro-finance through the construction of community centers, known as “epicenters” within Ghana’s eastern region. The evaluation began in 2007 when we worked with The Hunger Project and Ghana’s district assemblies to randomly select clusters of villages from each district to participate in the intervention. Two villages per cluster were randomly selected as part of the survey sample and a public lottery was held to invite 20 households from each village to participate in the survey. Approximately 3800 households were surveyed across 194 villages for the baseline. A qualitative evaluation was conducted in 2009 and the endline survey was concluded in 2013. Given the duration of the evaluation a detailed tracking exercise was also conducted on a sample of attrition households following the endline.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Appiah, Ernest, Dean Karlan and Christopher Udry. 2014. "Evaluating The Hunger Project Epicenter Scale-up Strategy." AEA RCT Registry. January 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.103-1.0
Former Citation
Appiah, Ernest, Dean Karlan and Christopher Udry. 2014. "Evaluating The Hunger Project Epicenter Scale-up Strategy." AEA RCT Registry. January 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/103/history/859
Experimental Details


The Hunger Project’s epicenter strategy mobilizes selected clusters of villages to build a community center that offers a range of facilities including clinics, kindergartens, libraries, micro-finance banks, farms and food storage units. The Epicenter strategy consists of four phases: community mobilization, epicenter construction, progress on all fronts and finally, self-reliance. During mobilization, treatment communities are invited to participate in workshops, known as 'Vision Commitment Action' (VSA), where they are encouraged to take initiative in solving their communities’ needs through awareness and the construction of the epicenter. THP trains volunteer community members to be “animators”, persons responsible for mobilization and assessing the needs of their communities. Apart from the epicenter facilities, THP also works with animators in identifying community needs in areas aligned with the millennium development goals.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
agriculture, health, food security, community participation, consumption, income, financial behavior (savings, borrowing), education
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
For the THP evaluation sample, 13 districts within the eastern region in Ghana were selected. These were all districts where the partner organization had not previously worked. Each districts was further divided into 6-8 clusters of villages. Clusters were then randomly selected into treatment through a public lottery for each district. The treatment clusters received an invitation to participate in the intervention

Survey Sample: Two villages from each cluster were randomly selected as part of the survey sample using a computer. A public lottery was held within these selected villages to invite approximately 20 households to be surveyed.

Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Public Lotteries were conducted to randomly select treatment and control clusters within districts for the intervention. They were also conducted to randomly select households within villages for the baseline survey.There was a separate lottery for each district and village.

Computer based randomization was done to select villages for survey sample
Randomization Unit
village clusters (for intervention), villages then households (for survey sample)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
97 village clusters
194 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
approx. 3800 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Intervention sample:
51 treatment village clusters, 46 control village clusters

Survey sample:
102 treatment villages, 92 control villages
1960 treatment households, 1826 control households
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Yale University Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials