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Character Development among Ultra-Poor Filipinos

Last registered on February 16, 2016


Trial Information

General Information

Character Development among Ultra-Poor Filipinos
Initial registration date
February 16, 2016

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
February 16, 2016, 2:14 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
London School of Economics and Political Science
PI Affiliation
Yale University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The primary academic purpose of the study is to test whether a religious curriculum implemented by a trained pastor network affects secular measures of development. A secondary purpose of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the health and livelihood aspects of the Transform program implemented by International Care Ministries (ICM) in the Philippines.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bryan, Gharad, James Choi and Dean Karlan. 2016. "Character Development among Ultra-Poor Filipinos." AEA RCT Registry. February 16.
Former Citation
Bryan, Gharad, James Choi and Dean Karlan. 2016. "Character Development among Ultra-Poor Filipinos." AEA RCT Registry. February 16.
Experimental Details


Transform is a four-month program that targets Filipinos living in abject poverty. Participants gather weekly to receive instruction on health practices, livelihood skills, and character development through biblical teaching. They also receive nutritional supplements and are encouraged to participate in a livelihood program, which includes vermiculture (composting with worms), organic gardening or detergent making. This allows them to practice the livelihood skills and entrepreneurial traits they have learned, in addition to providing an immediate supplement to their income. At the conclusion of the program participants graduate and receive a certificate attesting to their diligence.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We classify the outcome variables we will consider into:
1) Primary outcomes of interest: religion, consumption, income generating activities, life satisfaction/current hedonic state/mental health, economic Status.
2) Primary mechanisms: social capital, locus of control, optimism, grit and self-control
3) Secondary outcomes of interest: assets, health, hygiene, house quality, migration, psychological abuse and domestic violence

Within the primary outcomes of interest, the religious outcomes will be considered “first stage” outcomes, which we will test to confirm that the religious values curriculum is having the intended impact on religiosity. The economic and mental health outcomes will be considered “second stage” outcomes that we hypothesize are affected by religiosity.

For a more detailed explanation of the outcomes please refer to the Pre-Analysis Plan.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
A randomized controlled trial to test, separately and in combination, the effects of religion and character development on health outcomes, economic self-sufficiency, and overall well-being. The intervention will disentangle the effects of religion, values training, and the delivery mechanism by randomizing (a) whether the program is coordinated through pastors in a church or an ICM staff member in a secular setting (village hall), (b) whether or not participants receive values training, and (c) whether the pastor has any involvement in treatment arms without explicit values training.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
For the full intervention - stratified by community (base)
For the mobile money component - stratified by treatment
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
320 communities
Sample size: planned number of observations
8000 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Control = 2000 households
Values = 2000 households
Health + Livelihoods = 2000 households
Values + Health + Livelihoods = 2000 households
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Yale University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Pre Analysis Plan


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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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