The Impact of Access to Cities on Development: Experimental Evidence from the D.R. Congo

Last registered on January 23, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

The Impact of Access to Cities on Development: Experimental Evidence from the D.R. Congo
Initial registration date
January 23, 2023

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
January 23, 2023, 7:34 AM EST

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


Primary Investigator

Harvard University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Tufts University
PI Affiliation
University of British Columbia
PI Affiliation
University of California Berkeley

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Throughout the world, cities are drivers of economic growth. They are hubs of innovation, entrepreneurship, and social change. Yet, the mechanisms through which the economic benefits of cities occur remain poorly understood because many social and economic forces change in tandem with urbanization. This project seeks to provide causal evidence about the impacts of access to cities in rural Africa on individuals' behaviors, beliefs, and economic wellbeing. We study the randomized rollout of a program promoting urban access in rural villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Implemented by a local NGO called Congo Helping Hands (CHH), this “City Access Program” (CAP) provides regular weekly transportation by motorbike taxi to the city of Kananga to individuals living in rural villages surrounding the city. Our project studies the effects of CHH's programs on economic behaviors and outcomes as well as on individuals' beliefs and values.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Ngoma, Marina et al. 2023. "The Impact of Access to Cities on Development: Experimental Evidence from the D.R. Congo." AEA RCT Registry. January 23.
Experimental Details


See PAP.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
See PAP.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
See PAP.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization is done by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization is the village.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
300 clusters (villages)
Sample size: planned number of observations
1800 main respondents, 6 main respondents per cluster (see PAP)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
100 villages (clusters) per treatment arm with 6 main respondents in each (see PAP)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
London School of Economics Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Ref. 1038
IRB Name
University of British Columbia Behavioural Research Ethics Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Ngoma Nunn Sievert Weigel_urbanization and development in DRC_PAP

MD5: bdaced9df9295131ff594786d80431e1

SHA1: 612c78f736fc109fe892eba3f5ad3f7a91ed4137

Uploaded At: January 20, 2023