We apply a clustered RCT, where 60 primary schools are randomly assigned to a treatment group (receiving school kits) or a control group (receiving nothing), stratified at the regional level (Ashanti or Eastern). Half are selected from four districts in the Eastern region (Abwakwa South, Ayensuano, Suhum, West Akim) and the other half from two districts in the Ashanti region (Asante Akim Central and Asante Akim South). The primary schools are randomly selected from cocoa-growing communities in which, to our knowledge, no programmes are actively present to combat child labour and improve education. To limit spillovers and for ethical reasons, we restrict our sample to communities where only one primary school is present and treat all children in the selected class(es) irrespective of whether their families report receiving their main income from cacao farming. We will target children at the end of grades 4-5 (approximately aged 12 years old) at baseline who are, according to the literature, most at risk of transitioning into child labour and forgoing formal education to overcome financial challenges.
The research is conducted in three research phases. In Phase 1, we collect baseline data on children, their caregivers, and headteachers in November-December 2022, when children are more at risk of being involved in child labour. In Phase 2, we take the body and footwear measurements of children in the treatment group in January 2023 and distribute the school kits in February 2023, during the start of the new school year. In Phase 3, endline data is collected one year after the baseline in November-December 2023.