Self-Sustenance Skills Interventions in a Rohingya Refugee Camp

Last registered on May 08, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Self-Sustenance Skills Interventions in a Rohingya Refugee Camp
Initial registration date
May 01, 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
May 03, 2023, 4:32 PM EDT

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

Last updated
May 08, 2023, 1:27 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

American University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Rotterdam School of Management
PI Affiliation
University of Cologne
PI Affiliation
Rotterdam School of Management
PI Affiliation
University of Warwick

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This project compares two entrepreneurial mindset training interventions (personal initiative training and effectuation training) in their capacity to support the self-sustenance of Rohingya refugees in the Kutupalong refugee camp. It is the first project that directly compares these two promising approaches to foster an entrepreneurial mindset. In a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) including 150 individuals in three experimental groups (two training groups and a non-treatment control group), we examine the effect of both training programs on refugees’ life prospects, with a particular focus on their ability to be self-supporting. In case of success of this pilot, we aim to conduct a large scale-up RCT with 2,000 individuals. Our project aims to help governments around the world in their endeavors to support refugees and to enable successful repatriation. It also Informs the training literature and training practice by shedding light on promising ways to foster an entrepreneurial mindset in vulnerable populations.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Davis, C. Austin et al. 2023. "Self-Sustenance Skills Interventions in a Rohingya Refugee Camp." AEA RCT Registry. May 08.
Experimental Details


Treatment 1 - Personal initiative training
PI training is designed to help people adopt a personal initiative mindset, which is composed of three core components: self-starting, future-oriented and persistent behavior. Thus, PI training is focused on the development of a proactive approach towards the environment and on fostering an orientation towards the future. Training participants will learn how to show personal initiative in their actions, i.e., in identifying opportunities, setting goals, seeking information, planning how to attain set goals, taking action in following their plans, monitoring action, and seeking feedback. The training was adapted to the local context with the help of an experienced research partner and local experts familiar with the camp context.

Treatment 2 - Effectuation training
Through effectuation training, training participants will learn how to think and act effectually, that is, work with their available means, ask for and obtain pre-commitments from potential partners and resource providers, commit what they can afford, leverage surprises and eventually start a virtuous cycle that expands the means available for future self-sustenance initiatives. Effectuation is a decision-making logic that informs the actions of individuals in situations of uncertainty. In contrast to a more goal-oriented approach towards planning for the future, effectuation training teaches that unexpected events will arise, paired with strategies for coping with, or even taking advantage of, such events. Effectuation focuses on an individual's available means to devise a set of behaviors to create possible effects which are not always clearly defined but emerge throughout the process. This includes welcoming unexpected events, committing only what can be afforded to be lost and seeking the engagement of stakeholders.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Personal initiative, effectuation, entrepreneurial activity, effort and and business practices, and measures of business performance including profits, sales, and costs.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Personal initiative will be measured via the scale from Frese et al (1997). Effectuation will be measured via the scale from Chandler et al (2011).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three, equally-sized experimental arms: i) a non-treatment control, ii) personal initiative training, and iii) effectuation training.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization will be conducted in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual participants will be the unit of randomization.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 individual participants.
Sample size: planned number of observations
150 individual participants.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 participants in non-treatment control, 50 participants in personal initiative training, 50 participants in effectuation training.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Rotterdam School of Management, IRB-E
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
American 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