Reflorestar is a Payments for Ecosystem Services run by the State of Espírito Santo, in Brazil. The program pays farmers inputs to reforest part of their property, technical assistance, and an amount proportional to the conserved land. The Reflorestar program recruits participants with a public call for proposals. Property owners generally work with a consultant who helps to navigate the necessary paperwork and develop the proposed restoration plan. The consultants then implement the program by giving technical assistance and monitoring the execution of the landowner’s obligations. We will collaborate with MV, a private consulting firm with the largest share of Reflorestar contracts. MV’s recruitment strategy is to approach local association leaders and organize an informational meeting about the program for their members. MV consultants give a presentation and collect contact information from interested farmers. MV then visits these owners to develop the application. Reflorestar pays MV to provide technical assistance and monitoring if the landowner gets the contract.
Conversations with MV have identified two important levers to increase enrollment. First, farmers are often discouraged from giving their contact information during the information meeting when they hear that there are required papers. The consultants believe that if they can have one-on-one conversations with producers to help them understand how MV can support their application, they could increase enrollment. Therefore, the first innovation is to defer the discussion of paperwork with farmers to the individual follow-up phase, in which they help farmers sign up for the program.
Second, they identify a bottleneck in the sign-up step and feel that a small and visible recognition of participation could help get farmers through the sign-up stage. They believe that promising farmers a certificate of participation in Reflorestar, which they can post publicly, may incentivize them to finish the sign-up process. This is our second intervention.