Testing Variants of Humanitarian Assistance for Migrants in Peru

Last registered on June 24, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Testing Variants of Humanitarian Assistance for Migrants in Peru
Initial registration date
June 03, 2024

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
June 24, 2024, 11:55 AM EDT

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


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Primary Investigator

World Food Programme

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
The World Bank

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
WFP Peru aims to provide cash assistance to vulnerable in-transit migrants and refugees from Venezuela, so that they are able to meet their essential food and nutrition needs.

Transfers are worth a total of approx. 357 USD (for a household with a maximum of 5 members) and will reach around 16,500 migrants across 5 districts of Peru. The programme will be implemented from April to October-November 2024. The total transfer size is held constant between the two groups. The impact evaluation will be carried out in 2 of these locations: Arequipa and Desaguadero-Puno.

Given that the modality of cash transfers can influence decision-making patterns (including consumption behavior), this impact evaluation will compare the effects of (a) receiving a restricted cash cash (in the form of a Sodexo card, or similar provider) versus (b) receiving a less-restricted pre-loaded debit card (Zinli card, or similar provider) on in-transit migrants and refugees' spending behavior as well as food security and psychosocial well-being, among other indicators. Primary evaluation questions focus on the impact of different CBT modalities on consumption behavior, food security, and other measures of wellbeing, while secondary questions explore migrants' intentions, expectations, and knowledge, as well as their coping mechanisms and psychosocial well-being during their journey.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Dunsch, Felipe Alexander and Arlen Guarin. 2024. "Testing Variants of Humanitarian Assistance for Migrants in Peru." AEA RCT Registry. June 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.11832-1.0
Sponsors & Partners


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Experimental Details


This study evaluates the impacts of different approaches (restricted vs. unrestricted cash assistance) to implementing a cash-based transfer (CBT) program by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) for in-transit migrants and refugees in Peru.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The survey questionnaire includes the following modules:

1. Household roster
2. Food insecurity experience scale
3. WFP Programme monitoring questions
4. Coping strategies
5. Consumption expenditure
6. Psychological wellbeing
7. Migration
8. Costly borrowing (Loans taken by the household)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The survey questionnaire includes the following modules:

Household roster: this module will collect information on the people travelling with the respondent, and will include the typical roster questions such as age, level of education, main source of household income, sex, disabilities, and income generating activities. The module also includes questions on modes of communication, which is included in order to determine the best way to communicate with the respondent for the follow-up surveys.

Food insecurity experience scale: this module collects information on whether the subject experienced food insecurity over the last 30 days.

WFP Programme monitoring questions: this module asks respondents about their preferences regarding World Food Programme (WFP) assistance, and whether they received it in the past.

Coping strategies: this module collects information about low- and high-risk coping behaviors related to the shocks experienced by respondents during their migration. Behaviors include reduced food consumption, borrowing money, and informal employment.

Consumption expenditure: this module is about food items, non-food items, and services consumed or purchased by the household in the past week, and the amount spent by the household.

Psychological wellbeing: this module collects information about the respondent’s wellbeing (e.g. have they experienced anxiety etc. using standard PHQ4 questions).

Migration: this module, the longest in the questionnaire, collects information on the respondent’s past migration route, future migration plans, safety, health and income during trip, and planning and expectations about their destination country.

Costly borrowing: this module is about loans taken by the respondent’s household.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Migration-specific indicators, such as intentions, connections, plans, goals, safety, knowledge of in-transit migrants
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
What are the intentions, expectations, and knowledge of migrants, their connections in Peru and beyond, and how do they sustain themselves during their journey, the routes they take, and the safety hazards they encounter?

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
A randomized control trial (RCT) method is proposed to measure the causal impacts of the CBT variants groups, where one treatment group receives the restricted cash cards (in the form of Sodexo cards, or similar provider) and the other comparison group receives the less-restricted debit cards (zinli, or similar provider). There is no "pure control" group i.e. all eligible beneficiaries receive some form of the WFP cash assistance (of equal cash value), regardless of their decision to participate in the impact evaluation.

The randomization will be done on a weekly basis, so the form of assistance that a household/family receives will depend on the week when they arrive at the checkpoint for WFP cash assistance. The impact evaluation pilot would involve a minimum of 1000-1500 households/families of (a subset of the 16,500 beneficiaries targeted). Multiple follow-up data collections will be conducted over the phone (collecting panel data).

Only the subset of households that fulfil the following conditions will be selected to participate in the IE:

1. Possession of a phone
2. Willingness (consent) to fill the in-person baseline survey
3. Willingness (consent) to be re-contacted for follow-up interviews over the phone

Weekly randomizations will determine which modality will be delivered in each location every week from say April 2024 until September-October 2024. All eligible beneficiaries will receive the WFP cash assistance, regardless of whether they choose to participate in this impact evaluation study or not.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Weekly randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Week when assistance is being provided
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Randomization done weekly; Estimated no. of in-transit migrants and refugees: ca. 1000-1500
Sample size: planned number of observations
Estimated no. of in-transit migrants and refugees: ca. 1000-1500
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Estimated no. of in-transit migrants and refugees per treatment arm: ca. 500-750
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number