We conducted a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to determine the causal effect of information transfer to SME managers (owners) and chefs on business outcomes. The RCT involved detailed audits and surveys at the beginning and end of the study, with a midline phone survey conducted during the intervention. Randomization was only done among SMEs that expressed interest in participating in the umbrella program. After baseline, with more precise power calculations, SMEs were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups using a simple lottery in each of the 5 strata. This will be used as a variable block (stratified), meaning the sample will be distributed according to these strata. The effect by strata will not be analyzed due to limited statistical power.
The Randomized Control Trial (RCT) involves two treatment arms: the treatment and control groups. The control group consists of untreated
SMEs, who will participate in baseline, midline, and endline evaluations. We will implement a basic information intervention for the control SMEs to increase awareness of organic waste. During the baseline evaluation, we will visit each SME in person (around n=130) and provide them with a waste container to segregate the organic waste generated.
At baseline and endline evaluations, we will collect information on the physical measures of generating organic waste, measured in kilograms (per worker, per day, and per SME). In the midline, we use cellphone surveys to gather information on whether or not the
garbage can was used for organic waste segregation by the control SMEs. At the end of the program, we gather information on how the waste cans are used to separate organic waste. Once the program is over, all SMEs in the control group will receive printed guidelines to
improve food management and reduce food waste production at the kitchen stage. The control group SMEs participating in the baseline, midline, and endline surveys will receive an official certification from Municipalidad Provincial del Cusco.
In baseline and endline surveys, we will survey managers (owners) to collect information on SMEs’ characteristics, background factors, and pro-environmental attitudes, perceptions, and preferences. Treatment groups consist of randomly selected treated SMEs, each participating in a baseline, midline, and endline survey. To increase awareness, a basic intervention will be implemented in treated SMEs. During the baseline survey, we will visit each SME in person (around n=130) and provide them with a brown garbage can to segregate the organic waste generated. In the baseline and endline surveys, we will collect information on physical measures of the generation of organic waste, all measured in kilograms (per worker, per day, and per SME). In addition to this basic intervention, managers and chefs will receive an invitation to participate in a free three-hour training session at Instituto Khipu. The training session is called "Curso-Taller en Gestión del Área de Alimentos y Bebidas" (Course-Workshop in Food and Beverage Area Management).
After each training session, every participant will be given a printed guideline that includes all the procedures covered during the training. During the midline, we collect information about the use of garbage cans for waste segregation. We also gather information about implementing food waste management innovations related to food manipulation practices, purchasing planning, storage, production planning, and food optimization via cell phone surveys. In both baseline and endline, we survey managers (owners) to gather
information about SMEs’ characteristics, background factors, and pro-environmental attitudes, perceptions, and preferences. Treated SMEs that participate in the baseline, midline, and endline will receive an official certification for participating in the program from Municipalidad Provincial del Cusco. Additionally, managers and owners who complete the training will receive an official certification for participating in the "Curso-Taller en Gestión del Área de Alimentos y Bebidas" from Instituto Khipu.