Do citizens change their beliefs, participation and satisfaction upon learning about state performance? An RCT in India

Last registered on January 23, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Do citizens change their beliefs, participation and satisfaction upon learning about state performance? An RCT in India
Initial registration date
January 21, 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
January 23, 2024, 12:58 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

FAIR, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Successful inclusive growth policies in low and middle-income countries require effective performance by local governments. Arguably, an important reason for poor state performance is that citizens have limited information about state performance and are therefore unable to hold local governments to account. Correspondingly, we expect that citizens with greater information about state performance are more likely to demand accountability from the state. Using a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) that creates exogenous variation in incentivized beliefs about the performance of the state for 2100 respondents in Jharkhand, India, we test whether providing information to citizens about the service performance of their district leads to them changing their beliefs about state performance, participation with the government and satisfaction with public service delivery. Our study contributes new findings to research about on political accountability, the drivers of economic development, inequality, and governance.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Kishore, Diwakar and Pallavi Prabhakar. 2024. "Do citizens change their beliefs, participation and satisfaction upon learning about state performance? An RCT in India." AEA RCT Registry. January 23.
Sponsors & Partners



Experimental Details


The intervention for the study entails presenting participants with a comprehensive 7-minute video as part of the survey. This video delves into Ranchi's performance within the framework of the Aspirational Districts Programme, with a specific focus on the domains of health, education, and infrastructure. The video places particular emphasis on three pivotal indicators extracted from the Champions of Change Dashboard: the percentage of underweight children under the age of 6, adherence to the Pupil Teacher Ratio mandated by the Right To Education Act in elementary schools, and the proportion of habitations with access to all-weather roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
Furthermore, this video incorporates a comparative analysis, contrasting Ranchi's performance with that of five neighboring districts, thereby offering a relative assessment of each indicator. The intervention also highlights the significance of the "Champions of Change Dashboard" as an indispensable tool for monitoring and evaluating developmental progress. It goes a step further by educating participants about the various channels available for lodging grievances or expressing concerns to the government. These include prominent platforms such as CPGRAMS, the Meri Sadak Application, and the Right to Information Act, serving to promote civic awareness and encourage active participation in governance processes.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key primary outcomes of this study include:

1- Belief updating about the above-mentioned state performance indicators
2- Citizen participation with the state
3- Citizen satisfaction with public service delivery
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1- Trust in institutions
2- Political preferences
3- Voter agency
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This research employs an Individual Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) with a sample size of 2,100 participants, stratified by gender. These participants are drawn from rural Ranchi, an aspirational district in Jharkhand, and are randomly allocated into two groups: the Treatment group (n=1050) and the Control group (n=1050).

Treatment Group: Information - Participants in the treatment group will receive information through an informative video. This video will provide insights into their district's average absolute performance on pre-selected indicators assessed under the Aspirational Districts Program (ADP). Additionally, they will gain an understanding of how their district compares to five neighboring districts in terms of average performance. The video will also introduce participants to the Aspirational Districts Program and the "Champions of Change Dashboard," which serves as an open platform for citizens to regularly monitor their district's progress. Beyond government performance, this video will also offer guidance on citizens' rights and government initiatives, enabling them to actively engage in demanding improved public service delivery.

Control Group: Placebo Video - Conversely, the control group will watch a placebo video, unrelated to state performance or citizen engagement. This video will serve the purpose of keeping respondents engaged during the time frame in which the treatment group receives information about government performance. Specifically, it will be a historical documentary focused on the archaeological discovery of an ancient town in Rajasthan (a different state from Jharkhand).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done using a pre-specified seed in Stata.
Randomization Unit
Randomisation unit will be individuals residing within an aspirational district. Randomisation will be stratified by village where we will have a treatment (n=21) and control group (n=21) within each village (n=42) of the total 50 villages.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2100 respondents
Sample size: planned number of observations
2100 respondents
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We aim to recruit a representative sample of 2100 respondents across 50 villages in Ranchi. Within each village (n=42), the respondents are randomised to being into the treatment group (n=21) and control group (n=21). Additionally, the respondents will be stratified by gender within each village with an equal number of male and female respondents to have an equal representation of both males and female respondents in the sample.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
A sample size of 2100 respondents (approximately 1050 users in each of the 2 experimental groups) gives us 80% power at 0.01 significance level to detect a 0.15 standard deviation change in beliefs about state performance, citizen participation and satisfaction for an Individual Randomised Trial. Power calculation was done using the power command in Stata for two sample comparison of means.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
NHH-IRB 57/23
IRB Name
London School of Economics and Political Science
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number