Within three regions (Alta Verapaz, San Marcos, and Totonicapán departamentos) and six sub-regions (municipios), a master list of 50 villages was compiled, which contained villages determined to meet basic eligibility criteria according to pre-established implementer criteria and available data including poverty, health status, and lack of other intervention activities. Within each of the 6 municipios, the number of study villages ranges from 5-14 villages (avg 8). In each municipio, the implementer (World Vision) identified a fixed number of intervention villages to be randomly selected as intervention, ranging from 1-4 per municipio, based on programmatic requirements. Using R, randomization was conducted for each municpio, resulting in a total of 19 intervention villages and 31 control villages randomly allocated. Two villages' leadership refused to participate in the intervention program, resulting in 17 intervention villages and 31 control villages for the cluster randomized trial.
In the first year of the intervention program, vulnerable households will receive four monthly multipurpose cash transfers of $110 each (Q860) in July, August, September, and October 2023, labeled for food. They will additionally receive in October-November 2023 a ceramic water filter (Ecofiltro) and a handwashing station with soap. Additional intervention components and programmatic support will be provided later in 2024 and 2025, including additional cash transfers targeted to the most vulnerable 30% in April 2024.
Households in intervention and control villages will be enrolled into the study starting on 4December 2023. A household is eligible for the study if it is within the selected village, has a single-parent, has a vulnerable child under 5, is headed by a woman, has any members with a partial or total disability, has any adults over 75 years of age, does not currently participate in other food assistance projects (other than ACCESO), had a deficient diet between the months of April and June 2023, had a high rate of implementation of coping strategies in the face of food shortages, or had had moderate/severe hunger between the months of April and June 2023. Additionally, an adult 18 years of age or older must be home and able and willing to provide informed consent and answer the survey questions.
Outcomes will be assessed in two surveys (December 2023-January 2024 and May-June 2024), with the possibility of additional follow-ups pending funding to assess longer-term impacts of the various intervention components.