Personal Initiative Training targeted to adolescent girls and young women in Niger

Last registered on May 29, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Personal Initiative Training targeted to adolescent girls and young women in Niger
Initial registration date
May 23, 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
May 29, 2024, 1:46 PM 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 Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
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.
Personal Initiative (PI) trainings and other psychology-based entrepreneurship trainings are promising approaches to teaching entrepreneurial skills and improving beneficiaries’ outcomes (McKenzie et al., 2020). PI trainings aim to equip entrepreneurs with the skills needed to become more self-starting, proactive, and persistent and become more future-orientated in their new businesses and in other activities they may be engaged in. Despite the promising results of this type of training, the evidence of its effectiveness on adolescents and young girls is very limited. However, given that skills are more malleable in this period, this type of training has the potential to be more impactful among adolescents. Additionally, as adolescent girls and young women face social and gender norms restricting their agency and access to resources, the impact of interventions such as psychology based training on girls’ empowerment outcomes in this context is an empirical question that this study aims also to address.

In the context of Niger, a PI training will be designed and piloted. The intervention will be targeted at adolescent girls and young women 15-27 years old, out-of-school, married and unmarried. Using a randomized controlled trial, with randomization at the village level, this study will assess the impacts of an adapted Personal Initiative training on girls’ economic empowerment outcomes, agency, and aspirations. The study will include two rounds of data collection (three if budget allows) and cover a sample of approximately 4,000 adolescent girls and their households in around 100 villages.

External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Carazo, Luz et al. 2024. "Personal Initiative Training targeted to adolescent girls and young women in Niger." AEA RCT Registry. May 29.
Experimental Details


The personal initiative training offered will focus on equipping adolescent girls and young women to take an active and self-starting approach necessary to start or improve their business. The training takes place through 12 consecutive 3-hours weekly sessions. The training sessions will be delivered in a group format through group discussions, activities, case studies, and shared experiences. Between the sessions, the participants are encouraged to implement the lessons learnt during each session, by starting up or improving their business.

The design of the training builds on existing trainings that have been tested in other contexts, and has been adapted to the study population through extensive pilots in collaboration with a team of researchers who developed the curriculum and the local implementing partner. The training is delivered by trainers recruited for the purpose of this study and trained by the team of researchers who developed the curriculum and the local implementing partner. In each village, 2-3 training groups are implemented.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Economic Empowerment:
- Participation in Income Generating Activities in and off-farm, including own business.
- Revenues and sales from own business.

Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Other economic empowerment outcomes:
- Income/revenues from other Income Generating Activities
- Saving behavior

Agency and Aspirations:
-Control over earnings and household resources, to measure decision making and agency within the household.
-Professional aspiration.
-Life satisfaction

Intermediate/Mechanism outcomes:
- Access to finance, labor and capital inputs for own business.
- Introduction of innovations and positive business practices.
- Personal initiative (general PI, business opportunity identification, entrepreneurial self-efficacy, entrepreneurial planning and action)
- Attitudes towards gender norms: girls’ and household heads' attitudes and perceived sanctions towards young women and girls’ participation in Income Generating Activities.
- Prevalence of experiences of emotional and economic violence.
- Time use agency
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Approximately 4.000 eligible (aged 15-27 years old and out-of-school) adolescent girls and young women are selected across 106 villages in which Safe Spaces have been implemented as part of a previous program (Sahel Women Empowerment and the Demographic Dividend Project) in two regions in Niger.
Out of those, 53 villages and approximately 2.000 adolescent girls and young women (around 40 per village) are randomly allocated into a treatment group receiving the personal initiative training intervention, while the other half will serve as a control group.

The adolescent girls and young women are selected through a two step process: (i) a rapid listing of eligible girls in the villages (girls aged 15-27 and out-of-school), (ii) a selection of a random subgroup of 40 eligible girls per village.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization of the villages is done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Village level randomization.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
106 villages.
Sample size: planned number of observations
4.000 adolescent girls and young women.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
53 villages and approximately 2.000 adolescent girls and young women per arm (1 treatment and 1 control).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power size calculations were conducted using different scenarios based on a variable indicating participation in income-generating activities. We use the midline data collection carried out in 2020 for the impact evaluation of the first phase of the SWEDD project in Niger. We constructed a dichotomous variable identifying whether a girl 15-24 years of age had participated in any income-generating activity over the last 30 days. To construct this variable, we used the questions that asked for participation in agricultural and non-agricultural activities, such as working on a plot and taking care of the livestock, working as a seller in a shop, as a hairdresser, as a teacher, among others. Based on these questions, we built a variable that takes the value of 1 if the girl has participated in at least 1 of those activities over the past 30 days, and 0 otherwise. For our power size calculations, we use as a reference two studies, Bandiera et al (2020) and Adoho et al (2014). In Bandiera et al (2020), girls participating in the ELA (Empowerment and Livelihood for Adolescents) program received “hard” vocational skills useful to start small-scale Income Generating Activities and “soft” life skills on sexual and reproductive health, menstruation, and HIV/AIDS awareness. Authors find that eligible girls are 6.8 pp (+67%) at midline and 4.9 pp (+48%) at endline more likely to be engaged in any Income Generating Activity (IGA). Adoho et al (2014) evaluate the impact of an adolescent girls’ employment program in which girls receive a six-month classroom-based training in either Business skills or Job skills, plus 6-month support to enter wage or entrepreneurship employment. Seven months after the end of the classroom-based training (i.e., one month after the end of the intervention), authors find an 18 pp increase in participation in Income Generating Activities from a baseline value of 38%, which translates into a 47% increase. Looking only at those who participated in the Business skills training, they find a 22.6 pp increase, corresponding to a 53% increase from a baseline mean of 42.5%. For the power size calculation, we assume one baseline survey and one follow-up survey, an intra-group correlation of 0.15, autocorrelation of 0.3, and power of 80%. Calculations assume an ANCOVA specification. Based on the power calculations, with around 50 clusters per arm and on average 40 girls per cluster, we would be able to detect a 11pp (percentage points) increase in the likelihood that a girl, 15-24 years of age, is involved in any IGA (accounting for 15% attrition and 75% take-up).

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Health Media Lab IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number