Electrifying empowerment: Women role models and solar electrification in rural Myanmar

Last registered on May 30, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Electrifying empowerment: Women role models and solar electrification in rural Myanmar
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 30, 2024, 3:21 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

Duke University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Duke University
PI Affiliation
International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
PI Affiliation
Innovations for Poverty Action

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Energy access is key to poverty alleviation. Despite featuring high in the development agenda, around 13% of the world still lacks electricity access. In many settings, gender norms entail that women carry the highest burden from household chores, such that the type of energy source and the quality of access may contribute to gender inequality across many outcomes. These gendered energy roles translate into different preferences for energy poverty reducing technologies, which suggests that the overall and distributional impacts of energy initiatives are contingent on the level of women empowerment. We implement a RCT in Myanmar, a country with conservative gender norms that also ranks low on energy access. We test a psychological empowerment intervention that combines an edutainment treatment with a series of goal setting and planning exercises to expose women in rural areas to role models with the goal of inducing higher aspirations around energy access and provide a blueprint to pursue them effectively.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Nepal, Mani et al. 2024. "Electrifying empowerment: Women role models and solar electrification in rural Myanmar." AEA RCT Registry. May 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.13664-1.0
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Aspirations (income, education, energy access)
- Time use (over last 7 days on activities such as water collection, accessing fuels, preparing fuels, cooking, other household chores, or engaged in different types of work)
- Energy access
- Appliance ownership
- Women empowerment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The women empowerment index will be constructed following Anderson (2008) by combining survey information on women's membership to social groups, ownership of household assets, access to financial resources, household decision-making, marital matters, control over income, information access), as well as on perceptions and attitudes (gender issues, psychological well-being, agency).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The randomization of the woman empowerment intervention was done at the village level and stratified by region and energy access (solar and no solar). Broadly following a previous design by Orkin et al. (2023), the treatment consists of two components. First, women are exposed to a purposefully developed audio recording featuring female role models. The stories take place in environments similar to each stratum and show a female character set and pursue aspirational but attainable goals linked to productive investments and women-led businesses. The recordings are supported by visual aids capturing pivotal points of the story and, importantly, show the characters engaging in similar goal setting and planning exercises to the techniques taught in a workshop constituting the second phase of the intervention. The initial narrative aims to expand women’s perceptions of what is possible given the characteristic of their surroundings (including the type of energy access), and the workshop seeks to enhance their ability to develop concrete and systematic plans to achieve related goals.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization script in STATA
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
44 treatment villages, 22 control villages
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Committee for Innovations for Poverty Action IRB - USA
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IPA IRB Protocol #: 15147
Analysis Plan

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