Women Economic Empowerment Intervention: Economic, Health and Women Empowerment Outcomes

Last registered on May 30, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Women Economic Empowerment Intervention: Economic, Health and Women Empowerment Outcomes
Initial registration date
May 26, 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, 3:42 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

University of East Anglia

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), Brac University
PI Affiliation
BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), Brac University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
Extreme poverty has complex dimensions; therefore, a multifaceted programme is required to reduce extreme poverty. Our objective is to understand the sustainability of economic and health poverty reduction. For this purpose, we will evaluate BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation (UPG) programme in Bangladesh, which aims to engage ultra-poor women in income-generating activities to help their households escape poverty. In particular, this study builds on the UPG programme’s credit-based programme which provides a range of supports and services, including a conditional loan, supporting assets and training for ultra-poor women.
This programme has both economic and health components which are expected to reduce economic and health poverty. Specifically, we expect the impacts on income, physical, financial and natural assets, consumption, reproductive health, fertility preference, morbidity and child health.
This programme started in mid-2016 and ended in December 2017. An evaluation was done one year after this programme ended and the evidence shows that this programme increased households' income, productive assets, income, consumption and expenditures one year after the programme ended (Rahman, Bhattacharjee and Das, 2021). Now, we will conduct the second endline survey and measure the impacts on economic conditions, employment, migration patterns, occupational choices, income and expenditure status, asset ownership, food consumption levels, fertility rates and health outcomes.
There are several studies which evaluate the impact of anti-poverty programme on economic and health outcomes; however, most of the existing studies are built on either grant-only programmes (Bandiera et al., 2017; Banerjee et al.,2015a; Banerjee, Duflo and Sharma, 2021; Blattman, Fiala and Martinez, 2020; Raza, Van de Poel and Van Ourti, 2018) or microcredit (Banerjee et al., 2015b). However, there is an evidence gap on the sustainability of the impacts of the combination of these supports (credit plus grant) on economic and health outcomes, which our study will address.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Das, Narayan, Atiya Rahman and Munshi Sulaiman. 2024. "Women Economic Empowerment Intervention: Economic, Health and Women Empowerment Outcomes." AEA RCT Registry. May 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.13689-1.0
Experimental Details


The main female member of the selected ultra-poor household (referred to as the beneficiary) received a wide range of services and support. The components of the support package are as follows:

(i) Enterprise Development Training
(ii) Conditional loan
(iii) Supporting assets
(iv) Coaching
(v) Consumption Allowance
(vi) Health and Social Support
(vii) Savings Advice
(vii) Community Resource Mobilization
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Household and women's income;
Household's physical, financial and natural assets;
Household consumption;
Reproductive health;
Fertility preference;
Child health
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This research builds on a RCT, conducted by BIGD in 2016. Randomization was done at the branch office. The research covers 88 branch offices (66 treatment and 22 control branches) in 11 districts of Bangladesh. After their selection following a rigorous process, we completed a baseline survey in July 2016, covering 8,973 eligible households (1,931 control and 7,042 treatment).

The baseline survey collected detailed information from the main female member of the household on the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the household, including household composition, labor supply of each household member, occupation, income, assets, financial market participation, expenditures, food security, health outcomes, women's mental health (anxiety), women empowerment and women and children’s anthropometric data. This survey also collected data on IPV; however, with a limited set of questions, focusing on physical abuse and abuse for dowry. Since IPV in South Asia is often related to dowry disputes (Ambrus, Field and Torero, 2010), it included specific questions to capture this. Moreover, this survey collected data on risk (i.e., choosing lotteries) and time preferences (i.e., choosing between today's and future payoffs). Thereafter, BRAC implemented the intervention described above in the treatment branches until December 2017.

An endline survey (hereafter referred to as endline1) was conducted in January 2019, a year after the completion of the programme, in which all households in the control group and a random subsample of two-thirds of the households in the treatment group were re-interviewed. This resulted in 4,212 treated and 1,739 control households, with around 10% attrition in both treatment and control groups. The endline1 used the same modules as the baseline survey. In addition, it has an extended version of the IPV module, using five established indicators covering physical and emotional abuse.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
BRAC selected the branch offices to implement the programme. Then, we randomly selected which branches would be treatment (i.e., where the programme would be implemented) using STATA.
Randomization Unit
Branch offices (i.e., the smallest rural geographical unit covering a radius of 6-7 km in Bangladesh.)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
88 branch offices
Sample size: planned number of observations
approximately 100 ultra-poor women
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
8,973 ultra-poor women
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
To address our research questions, we will conduct another round of survey (referred to as endline2) covering all women who were interviewed at the baseline. Therefore, assuming a 15% attrition rate, we expect to interview approximately 6,000 treatment and 1600 control women. Using a 95% confidence level and an attrition rate of 16%, a sample size of 84 from each of the 88 branch offices with an intra-cluster correlation (ICC) of 0.12 gives a minimum detectable effect size (MDE) of approx. 10% at about 80% power for our outcome of interest (i.e., food expenditure) (Rahman et al., 2021).

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
School of Global Development Research Ethics Subcommittee, the University of East Anglia
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number