We Can Manage

Last registered on September 27, 2016


Trial Information

General Information

We Can Manage
Initial registration date
September 27, 2016

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
September 27, 2016, 5:33 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

NHH Norwegian School of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The ambition of this project is to evaluate the impact of an inclusive microfinance program called 'We can manage!', targeting disabled people in rural Uganda. The idea behind the program, which also has a gender focus, is to reduce financial barriers and build capacity and confidence among the participants in the microfinance program, and to reduce prejudice in society by demonstrating the ability of disabled to manage and mobilize resources. The key question of our research is: Does the program lead to economic empowerment and increased well-being? And: Does the program lead to changes in business attitudes and in attitudes to disability and gender among the disabled?
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bjorvatn, Kjetil and Bertil Tungodden. 2016. "We Can Manage." AEA RCT Registry. September 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1621
Former Citation
Bjorvatn, Kjetil and Bertil Tungodden. 2016. "We Can Manage." AEA RCT Registry. September 27. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1621/history/10778
Experimental Details


“We Can Manage!” (WCM) is a village savings and loans association (VSLA) organized by the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU), targeting disabled people in rural Uganda. Each group in the association consists of 30 members, where the majority of both management and group members are disabled. The intervention consists of a training program and the facilitation of the startup period in the group, including technical assistance, both in terms of how to write a constitution, how to access the saving box and keys (which are provided to the groups at cost-price), and more generally how to run the group.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Economic empowerment and wellbeing
1.1 Life improvements
1.2 Meals
1.3 Assets
1.4 School outcomes
1.5 Happiness and wellbeing

2. Business related attitudes
1.1 Locus of control
1.2 Willingness to compete and take risk
1.3 Trust
1.4 Growth orientation

3. Attitudes to gender and disability
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We included 75 newly recruited WCM groups from Manafwa, in Eastern Uganda in the study. A baseline survey was conducted during July and August 2013, with a total of 1911 participants, that is, an average of around 25 members interviewed in each group. The survey contained a broad set of questions on socio-economic background, business knowledge, financial practices, confidence, optimism and trust. The implementation of the project was facilitated by NUDIPU, and with local clearance through meetings with the Executive Committee of Manafwa District Union (Disability leadership) as well as with the District Local Council leadership.

The groups were subsequently randomly allocated to the control arm or to the treatment arm. The groups in the treatment arm were activated by NUDIPU Field Promoters in the period December 2013 – March 2014, while the groups in the control arm where told that the start up of the program would take place when the piloting of this program was completed (which is equivalent to the completion of the present research project).

Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer randomization tool
Randomization Unit
The randomization procedure was as follows: First, in order to minimize spillovers between treatment and control groups, we constructed 63 unique “locations”, where a location could consist of more than one group in case a village supplied members into multiple groups. The groups linked by common village membership would then belong to the same location. In contrast, when a village only supplied participants into one group, the location would consist of a single group. Second, we randomly allocated the locations to treatment (31) or control (32). There are 35 groups in the treatment locations, and 40 groups in the control locations.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
63 locations
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment: 31
Control: 32
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The sample size was powered to detect changes in number of meals per day, which we believe is an important measure of economic empowerment and wellbeing. Ksoll et al (2016) find treatment effects on this variable in a similar study of VSLA in Malawi (not targeting disabled). They find that one in seven households consumed an extra meal as a result of the treatment, with an average number of meals per day at baseline of 2.65. In our baseline data, the average number of meals per day is two, and only 20 percent of the participants reported that they had at least three meals the day before the interview. Thus, our sample seems to be poorer than that in Ksoll et al, and we interpret this as the potential for improvement being greater. With an inter-cluster correlation of 0.05, we have a power of at least 90% (with a 5% confidence interval) to detect a 10-percentage point increase in the share of the participants who had at least three meals per day.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


MD5: 347dd7537242b5b40fa79271837451c7

SHA1: c3cd9df80376f5ea6f0a3210d671e4f575ab36d1

Uploaded At: September 27, 2016


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials