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Can Vouchers Reduce Elite Capture of Local Development Projects? Experimental Evidence from the Solomon Islands
Last registered on November 30, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Can Vouchers Reduce Elite Capture of Local Development Projects? Experimental Evidence from the Solomon Islands
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001820
Initial registration date
November 30, 2016
Last updated
November 30, 2016 8:41 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
College of William & Mary
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Zurich
PI Affiliation
University of New South Wales
PI Affiliation
Politecnico di Milano
PI Affiliation
World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2013-06-01
End date
2013-11-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
By reducing citizen oversight, external financing of public goods in developing countries can exacerbate elite capture and produce sub-optimal outcomes for communities. We test a novel mechanism channeling funds for local public goods via citizens. While control communities are offered block grants to fund local public goods, households in randomly-assigned communities are provided with vouchers that they may contribute to a public good or redeem at a discount for private consumption. Vouchers increase community participation in allocation decisions, satisfaction in decision outcomes, and the probability that allocations reflect the preferences of individuals who had not previously participated in local meetings, when different from those of leaders.

External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Beath, Andrew et al. 2016. "Can Vouchers Reduce Elite Capture of Local Development Projects? Experimental Evidence from the Solomon Islands." AEA RCT Registry. November 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1820-1.0.
Former Citation
Beath, Andrew et al. 2016. "Can Vouchers Reduce Elite Capture of Local Development Projects? Experimental Evidence from the Solomon Islands." AEA RCT Registry. November 30. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1820/history/12150.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In all villages, selected participants were informed that SBD 2,000 (approximately USD 300) had been allocated to fund the improvement of a local non-religious public facility, such as a school, health center, market, toilet, road, well, or irrigation system. The research team gathered a random sample of villagers in a meeting to discuss the type of project that they believed would most benefit the community, with the goal of reaching a consensus on which project to fund. In order to ensure the discussion resembled a community meeting, no structure was imposed on the form of the discussion or on the method of selection of the project. Sample villages were randomly allocated to either the control or treatment group, which differed in the mode of fund allocation. In villages assigned to the control group, facilitators informed participants that a block grant of SBD 2,000 would be allocated to fund the community project. In the treatment group and prior to the discussion, facilitators issued each of the 20 selected participants with 10 paper vouchers and explained that each voucher could either be redeemed for cash or contributed to the fund for the community project. If redeemed, vouchers would be worth SBD 5 each, whereas vouchers contributed to the project would be worth SBD 10 each. Following the discussion and project selection, participants in the treatment group were asked by the facilitator to indicate privately how many of the vouchers they wished to redeem and how many they wished to contribute to the community project.
Intervention Start Date
2013-06-24
Intervention End Date
2013-09-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Community members' participation in discussions about project funding, the agreement between community members' preferences and the selected projects, community members' satisfaction with the process and the selected project, and the timing and cost of implementation of the project.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Each of the 80 sample villages was randomly assigned into either a treatment arm and a control arm, with stratification by ward. As discussed in the Treatment description, while control villages were offered block grants to fund local public goods, households in treatment villages were provided with vouchers that they could contribute to a public good or redeem at a discount for private consumption.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization was conducted in an office by a computer, with stratification by ward
Randomization Unit
Villages
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
80 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,600 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
40 villages in treatment, 40 villages in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Advisory Panel
IRB Approval Date
2013-06-13
IRB Approval Number
Details not available
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
November 01, 2013, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
November 01, 2013, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
80
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1548
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
40 treatment villages, 40 control villages
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS