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Mission Kakatiya: Impact Evaluation of Minor Irrigation Tank Rehabilitation in Telangana

Last registered on September 03, 2018


Trial Information

General Information

Mission Kakatiya: Impact Evaluation of Minor Irrigation Tank Rehabilitation in Telangana
Initial registration date
December 01, 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
December 01, 2016, 1:23 PM EST

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

Last updated
September 03, 2018, 11:51 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Mission Kakatiya is a minor irrigation project under the Department of Irrigation and Command Area Development of the government of the state of Telangana, India, involving civil works to repair and restore water tanks in the state for local agricultural water use. The government is rolling out this project to all tanks in the state – approximately 46,500 in total – over 5 phases spanning 5-7 years. Phases 1 and 2 have already been completed or are underway. Our research entails a two-part impact evaluation of the program. The first component of the evaluation will assess the impact of the phases that are already completed or are currently underway (phases 1 and 2) through a non-experimental methodology involving a sample of 300 tanks. The second component will assess the next phases to be rolled out (phases 3-5) through a randomized encouragement design—that is, actual tanks taken up for restoration under phases 3, 4 or 5 can be subsets of respective lists of randomly selected tanks that the research team will provide for these phases—involving a sample of 300 tanks. Specifically, our research investigates how a water tank restoration effort by a centralized government impacts farm productivity, agricultural output for important crops (paddy, cotton, and maize), water table levels, and agricultural income (revenue net of costs) in the area surrounding a tank. The study will also examine corollary questions, such as identifying the characteristics of tanks that have the largest impact on primary outcomes and determining how water from tanks is distributed among farmers in the area served by the tank (command area).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Gine, Xavier, Aprajit Mahajan and Anup Malani. 2018. "Mission Kakatiya: Impact Evaluation of Minor Irrigation Tank Rehabilitation in Telangana." AEA RCT Registry. September 03.
Former Citation
Gine, Xavier, Aprajit Mahajan and Anup Malani. 2018. "Mission Kakatiya: Impact Evaluation of Minor Irrigation Tank Rehabilitation in Telangana." AEA RCT Registry. September 03.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Process data/extent of restoration; tank irrigated area; total irrigated area in tank village; crop output; crop choice; cropping intensity; crop inputs including silt from tank; water table; aquaculture output (quantity fish produced); household consumption
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Treatment will be assigned at the level of a water tank; that is, the government will assign water tanks to be repaired or restored in a certain phase or not until a later phase. In the first, non-experimental component of the study, the sample is composed of tanks that have already been taken up for repair or restoration. We will identify a sample of 300 comparable treatment and control tanks from phases 1 and 2, stratified by Assembly Constituency (the lowest unit where decisions are made with regard to which tanks are to be selected under specific phase), using propensity score matching method. Phase 1 tanks, most of which have been restored as of summer 2016, will serve as treatment tanks, and phase 2 tanks, most of which have yet to be restored, will serve as control tanks. The observable variables on which the tanks will be matched on include: a) observable tank characteristics such as the command area, catchment area, tank storage capacity, bund length, number of feeder and irrigation channels, b) estimated/contracted cost of rehabilitation and contractor characteristics where available, and c) village (corresponding to the tank location) level characteristics such as population distribution along ethnic lines, political affiliation of village leader (gram panchayat members and President), village level voting share to the party of the local Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), village level infrastructure, and market connectivity.

In the second, experimental component of the study, the researchers will use a random encouragement design ensuring at least 150 of 300 sample tanks are rehabilitated in phase 3 in 2017. For this second component, we will work with the Government of Telangana to identify a sample of 400-500 tanks such that the tank villages have no other tanks that have been rehabilitated before. This strategy is required to minimize potential spillovers from earlier phases through hydrological and local economy channels. From the sample, we will randomly assign 200 tanks to be rehabilitated in phase 3 and then encourage the government’s tank selection team to implement restoration of most of the assigned tanks. This is because there are engineering reasons that could imply rehabilitation of certain tanks to not be economically feasible. The rehabilitated tanks from our selected list under phase 3 will form our treatment group, which we will compare with the remaining tanks in our sample that serve as control and therefore will not restored during 2017.

A sample of 5 farmers per tank will be randomly selected among all farmers with plots in the tank’s command area (a term for the area served by a tank used by hydrologists and engineers). These will constitute our subject population. Subjects in the tank command area for the 600 tanks in our study (300 in the non-experimental component, 300 in the experimental component) will be informed whether the water tank that services their farms has been taken up for repairs. In the experimental component, we will explain that the order of repairs was randomly assigned, whereas in the non-experimental component, we will explain that the order was based on a set of government guidelines. In both components, the subjects will be asked to answer survey questions on agriculture production on their plots in the tank command area as well as their plots elsewhere. Additionally, a village level survey will be administered to village leaders/village officials to obtain village economy level data.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
600 tanks (300 – Non-experimental; 300 – Experimental)
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 tank-level/village-level observations; 3000 farm-level observations across experimental and non-experimental components.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Non-experimental treated group = 150 tanks (+ 5 farms per tank); non experimental comparison group = 150 tanks (+ 5 farms per tank); experimental treated group = 150 tanks (+ 5 farms per tanks); experimental control group = 150 tanks (+ 5 farms per tank)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Chicago
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


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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