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Increasing transparency of government processes using SMS messaging
Last registered on March 07, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Increasing transparency of government processes using SMS messaging
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002072
Initial registration date
March 06, 2017
Last updated
March 07, 2017 4:46 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-03-06
End date
2017-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Participants in various social programs in Australia have the opportunity to apply for a Change of Assessment (CoA) when they experience a change in circumstances. This is done by lodging an application with the Australian Government's Department of Human Services (DHS). This study will examine the effects of SMS messages informing applicants that their application has been received and that they will be contacted when it has been progressed. This project will increase process transparency in order to alleviate client concerns and anxiety about the progress of their application. The intended impact of the messages is to save client time as they do not need to call to check on the status of their application. If effective in reducing call volumes, the messages may also create efficiency gains for DHS Service Officers.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Hiscox, Michael. 2017. "Increasing transparency of government processes using SMS messaging." AEA RCT Registry. March 07. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2072/history/14770
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
SMS messages informing applicants that their application for a change of assessment has been received and that they will be contacted when it has been progressed.
Intervention Start Date
2017-03-06
Intervention End Date
2017-04-17
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary outcomes: number of telephone calls to DHS enquiring about change of assessment application
Secondary outcomes: time between lodgement of form and telephone call to DHS enquiring about status of application
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Communication by SMS to applicants from DHS to set expectations about time needed for completion of a government process
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization by computer algorithm
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,400 applicants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately 1,200 individual participants anticipated in treatment and control conditions
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
A two-proportion power calculation gives a sample size of 1,222 per group at 80% power and a significance level of 0.05, with a minimum detectable effect of a 5% change in the primary outcome.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
BETA Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2017-03-02
IRB Approval Number
ETH 2017-010