Evaluating smallholder livelihoods and sustainability in Indonesian cocoa value chains

Last registered on December 29, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Evaluating smallholder livelihoods and sustainability in Indonesian cocoa value chains
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002092
Initial registration date
May 08, 2017

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 08, 2017, 1:29 PM EDT

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

Last updated
December 29, 2020, 9:08 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Sydney

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Sydney
PI Affiliation
University of Sydney

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2017-05-13
End date
2021-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This project will assess the impacts of (1) providing cocoa farmers in Sumatra, Indonesia, with a sustainability program, through a randomised control trial (RCT) design, and (2) the impacts of sustainability certification on cocoa farmers, through a regression discontinuity design (RDD). The farmers will be recruited in 4 cohorts from 2017-2019. The intervention and baseline survey for cohort 1 will launch in mid-May, 2017, and subsequent cohorts will roll out over the intervening period. Variables of interest include certification outcomes (knowledge and participation in schemes), farm-level outcomes (yield, productivity, farm practices), household-level outcomes (revenues, socio-economic outcomes such as health, education and living conditions), and farmer group and community level variables.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Nielson, Jeffrey, Russell Toth and Russell Toth. 2020. "Evaluating smallholder livelihoods and sustainability in Indonesian cocoa value chains." AEA RCT Registry. December 29. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2092
Former Citation
Nielson, Jeffrey, Russell Toth and Russell Toth. 2020. "Evaluating smallholder livelihoods and sustainability in Indonesian cocoa value chains." AEA RCT Registry. December 29. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2092/history/83089
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The study will evaluate the impacts of a well-established sustainability and productivity training program that is being implemented by a leading NGO in the cocoa sector in Indonesia.
Intervention Start Date
2017-05-15
Intervention End Date
2019-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Improved farm performance and livelihoods of cocoa farmers in North Aceh who participated in SCPP program, with primary focus on (1) cocoa farm performance (i.e., cocoa yields), (2) cocoa revenue and profit, (3) household income.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Cocoa profit will be constructed by subtracting cocoa farm expenses (labour, inputs, etc), from cocoa revenue.

Household income will be constructed by a couple methods: (1) direct question on overall household income, (2) summation over sub-categories of HH income (farm and non-farm income, and other sources of income).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The treatment villages will be randomly selected into four cohorts for successive treatment over 2017-2019 from a candidate set of villages identified with the implementation partner.
Experimental Design Details
We will take the baseline listing of villages in numerous sub-districts in North Aceh district and randomly select villages to roll out the program in. I.e., if the proposed listing of 60 villages, for example, then the Research Team would randomly select 15 for batch 1, 15 for batch 2, etc, where the 15 batch 1 villages could be anywhere in the district. The Research Team may propose a stratification design to ensure greater geographic balance.

Later, from the selected villages for batch 1, the Research Team and the Implementation Team then recruit farmers to participate in the SCPP program. From these recruited farmers, the Research Team will randomly select 60%-70% as respondents. Same thing will apply for future cohorts.

To separately identify the effects of UTZ certification, the Research Team will compare farmers who “just” qualify for being invited into certification in a given year, and those who “just” miss out. To facilitate this, we will work with the implementing partner to generate a quantitative index on which farmers are judged in their readiness for certification, based on implementing partner’s internal assessment system.

The identification process for first batch of 500 farmers will be ongoing through May, 2017, while identification of the remaining farmers will be ongoing during the respective batches. Batch 1 will receive the program in second quarter 2017 (training of farmers would start by May, 2017). Batches 2-4 will receive the training program subsequently, with batch 4 not receiving the program before 2019.

From these selected 15 villages for batch 1, the Research Team and the Implementation Team will recruit 500 farmers who will later be randomised (60%-70% of total farmers; 20 respondents per village) to determine the sample respondents for the research.

The certification program will use UTZ certification. Farmer groups will be offered the option to join the UTZ program as they are assessed to be ready based on implementing partner’s internal assessment process. A large cocoa buyer is involved as a potential buyer of certified cocoa, the company is not directly involved in the delivery of the program. There may also be a possibility to sell fermented cocoa to a Jakarta-based processor for the domestic market.

Furthermore, for UTZ certification, the comparison would be made between farmer groups who were relatively close to the boundary of whether or not to be invited to join certification, and qualified, to those who were relatively close to the boundary, but not invited. Given that farmer groups just below and just about the boundary are not likely to be drastically different, if we observe large differences between the two then we could attribute those to the certification program.

Proposed Timeline:
1. March, 2017. Full sample (~60 villages) identified. Full sample then are randomised to generate list of villages for each batch.
2. April 25 - May 5, 2017. Training of Trainers for Key Farmer in batch 1 selected villages.
3. May 8-12, 2017. Training of enumerators.
4. May 12, 2017. Implementing partner will provide a full listing of all farmers (names, contact details), their groups, and the project villages, providing GPS coordinates where possible.
5. May 15, 2017. Training of batch 1 farmers begins. Surveys ongoing.
6. 2017-2018. Batches 2 and 3 receive the program.
7. 2019 or later. Batch 4 receives the program.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Village-level
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
68 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,360 cocoa farmers and 68 heads of village
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
First cohort 2017: 1 treatment cohort (19 villages), 3 control cohorts (49 villages)
Second cohort 2017: 2 treatment cohorts (36 villages), 2 control cohorts (32 villages)
2018: 3 treatment cohorts (51 villages), 1 control cohort (17 villages)
2019: 4 treatment cohorts (68 villages)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Based on following power calculation (using clustersampsi in Stata), we calculate a detectable effect of 122.57 kg in cocoa yield. Implementing partner has told us we can expect an effect of 254 kg (a 75% increase in yield on a baseline average of 339.0 kg of coca). mean 1: 339.00 standard deviation 1: 348.00 significance level: 0.05 power: 0.90 baseline measures adjustment (correlation): 0.00 average cluster size: 20 number of clusters per arm: 32 coefficient of variation (of cluster sizes): 0.00 intra cluster correlation (ICC): 0.14 clustersampsi estimated parameters: Firstly, under individual randomisation: detectable difference: 63.06 If, trying to detect an increasing outcome then: corresponding mean 2: 402.06 If, trying to detect a decreasing outcome then: corresponding mean 2: 275.94 Then, allowing for cluster randomisation: design effect: 3.66 detectable difference: 122.57 If, trying to detect an increasing outcome then: corresponding mean 2: 461.57 If, trying to detect a decreasing outcome then: corresponding mean 2: 216.43 We do not have good baseline data on other outcomes of interest (income, revenues, profits) to make similar calculations in levels. In terms of standard deviations, we can detect a 0.35 standard deviation effect size in the other outcomes. mean 1: 0.00 standard deviation 1: 1.00 significance level: 0.05 power: 0.90 baseline measures adjustment (correlation): 0.00 average cluster size: 20 number of clusters per arm: 32 coefficient of variation (of cluster sizes): 0.00 intra cluster correlation (ICC): 0.14 clustersampsi estimated parameters: Firstly, under individual randomisation: detectable difference: 0.18 If, trying to detect an increasing outcome then: corresponding mean 2: 0.18 If, trying to detect a decreasing outcome then: corresponding mean 2: -0.18 Then, allowing for cluster randomisation: design effect: 3.66 detectable difference: 0.35 If, trying to detect an increasing outcome then: corresponding mean 2: 0.35 If, trying to detect a decreasing outcome then: corresponding mean 2: -0.35
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Sydney Human Ethics
IRB Approval Date
2013-07-02
IRB Approval Number
2013/451

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials