Promoting Productive Inclusion and Resilience among the Poor: Multi-country RCT of the Sahel Adaptive Social Protection

Last registered on August 29, 2019


Trial Information

General Information

Promoting Productive Inclusion and Resilience among the Poor: Multi-country RCT of the Sahel Adaptive Social Protection
Initial registration date
October 18, 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
October 18, 2017, 5:51 PM EDT

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

Last updated
August 29, 2019, 10:21 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Université Catholique de Louvain
PI Affiliation
Northwestern University
PI Affiliation
Oklahoma State University
PI Affiliation
Northwestern University
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
While regular cash transfer programs can have a range of productive impacts (Alderman et al., 2013, Bastagli et al., 2016), international evidence suggests that additional interventions, addressing a wider range of constraints, can be combined with cash transfer programs to further improve households’ productivity and resilience (Banerjee et al, 2015).

The World Bank, IPA and a team of researchers have partnered with governments implementing large-scale social protection programs in 4 West African countries (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal) to set-up a multi-country randomized control trial and test the effects of a set of productive accompanying measures layered on top of existing safety net programs. The effort is integrated into large-scale national programs and focuses on identifying the most cost-effective package of interventions to address constraints to productivity and resilience.

The productive measures include the creation and coaching of beneficiary groups, the facilitation of savings, community sensitization on aspirations and social norms, life-skills training, micro-entrepreneurship training, a one-time lump sum cash grant, as well as market access facilitation. The research addresses the following main questions: What is the impact of the full package of productive accompanying measures on cash transfer beneficiaries?; How to optimize the package?; How to ensure inclusiveness of the package and impacts on the extreme poor?
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bossuroy, Thomas et al. 2019. "Promoting Productive Inclusion and Resilience among the Poor: Multi-country RCT of the Sahel Adaptive Social Protection." AEA RCT Registry. August 29.
Former Citation
Bossuroy, Thomas et al. 2019. "Promoting Productive Inclusion and Resilience among the Poor: Multi-country RCT of the Sahel Adaptive Social Protection." AEA RCT Registry. August 29.
Experimental Details


On the basis of international evidence and local experience on the most effective interventions to address these constraints, a package of accompanying measures was identified to be delivered to poor beneficiaries of cash transfer programs across the region. The components of the package of productive accompanying measures are detailed below.

Component 1: Group formation and coaching
This component includes the formation of groups of beneficiaries, the facilitation of program activities, group-based coaching, as well as individual counseling and referral. Throughout the project period, coaches (project staff, NGO field workers or community agents) will assure the continuity of all of program components at the village-level, including mobilizing beneficiaries for meetings and coordinating with other service providers. In addition, these coaches will provide group-based follow-up to beneficiaries as well as referral of individual cases to relevant field agents.

Component 2: Facilitation of savings groups for cash transfer beneficiaries
This intervention will target the groups of beneficiaries and facilitate the establishment of savings activities based on the village savings and loan association model, and provide technical support to their management over time.

Component 3: Community sensitization on aspirations and social norms
This intervention attempts to address aspirational and psycho-social constraints to saving, diversification and entry into new activities. It will take the form of a community-level screening of a realistic fiction on individuals successful with productive investments in poor communities similar to those targeted by the safety nets programs, complemented by a facilitated group discussion.

Component 4: Life-skills training
This week-long training addresses cognitive and social barriers to decision-making, and addresses topics such as self-esteem and personal initiative, aspirations, social norms, and spousal, gender and generational roles. This training will make use of the video produced and screened as part of Component 3, and is designed to increase beneficiaries’ capacity to orient themselves toward more productive investment in economic activities.

Component 5: Micro-entrepreneurship training
This week-long group-based training will cover basic business skills. It will focus on cross-cutting micro-entrepreneurship skills, including basic accounting and management principles, market research, planning and scheduling, saving, and investing. In addition, the training will focus on the choice of livelihood activities, providing risks and opportunities for potential productive activities.

Component 6: One-time lump-sum cash grant
A one-off lump-sum cash injection of 100-200 USD per beneficiary will be provided. This cash injection is significantly larger than the periodic cash transfers with the objective to promote investments in productive activities.

Component 7: Facilitation of market access
This intervention will help solve coordination failures through facilitating group-based access to markets. Field agents will be trained to operate as market agents on behalf of groups of beneficiaries and help connect to suppliers of inputs or bulk-buyers of output. Services may include pooling resources and negotiating on behalf of the group with a higher bargaining power; buying inputs in bulk before distributing to group members; surveying demand for outputs and organizing delivery or pick-up by buyers.

Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Consumption: per capita measures of food, non-food, and durable good consumption

Food Security: standardized measures of hunger, including Household Hunger Scales and Dietary Diversity scores

Income and Revenues: all income, including employment, business, and transfer income

Resilience: incidence and response to shocks; preparation for seasonal variations in income

Assets: ownership and value of household and productive assets

Finance: borrowing, lending, and savings

Expenditure: specifically, transfers and celebration spending

Diversification: sources of income

Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Time use: time spent on agriculture, in employment, in other productive activities

Mental health, beliefs and attitudes: self-efficacy, depression, gender attitudes

Women’s empowerment: decision-making power and agency

Social involvement: involvement in social and political groups

Physical health: sickness, healthcare use
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In each country, the cash transfer beneficiaries will be randomized into four groups at the village (or neighborhood)-level:

Control – “Periodic cash only” (no productive package components)” Only receive periodic cash transfers

Treatment 1 – “Full package” (Productive package components 1-7): Periodic cash transfers and full package components

Treatment 2 – “No Psycho-Social Support” (Productive package components 1, 2, 5, 6, 7): Periodic cash transfers and package components, excluding the community awareness intervention and life skills training.

Treatment 3 – “No lump-sum cash grant” (Productive package components 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7): Periodic cash transfers and productive package components, excluding the lump-sum cash grant.

It is expected that randomization over the four groups will be at the village-level.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Public lottery
Randomization Unit
Village level (rural areas) and neighborhood level (urban areas)

Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
175 to 320 villages or neighborhoods per country
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 5,000 households per country
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Evenly-sized treatment arms in each country with 44-85 villages or neighborhoods per arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Promoting Productive Inclusion and Resilience among the Poor

MD5: 0fd450b954a62e4ee0d69f673fe2ca8f

SHA1: ef776982e1e1f3bd129f0252e911077be9b69c3a

Uploaded At: August 29, 2019


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