Social cohesion and economic empowerment: evidence from an entrepreneurship program implemented in post-conflict Western regions of Cote d’Ivoire
Last registered on May 15, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
Social cohesion and economic empowerment: evidence from an entrepreneurship program implemented in post-conflict Western regions of Cote d’Ivoire
Initial registration date
September 24, 2018
Last updated
May 15, 2019 11:27 AM EDT

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Primary Investigator
CREST - Ecole Polytechnique - U. Paris Saclay
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
World Bank
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Impact evaluation of an entrepreneurship program implemented in Western Cote d'Ivoire.
The program focuses on promoting productive self-employment to sustain livelihoods, in a rural area which was hit by the post-electoral conflict of the last decade. It aims to sustain vulnerable populations through entrepreneurship training and access to financial capital. Shared prosperity is expected to reinforce social cohesion, as well as more direct interventions such as a peace building training, and repeated interactions with other ethnic groups during trainings and meetings. This is all the more relevant in this area which is ethnically fractionalized following conflict displacement.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Marguerie, Alicia and Patrick Premand. 2019. "Social cohesion and economic empowerment: evidence from an entrepreneurship program implemented in post-conflict Western regions of Cote d’Ivoire." AEA RCT Registry. May 15.
Experimental Details
This study is a RCT for the " Projet d’Insertion Socio-Economique des populations vulnérables de l’Ouest de Cote d’Ivoire " (PRISE) program, which aims at supporting social and economic inclusion of poor populations in regions affected by the past conflict in Cote d’Ivoire. The study compares the relative effectiveness of three alternative treatments seeking to facilitate investments in income-generating activities and promote social cohesion.
The PRISE program has been implemented by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and coordinated by the Bureau de Coordination des Programmes Emplois (BCP-Emploi) as part of the Ministry of Youth and Youth Employment. PRISE was developed in the post-conflict period after the 2011 post-electoral crisis.
The program was implemented in the Western part of the country, in the 4 regions of Tonki, Cavally, le Bafing, Guémon. Those regions were identified as the most severely affected by the conflict. The regional area accounts for numerous internal migrants and displaced populations which are either non-indigenous or indigenous, and are part of various ethnic groups.
In this context, the PRISE program seeks to promote economic inclusion of people who became economically vulnerable after the conflict, especially youth and women. Improvements of economic opportunities are expected to also facilitate social and economic interactions between ethnic groups and in turn improve social cohesion.
The study is a RCT with 3 treatment arms, testing alternative models to relax financial and human capital constraints to foster more productive income-generating activities (IGAs):
- Semi-credit (up to 100 00 FCFA per person) conditional on writing a viable business plan, with 50% to be reimbursed within 6 months.
- Set up of Village Savings and Loan Associations, promoting savings among participants based on their own resources (without capital injection).
- Cash grant (up to 100 00 FCFA per person) conditional on writing a viable business plan, with no reimbursement required.
All program participants also receive 55 hours of basic training, which covers (i) peace building and social cohesion, (ii) support for the creation of income-generating activities and writing of a business plan, (iii) business skills, and (iv) life skills.
The RCT was designed prospectively prior to the launch of the program, in collaboration with BCP-Emploi, with the objective to inform future policies in Cote d’Ivoire. The RCT was embedded in the second wave of the program that started in July 2015, and lasted for 2 years. During this period, 5000 individuals benefited from the program.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Individual economic outcomes:
• Employment (inactivity, employment, self-employment in agriculture, self-employment in livestock, self-employment in non-agricultural activities, wage employment, number of activities)
• Earnings (total earnings, earnings in self-employment in agriculture, earnings in self-employment in livestock, earnings in self-employment in non-agricultural activities, earnings in wage employment)
• Food security
• Assets owned by household

Social cohesion outcomes
• Participation in community activities
• Interpersonal trust
• Conflict and insecurity : source of conflict, and feeling of insecurity

Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Individual economics outcomes :
• Business skills
• Savings (stock and flow) : diversity of savings tools (VSLA, ROSCAs, etc.)
• Debts (stock and flow) : diversity of creditors

Local economic outcomes :
• Governance : ethnic diversity and list of active associations by locality
• Conflicts number of conflicts in the locality and their resolution at local level

Exploratory analysis for additional outcomes is expected to take place, and will be mentioned as such.

Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The RCT is based on a randomized assignment process at the locality level. The randomization allocates localities that were eligible to be included in the program to either one of the treatments or to the control group. The protocol was as follows.

The PRISE program organized public lotteries involving all the localities and sous-prefecture representatives. The randomization was clustered by sous-prefecture and stratified by types of locality, namely village or city district.
Two different public lotteries were organized, after NGO IRC had realized an exhaustive listing of localities in the region.
A first randomization (“sampling lottery”) randomly selected localities into the study sample. A targeting data collection exercise was then completed in all localities selected into the sample. The data collection was conducted by IRC in each 207 localities selected after the first sampling lottery.

The targeting data collection was implemented by IRC. The final enrolled population was 14 880 individuals in 207 localities. Among all registered individuals,13 217 individuals were eligible.

The second lottery randomly assigned the 207 eligible localities to one of the three treatment groups or to the control group, divided as follows:
- 60 localities were assigned to the control group
- 64 localities were assigned to receive the training and the semi credit option, with 50% of the credit to be reimbursed within 6 months, and conditional on writing a viable business plan.
- 53 localities were assigned to receive the training and support to set-up VLSA
- 30 localities were assigned to receive the training and a cash grant conditional on writing a business plan.

The final selection of candidates was based on an individual vulnerability score. Baseline data, collected during enrollment, were used to compute a vulnerability score for each individual. Selected individuals are those above the vulnerability cut-off established in each locality, ordering vulnerability score in descending order.

An end line survey will be conducted a year and half after completion of the program. It will include individuals above the vulnerability cut-off in treatment and control groups, in order to estimate treatment effects for each treatment, and between treatments. In addition, a sample of eligible but non-selected individuals (with vulnerability scores below the cut-off) will also be included in order to provide information on whether the program generated economic and/or social externalities through spillovers within localities.

Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
2 Public lotteries were organized: 207 localities were selected in the sample through a the first lottery, which took place in August 2015. The first lottery identified a sample of 207 localities out of 354 eligible sites (referred as “sampling lottery”). The second lottery allocated the 207 sample localities into treatment arms or control group (referred as “assignment lottery”).
Randomization Unit
The randomization takes place at the locality level. First, localities were randomly selected into the study sample, then a second randomization assign each locality to a treatment or control arm.
The randomization was stratified by type of locality (village versus district of a city).
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
207 localities (villages or districts of a city)
Sample size: planned number of observations
5220 individuals across the 207 localities
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
- 60 control sites
- 64 sites in “semi-credit” intervention (T1),
- 53 sites in “VSLA” intervention (T2),
- 30 sites in “cash grant” intervention (T3)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
For T1 : 15 individuals sampled per treated cluster – MDE for T1 – C comparisons = 18.5% For T2 : 17 individuals sampled per treated cluster – MDE for T2 – C comparisons = 18.9% For T3 : 22 individuals sampled per treated cluster - MDE for T3 – C comparisons = 21.3%
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number