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.