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NExTWORK
Last registered on October 08, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
NExTWORK
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002752
Initial registration date
May 07, 2019
Last updated
October 08, 2019 8:56 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Institute for Fiscal Studies
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2017-01-01
End date
2022-11-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
NExTWORK is an active labour market programme (ALMP) currently undergoing evaluation in Denmark. The NExTWORK programme links youth between the ages of 18 and 29, who have no labour-market relevant qualification and who receive social assistance, with companies willing to offer internships. Rather than being assigned internships, youth in NExTWORK come into direct contact with companies at programme-facilitated matching events, and internships are then allocated based on an expression of mutual interest. The programme then provides ongoing support to the youth throughout their internships from both a counselor and weekly peer-support groups. Participating firms also receive guidance through company coordinators and their own support network.

This programme is designed to address some of the shortcomings that have been identified in previous ALMPs and within the current Danish system. Evaluations of such programmes have typically found them to be least effective for younger adults, those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, and those with very low skills or motivation.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Krutikova, Sonya. 2019. "NExTWORK." AEA RCT Registry. October 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2752-1.1.
Former Citation
Krutikova, Sonya. 2019. "NExTWORK." AEA RCT Registry. October 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2752/history/54828.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
NExTWORK is a new active labour market programme (ALMP) in Denmark which aims to improve match quality between companies offering internships and out-of-work youth, as well to recognise and address the barriers youth face in productive engagement in education and the labour market.

The two key features that distinguish NExTWORK from the Danish government programme, as well as other programmes evaluated in the literature are: (1) ‘many-to-many’ matching of youth to internship opportunities through a network of local firms; and (2) a youth counsellor led peer-support group for the participating youth - in which trained facilitators use a narrative approach to build work identity and foster positive development among the youth. The aim is for the youth to acquire the experience and skills they need in order to progress into either education or employment. The government support currently provided to disconnected youth in Denmark includes CV preparation, life-skills, math and literacy courses, and (caseworker assigned) company internships. The youth are assigned to all of these by their municipal case-worker and is obliged to attend them in order to continue receiving benefit payments.

The programme is designed around 3 core principles, many-to-many, shift of power, and work identity. The first of these principles, many-to-many, focusses on building networks – and thus social capital - between young people and companies. In order to facilitate a productive and relevant match between the youth and companies, NExTWORK adopts a network approach which allows young people to meet and interact with many companies offering different work experience opportunities.

The second principle, shift-of-power, aims to empower the youth and increase their confidence in themselves. A key element of this is that it gives the participating youth a genuine choice in selecting the workplace for the internship, to ensure that it is meaningful for them. The young people are also encouraged to identify their own goals for their involvement in NExTWORK and thereby set their own direction for their route out of unemployment. Likewise, the companies are involved in developing and running the company network, and have a say in selecting the young people they would like to support and enrol as interns.

Through the third principle, work identity, NExTWORK aims to give the young people an opportunity to develop their work identity as a crucial step in finding direction towards education and work. The core focus is for the young people to be exposed to different work experiences and through sharing these experiences in a peer-support group facilitated by a NExTWORK consultant, to qualify these experiences as useful knowledge and skills and thereby strengthen their sense of "being a person capable of having a job". Work identity is primarily developed from these interactions in their peer-support group and through feedback from the company contact person and secondarily through 1:1 support provided by their youth counsellor.

The intervention itself will be run until at least 900 youth have been randomised into treatment, which is expected to occur in early 2021. Due to a time lag between the end of intervention and the availability of the register data required for the evaluation, full short-run impacts are not expected to be published until at least 18 months after this sample floor has been reached. Due to various lock-in effects, impacts for some outcomes will only be identifiable over a longer time horizon than this - thus a long-run impact evaluation will also take place at around 3 years after the randomisation of the 900th youth.

Due to the expected presence of a "bedding-in" period in which fidelity may be poor (for instance due to staff taking time to learn to competently apply the programme's principles), a sensitivity analysis will be included in the impact evaluations. Analyses will be performed on both the full sample, and on a sub-sample which excludes any individuals who were randomised in the first three months of the trial within a municipality.
Intervention Start Date
2017-01-01
Intervention End Date
2021-04-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Proportion no longer claiming social assistance (Proportion of youth no longer claiming a social assistance or social insurance payment, defined by the recorded receipt of an applicable payment in the DREAM register.)
- Length of time claiming social assistance (Cumulative length of time claiming social assistance since being treatment status, where claiming social assistance in defined as above)
- Rates of education completion (Proportion of youth who have completed the first year of general upper-secondary education or vocational education and training, as recorded in the KOTRE register.)
- Rate of uptake of paid employment (Proportion in paid employment, defined as having positive earnings recorded in the BFL/BFLBRTI register)
- Total amount time spent in paid employment (The cumulative length of time in paid employment since being assigned treatment status, where being in paid employment is defined as above)
- Average weekly earnings (Weekly earnings, as recorded in the BFL/BFLBRTI registers. Earnings for those who have no earnings recorded for a given week will be coded as zero.)
- Proportion of youth charged with a criminal offense (Proportion charged with a criminal offense (excluding minor traffic infractions) subsequent to randomisation, recorded in the KRSI register.)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The trial is designed as a stratified randomized trial. Within each municipality, participants are randomly assigned to either NExTWORK (the treatment group, T) or service as usual (the control group, C). The aim is to have an average of 45 individuals in the treatment group at any point in time in each municipality throughout the project period. The number of individuals randomized into the treatment and control groups will be adjusted to meet this target. Expected average programme participation duration is 6 months per person, meaning we expect to treat 90 youth per municipality per year. The number of individuals randomized to the study will adjust to ensure that this target is met.

The intervention is currently being conducted in five municipalities: Roskilde, Copenhagen, Sønderborg, Horsens and Vejle.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomisation is performed using allocation sequences with permuted blocks of randomly varying size (4 and 6). The allocation ratio between treatment and control groups is either 1:1 or 1:2, depending on the ratio of open spaces (in NExTWORK) to eligible youths. All sequences were generated in Stata using the ralloc module. The sequence is concealed from caseworkers who perform the random allocation when faced with an eligible young person by logging onto a website created specifically for the purpose, using personal passwords.

While recruitment and randomization are continuous in the participating municipalities, uptake in NExTWORK is designed to be periodic, with intervals of 6 weeks. Hence, while contact with the young people may be made by NExTWORK staff immediately following assignment to the treatment group, the young people may wait up to 6 weeks after having been allocated to the treatment group until they are participating in match events preceding placement in internships.
Randomization Unit
Randomization is carried out at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
Roskilde: 360/540 (1:1/1:2 T:C ratio) Copenhagen: 360/540 (1:1/1:2 T:C ratio) Sønderborg: 360/540 (1:1/1:2 T:C ratio), 540/810 (1:1/1:2 T:C ratio, if approved for third year) Horsens: 360/540 (1:1/1:2 T:C ratio) Vejle: 360/540 (1:1/1:2 T:C ratio) Maximum possible: 1800/2250 (1:1/1:2 T:C ratio)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Planned: 900 treatment, 900 control/900 treatment, 1800 control (1:1/1:2 T:C ratio)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Pre-analysis Plan

MD5: 17b6bbffb1c2a38b0e28ea3594531299

SHA1: 63961712316b8df5e5a3a5d474654577db466258

Uploaded At: October 08, 2019