Cash Transfers and Community Participation in Public Affairs: A Village-Level Randomized Controlled Trial in Kenya
Last registered on October 04, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Cash Transfers and Community Participation in Public Affairs: A Village-Level Randomized Controlled Trial in Kenya
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002918
Initial registration date
April 24, 2018
Last updated
October 04, 2018 5:35 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Oxford
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
UC Berkeley
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2014-09-15
End date
2019-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We provide well-identified evidence on how a large cash windfall from direct cash transfers from an NGO affects political processes and their outcomes for the poorest in rural communities in Kenya. We exploit village-level variation in the rollout of an unconditional cash transfer programme from two village-level randomized controlled trials, covering 1,097 villages. In each trial, we randomly assign half of the villages in an area targeted by the NGO GiveDirectly to an unconditional cash transfer programme, after stratifying by village economic status and size. We examine effects on poorer households which would have been eligible to be recipients of the cash transfer programme, richer households who would not have received the programme, non-recipients, and village-level outcomes. We focus on the extent of clientelist exchanges and on citizens' civic engagement and involvement in group and community initiatives.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Orkin, Kate and Michael Walker. 2018. "Cash Transfers and Community Participation in Public Affairs: A Village-Level Randomized Controlled Trial in Kenya." AEA RCT Registry. October 04. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2918/history/35250
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The NGO GiveDirectly provides large, unconditional cash transfers to poor households in rural Kenya. GiveDirectly identifies villages in which they are willing to work, and in order to facilitate research on cash transfers, these villages are randomly assigned to treatment or control status. Within treatment villages, GiveDirectly then identifies all households that meet their eligibility criteria, enrolls and verifies the eligibility of households, and sends cash transfers to all eligible households via the mobile money system M-Pesa. Eligible households receive a one-time of around USD 1,000 made in a series of three payments. GiveDirectly is responsible for the intervention.

The cash transfers used in this program were originally distributed as part of two previously-registered AEA trials. The earlier trial, ”General Equilibrium Effects of Cash Transfers in Kenya” (GE), examines effects on prices, wages and economic growth in 653 villages, and began giving out cash transfers in September 2014 (Haushofer, Miguel, Niehaus and Walker, 2014, available at https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/505). The later trial, ”Promoting Future Orientation Among Cash Transfer Recipients”, started disbursing transfers in November 2016 in 416 villages (Orkin, Garlick, Haushofer, Mahmud, Sedlmayr, and Dercon, 2016, available at https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/996). It examines effects of cross-cutting a goal-setting exercise with the cash transfer.

We are collecting new data on political and civic engagement outcomes across both trials. The combined study increases the number of villages and administrative units to study to increase power for village- and administrative unit-level analysis.
Intervention Start Date
2014-09-15
Intervention End Date
2017-07-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
See pre-analysis plan
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
See pre-analysis plan
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Randomization of treatment on the village level was conducted separately by the two study teams and is outlined in the PAPs linked to above.

In both studies, in cash treatment villages, GiveDirectly enrolls and distributes cash transfers to households that meet its eligibility criteria.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Stratified randomisation in an office by a computer. Randomization of treatment on the village level was conducted separately by the two study teams and is outlined in the PAPs linked to above.
Randomization Unit
Villages and sublocations
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,097
Sample size: planned number of observations
Estimated average of 18 households per village in 416 villages, plus 1,111 village elders and roughly 100 assistant chiefs across all villages, and approximately 65 candidates for the Members of the County Assembly position or past incumbents of the position for wards in which the 1,111 villages are located.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We located 1,097 of the 1,111 village elders in our sampling frame. There are 552 villages in the control group, 545 in the cash treatment group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Oxford University Social Sciences and Humanities Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2017-08-30
IRB Approval Number
ECONCIA17-18-012