Impacts of Improved Access to Mobile Savings, with and without Business Training: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania

Last registered on May 14, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Impacts of Improved Access to Mobile Savings, with and without Business Training: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002950
Initial registration date
May 10, 2018
Last updated
May 14, 2018, 10:37 AM EDT

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
The World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Africa Gender Innovation Lab, World Bank Group
PI Affiliation
Africa Gender Innovation Lab, World Bank Group
PI Affiliation
Africa Gender Innovation Lab, World Bank Group
PI Affiliation
Africa Gender Innovation Lab, World Bank Group

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2016-06-01
End date
2019-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In this study the World Bank's Africa Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) will evaluate the impact of a mobile-savings product with and without an in-person savings-focused business training program for micro-entrepreneurs in Tanzania, about one year after the end of business training. The program was implemented by Technoserve between August and December 2016. Six-months after the intervention ended results show that women save substantially more through the mobile account, and that the business training bolstered this effect. Women also obtain more microloans through the mobile account, an additional service provided by the product. The business training further led to an increase in the business practices of the women. These results are accompanied by improvements in women’s empowerment and subjective well-being.

Registration Citation

Citation
, et al. 2018. "Impacts of Improved Access to Mobile Savings, with and without Business Training: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania." AEA RCT Registry. May 14. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2950-1.0
Former Citation
, et al. 2018. "Impacts of Improved Access to Mobile Savings, with and without Business Training: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania." AEA RCT Registry. May 14. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2950/history/29444
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Business Women Connect (BWC) was designed by TechnoServe to improve the business performance of women micro entrepreneurs by improving their access to a mobile-savings product and their business knowledge and skills through a business training. BWC comprised two interventions: (1) M-Pawa registration was a 2.5-hour training session on the uses and benefits of Vodacom’s M-Pawa savings account that included the general introduction to the benefits of saving as well as registration on the M-Pawa platform. M-Pawa is an interest-bearing mobile money savings account connected to the M-Pesa mobile money platform. After a few months, users also become eligible for instant short-term microloans. The M-Pawa intervention thus seeks to simultaneously relax savings and credit constraints. (2) Business skills training was a 12 session 2.5-hour weekly face-to-face program. It covered business expansion & profitability, finance & record-keeping, entrepreneurship & business planning, and personal & professional efficacy using activity based learning and videos. Participants also had access to Arifu's interactive mobile learning platform which is designed to reinforce business skills concepts.
Intervention Start Date
2016-08-01
Intervention End Date
2016-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We are primarily interested in the impact of the M-Pawa accounts and business training on downstream business outcomes (e.g. profits, sales, revenue, assets, # of activities). The main intermediate outcomes of interest are M-Pawa product usage, changes in savings and credit behavior (e.g. changes in the quantity and mix of savings and credit products utilized), business practices, women's empowerment and subjective well-being. Short term impacts on the intermediate outcomes were analyzed in Bastian, Bianchi, Montalvao & Goldstein (CGD-WP#478, 2018).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The business practices score is the proportion of 26 business practices (McKenzie and Woodruff [2015]) firms report using. The women's empowerment score is the sum of answer to five questions about women’s say over financial decisions on businesses expenditures, household expenditures, own personal expenditures, and expenditures on children. Possible answers to each of these questions are on a scale from 1 (“I alone decide and do not consult anyone else”) to 5 (“Only other persons make the decision”). Subjective wellbeing will be measured as a life satisfaction score, which adds two dummy variables indicating whether the woman reports being very happy with her life overall, and whether she believes that her life has improved in the past 12 months.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
TechnoServe located and screened more than 9,000 women microentrepreneurs, mostly market and street vendors, operating their businesses in urban and peri-urban regions around the Mbeya and Dodoma. 4,000 women were selected to participate in the study based on basic eligibility criteria and willingness to participate in the program. About 22% of the participants operated their businesses in 24 markets in Dodoma, and 78% operated in 76 markets in Mbeya. After the baseline survey the 4,000 women were randomly assigned across two treatment groups and a control group. The first treatment group (T1) of 1,000 women who were invited to participate in the M-Pawa intervention. The second treatment group (T2) of 2,000 women were invited to participate in the M-Pawa intervention and the Business Skills training. The control group of 1,000 received no intervention for the duration of the evaluation. The randomization was stratified by (i) market area, (ii) whether the respondent currently saves money on her mobile phone (through M-Pesa), (iii) whether the respondent has above-median monthly sales, and (iv) whether the respondent is above the median business practices score.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in an office on a computer using STATA.
Randomization Unit
Individual women micro-entrepreneurs were the unit of randomization.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not clustered.
Sample size: planned number of observations
4000 individual women micro-entrepreneurs
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1000 Control, 1000 M-Pawa only treatment, 2000 M-Pawa & business training treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH)
IRB Approval Date
2016-04-12
IRB Approval Number
2016-121-NA-2016-65

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials