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“Personal initiative” versus “interpersonal initiative”: testing the psychological, social, and economic effects of two models of women’s agency in Niger
Last registered on November 22, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
“Personal initiative” versus “interpersonal initiative”: testing the psychological, social, and economic effects of two models of women’s agency in Niger
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003570
Initial registration date
November 16, 2018
Last updated
November 22, 2019 12:39 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Stanford University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
PI Affiliation
World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2018-01-04
End date
2019-05-08
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study seeks to examine the psychosocial mechanisms of women’s economic engagement in Niger, particularly in the context of the Adaptive Safety Net Program (ASP). ASP includes several components (described in detail here: https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2544), and we focus on villages where beneficiaries are offered psychosocial interventions. With a subsample of female participants, we conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment in which we vary, at the individual level, the salience of certain characteristics of the role models portrayed during a community-wide film viewing and tie those characteristics to the participant’s personal goals through a guided reflection exercise. In these additional, brief lab-in-the-field interventions, we compare the effects of two randomized psychosocial approaches to women’s economic agency: “personal initiative,” grounded in an independent self-construal and motivational style, and “interpersonal initiative,” grounded in interdependent self-construal and motivational style. We examine the influences of the experimental manipulation, and other sociocultural and economic contextual factors, on intermediate psychological, social, and economic measures as well as participation in business and life skills trainings.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bossuroy, Thomas et al. 2019. "“Personal initiative” versus “interpersonal initiative”: testing the psychological, social, and economic effects of two models of women’s agency in Niger." AEA RCT Registry. November 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3570-3.0.
Former Citation
Bossuroy, Thomas et al. 2019. "“Personal initiative” versus “interpersonal initiative”: testing the psychological, social, and economic effects of two models of women’s agency in Niger." AEA RCT Registry. November 22. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3570/history/57497.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
During the individual-level lab-in-the-field session, participants are guided by female enumerators through one of the two salience interventions. The “salience” interventions make salient one of two different interpretations of the film of Amina through a four-minute video recap of Amina’s story and a 20-minute reflection exercise relating the role model’s story to their own economic goals and behaviors. In the first “personal initiative” condition, participants see a recap of the video that portrays the main character as being initiative-taking, strategic, and innovative; they are then led through mental contrasting and implementation intentions focusing on intrapersonal and structural resources and barriers. This intervention approach is evidence-based in Western populations (Duckworth et al., 2013, Kizilcec & Cohen, 2017). In the second “interpersonal initiative” condition, participants see a recap of the video portraying the main character as being respectful, dutiful, and generous; they are then led through a goal setting exercise focusing on interpersonal resources and barriers. This second condition is a motivational intervention, adapted from the mental contrasting and implementation intentions approach, to meet local cultural values as well as the interpersonal barriers faced by Nigerien rural women to economic activity. The economic activity and trajectory of Amina are consistent across the two videos.
Intervention Start Date
2018-02-27
Intervention End Date
2018-04-24
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will analyze lab-in-the-field survey measures on intermediate psychosocial and economic measures (taken immediately after treatment) and administrative program data (participation in skills trainings).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
For the group-level randomized treatment (saturation level of psychosocial treatment within group), the outcomes of interest are rates of participation in the 12 sessions of business and life skills. These skill training participation rates are captured through administrative data collection processes. These trainings begin within 1 week of the lab-in-the-field study.

For the individual level randomization to one of the two salience intervention treatments (“personal initiative” or “interpersonal initiative”), the outcomes of interest are the intermediate psychological, social, and economic measures collected in the lab-in-the-field session. These measures are taken, in the lab-in-the-field session, immediately after showing respondents the video recap and guiding them through the associated reflection exercise. Enumerators ask respondents a series of psychological, social, and economic measures, including hypothetical economic engagement behaviors (including hypothetical decisions to engage in economic activities, investment in activities), self-oriented measures items (including personal efficacy, confidence, economic aspirations), other-focused items (including interpersonal strain, interpersonal efficacy and trust, gender norms, investment in community funds), and assessment of role model Amina and self (social, economic, moral statuses). Enumerators also record participants’ qualitative responses to the intervention, to be analyzed as manipulation checks. In addition, we collect other measures to be assessed as moderators, or dimensions of heterogeneity, including the extent of economic constraint (e.g. poverty score, financial dependence on others, cell phone ownership, education level), social constraint (e.g. marital status, social influence), and values orientation (binding and traditional versus individualizing and self-expressive).
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This embedded lab-in-the-field study explores the psychosocial mechanisms of motivating women’s engagement in economic development activities in Niger. It is embedded within a larger study of the Niger Adaptive Safety Net Program (ASP) offering small, regular cash transfers and a set of productive accompanying measures to low-income households. The package of productive accompanying measures include several components (described in details here: https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2544), which are being evaluated as part of a multi-country study. Beneficiaries are organized in a group as they participate in most of these components, for instance for training in business skills or life skills and for savings. For this study, we focus on a subsample of female participants in villages where beneficiaries were offered psycho-social interventions. Individuals were eligible for participation in the ASP program on the basis of a Proxy Means Targeting (PMT) score and other methods seeking to identify poor and vulnerable households (selection process detailed here: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/387791524060631076/pdf/WPS8412.pdf). 85% of ASP beneficiaries were found to fall below Niger’s national poverty line.

Among other components, ASP beneficiaries participate a community-wide sensitization session, consisting of a 20-minute film and subsequent discussion, and twelve sessions of business and life skills trainings. This lab-in-the-field embedded study takes place between the sensitization session and the business and life skills trainings. It links to both of these components in that the study compares the effects of particular features of the film shown in the sensitization session, and a behavioral outcome of the study is the rate of participation in the business and life skills trainings.

The film shown in the sensitization session is developed for the rural, predominantly Muslim ASP program population in Niger. It depicts the journey of a role model, an entrepreneurial woman named Amina, who works and negotiates with her family to start her own business and, in this process, shares her knowledge and example with her community and her children. The film is a launching point for a wider community discussion on adaptations to business practices and to the roles of men and women in the face of a changing climate. One to two months after the sensitization, female beneficiaries participate in group-based trainings on business and life skills that are intended to give them the business knowledge and psychosocial skills to create, build, or expand their economic activities and to achieve greater income-generating capacity.

This embedded lab-in-the-field study is conducted in the weeks between the sensitization session and the business and life skills trainings with a subsample of female participants in six communes of Niger. It tests the motivational effects of two different types of role models by making salient different elements of Amina’s story. The first presents Amina as a woman who takes “personal initiative” by being proactive, strategic, and innovative in her pursuit to build her business. The second presents Amina as a woman who takes “interpersonal initiative” by collaborating with her family and teaching others new skills in the course of building her business. We assess how these two narratives and accompanying reflection exercises (i.e. “salience interventions”, further described below) affect economic engagement behaviors, economic decision making, self-construals, and interpersonal processes.

We conduct the study in 33 villages receiving the psychosocial interventions as part of the ASP program in six communes. Our study includes 2,628 beneficiaries in these villages. First, groups of beneficiaries are randomized to have a saturation level of 25, 50, or 75 percent of the group treated. Thus, 1,332 participants are randomized to the treatment (a psychosocial intervention in a lab-in-the-field session) and 1,296 to the non-treated control group. These business and life skills training groups have between 11 to 33 participants, with an average of 25.

Within each group, individuals assigned to treatment are then randomly assigned to either one of the two brief psychosocial “salience” interventions (“personal initiative” or “interpersonal initiative”), delivered in the lab-in-the-field session. These randomizations are stratified by timing of the ASP training activities (Early: February-March / Late: April), the ASP treatment arm (Complete: all components / Social: all components except cash transfer), and participation in a prior ASP baseline survey (Y/N).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done using Stata version 13
Randomization Unit
The level of treatment saturation within each beneficiary group (n=108) is randomized such that 25%, 50%, or 75% of the group is treated with a lab-in-the-field salience intervention, and the other 75%, 50%, 25% of the group is a non-treated, control group. For this group-level randomization, the outcomes of interest are participation rates in the business and life skills trainings, and the standard errors will be clustered by group.
The individual level randomization to the two psychosocial interventions is stratified by group.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
108 groups
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,332 participants for the lab-in-the-field measures 2,628 participants in total (including the 1,332 lab-in-the-field subsample) for administrative data
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Group level-randomization of psychosocial treatment saturation within group: 25% (n=36 groups), 50% (n=36 groups), 75% (n=36 groups)
Individual-level randomization to one of the two psychosocial treatments: Personal initiative (n=666 participants), Interpersonal initiative (n=666 participants)
Control (no treatment) (n=1,296 participants)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Sample size requirements were computed prior to sampling and randomization. The desired minimum detectable effect (MDE) sizes between the two lab-in-the-field salience interventions (“personal initiative” and “interpersonal initiative”) was a Cohen’s d of 0.16 and between the psychosocial treatment (pooled) and the control group was a Cohen’s d of 0.11. This target MDE requires n=614 for each of the two salience treatment intervention arms and n=1,296 for the control (no lab-in-the-field survey) arm. Assuming a rate of 8% for non-participation, survey error, and attrition for the two lab-in-the-field arms, our sample size for the lab-in-the-field study sample was n=1,332.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Stanford University Research Compliance Office: Human Subjects Research and IRB
IRB Approval Date
2017-12-22
IRB Approval Number
44074
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
HybridPAP1_2018.11.16

MD5: d0d138baa8692a89a118d3fcfcacbcf8

SHA1: 9385d9c1bc0d08cf2db5ac465d24d21e10d9adba

Uploaded At: November 16, 2018

PAP_FollowUp_11.21.2019

MD5: 39f79e84e936bd61cb3a8169f1a84106

SHA1: 75febdfaedc5b8cf94e8e5221a97977938769913

Uploaded At: November 22, 2019

Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers