Impact Evaluation of the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Program

Last registered on January 15, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Impact Evaluation of the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Program
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003784
Initial registration date
January 11, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
January 15, 2019, 2:16 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2013-06-01
End date
2016-01-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This is a longitudinal cluster randomized impact evaluation of the Government of Malawi's Social Cash Transfer Program (SCTP). The study was conducted in Salima and Mangochi Districts. Two Traditional Authorities (TAs) in each district were randomly selected to enter the study. A total of 29 village clusters (VCs) in these two TAs were included in the study. Half (15) were randomized to a delayed-entry control arm via public lottery; randomization was stratified by district. Approximately 3500 households were interviewed in 2013 (baseline), 2014 (17 months after the intervention began), and 2015 (34 months after the intervention began). The delayed-entry group entered the program in February 2016.

Registration Citation

Citation
Handa, Sudhanshu. 2019. "Impact Evaluation of the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Program." AEA RCT Registry. January 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3784
Former Citation
Handa, Sudhanshu. 2019. "Impact Evaluation of the Malawi Social Cash Transfer Program." AEA RCT Registry. January 15. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3784/history/40185
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Unconditional cash transfer paid bimonthly in cash by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Government of Malawi
Intervention Start Date
2014-01-01
Intervention End Date
2016-01-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Consumption, food security, child nutrition (height-for-age z-score), children's school enrollment, livestock ownership (chickens, goats, cows), adolescent sexual debut, adolescent mental health, adolescent work
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Adolescent mental health is measured using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Subjective well-being of main respondent, savings, debt, agricultural activity, expenditure on agricultural and other productive activity, labor supply of adults, health of adults
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Subjective well-being is measured using the WHO's Quality of Life Scale.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Longitudinal cluster randomized design in two Traditional Authorities in each of two districts (Salima, Mangochi) in Malawi. Randomization was done at the cluster level, and stratified by district. Fifteen clusters were randomly assigned to the delayed-entry control status via public lottery, while 14 clusters entered the cash transfer program immediately. Traditional authorities were randomly selected in each district to participate in the study. A total of 3531 households were surveyed.
Experimental Design Details
Longitudinal cluster randomized design in two Traditional Authorities in each of two districts (Salima, Mangochi) in Malawi. Randomization was done at the cluster level, and stratified by district. Fifteen clusters were randomly assigned to the delayed-entry control status via public lottery, while 14 clusters entered the cash transfer program immediately. A total of 3531 households were surveyed.
Randomization Method
Public lottery at the District Commissioners Office.
Randomization Unit
Village clusters--a total of 29 village clusters across the two Traditional Authorities (representing all the village clusters).
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
29
Sample size: planned number of observations
3531 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
15 control clusters (N=1853 households) and 14 treatment clusters (N=1678 households).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Sample size was determined by the ability to detect at least a 0.2 SD effect on the primary indicators listed. The indicator requiring the largest sample size was height-for-age z-score so the sample size was built to detect a 0.20 SD change in this indicator, accounting for an intra-cluster correlation for this indicator as reported in the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for Malawi.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of North Carolina
IRB Approval Date
2013-05-15
IRB Approval Number
12-2496

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