Increasing adoption of conservation agriculture technologies: A framed field experiment in Ghana
Last registered on March 08, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Increasing adoption of conservation agriculture technologies: A framed field experiment in Ghana
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003973
Initial registration date
March 05, 2019
Last updated
March 08, 2019 3:48 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
International Food Policy Research Institute
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
International Food Policy Research Institute
PI Affiliation
International Food Policy Research Institute
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-04-01
End date
2019-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study uses a framed field experiment to study ways to increase the adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) technologies in Ghana. The fact that CA practices often result in production benefits only after several consecutive seasons of adoption creates a two-fold challenge. First, it is difficult to convince farmers to invest over multiple seasons without a payoff, and second, evaluation of any strategies is complicated by the four season or more time frame that is needed. Our study addresses the first issue by studying both multi-season incentives in an environment of uncertainty over when payoffs will occur and information on the adoption decisions of peers. To address the second issue, we conduct a framed field experiment, allowing us to simulate many different seasons of implementation in a single session. The results can be used to inform randomized impact evaluations of similar programs.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Ambler, Kate, Alan de Brauw and Michael Murphy. 2019. "Increasing adoption of conservation agriculture technologies: A framed field experiment in Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. March 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3973/history/42758
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The framed field experiment will study ways to encourage the adoption of conservation agriculture technologies. The two interventions to be tested are incentives for adoption and peer information. We will also study the interaction of incentive timing with uncertainty around when production benefits from the practice adoption will kick in. Because conservation agriculture practices require adoption in multiple seasons before gains are realized, the framed field experiment allows us to simulate the long time horizon and understand the potential of these interventions without conducting a years-long study. See the project documents for more information.
Intervention Start Date
2019-04-01
Intervention End Date
2019-05-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Adoption of conservation agriculture practices in an given season and continued adoption over enough seasons to produce production benefits.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The adoption decision is the choice that farmers make in each round of the framed field experiment. We will combine their decisions over rounds to create measures of adoption over time.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This framed field experiment contains three separate randomizations. More detail is available in the project description.
Randomization 1: Adoption incentive
The incentive treatment will consist of one treatment arm and a control group, with 2/3 of the sample in the treatment group and 1/3 in the control group. The treatment will consist of an incentive for farmers who choose to adopt CA practices in any of the first four rounds of the experiment. The bonus will be paid in the relevant round following the confirmation of the adoption decision for that round by the farmer, in the first four rounds of the experiment only.

Randomization 2: Uncertainty regarding production payoff
An additional element of the experiment models the uncertainty regarding when farmers can expect to see a production benefit from the application of CA techniques. All farmers will be told that they can expect to see benefits in 4 to 6 seasons, and incentives will last for four seasons. Farmers will be randomly allocated to a group that receives benefits in 4 seasons, 5 seasons, or 6 seasons (across both the treatment and control groups).

Randomization 3: Peer information
The peer information treatment will be cross-randomized with the bonus treatment evenly across one treatment and control group. Treated participants will receive an additional prompt about the adoption behavior of a peer-farmer in the previous round, prior to making their decision for the current round. This information will be randomized by round and farmer, so each farmer will receive different information in every round. The information will include the adoption choice of the peer farmer in that round and the prior adoption history (in how many consecutive rounds if any the peer farmer had adopted CA practices). The information will also include the returns experienced by the peer farmer based on their adoption choice, history, and that season’s rainfall. The rainfall experienced by the peer farmer will always be the same as the rainfall experienced by the participant.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in an office by a computer and pre-loaded into field materials.
Randomization Unit
All randomizations will be conducted on the individual level, and stratified by the other treatments, community, and gender (when available).
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
The planned sample frame is 1,320 individuals. We expect attrition from the sample frame to be no more than 5%. These individuals will be from 66 communities, in 12 districts. Randomization will be at the individual level.
Sample size: planned number of observations
The planned sample frame is 1,320 individuals. We expect attrition from the sample frame to be no more than 5%.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Incentive treatment: Incentives = 880, Control = 440
Uncertainty treatment: 4 seasons = 440, 5 seasons = 440, 6 seasons = 440
Peer information treatment: Information = 660, Control = 660
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Please see the pre-analysis plan for power calculations.
Supporting Documents and Materials

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
International Food Policy Research Institute #00007490
IRB Approval Date
2018-12-01
IRB Approval Number
MTID-18-1261
Analysis Plan

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
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