Evaluating a Social Action Programme in the UK
Last registered on July 02, 2014

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Evaluating a Social Action Programme in the UK
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000428
Initial registration date
July 02, 2014
Last updated
July 02, 2014 1:04 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Behavioural Insights Team
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2014-01-08
End date
2015-02-28
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The purpose of this trial is to produce a robust evidence base about the impact of social action on young people, including a specific focus on their general skills. Specifically, this trial aims to evaluate the the partner (CF hereafter) programme of work funded by the Cabinet Office centre for social action.
Evidence in this area is currently sparse and, where it does exist, is inconsistent. As such this research will have significant implications for future policy making and funding decisions in this area.
The two primary questions that this trial aims to answer are:
1. Does taking part in the CF programme boost the employability of participants?

2. Are participants’ general skills (as measured by this trial), improved by taking part in the CF programme?
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Sanders, Michael . 2014. "Evaluating a Social Action Programme in the UK." AEA RCT Registry. July 02. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/428/history/2017
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Control:
Participants in the control group will not receive the programme during the first year of the programme (which we will be analysing). Control schools will, however, receive a financial payment to incentivise them to contribute data to the trial. To ensure that this payment is not spent on anything that might affect our ability to identify the impact of treatment during the course of the trial, it will be paid only after the programme has finished and all final follow-up surveys collected.
All participants in the control group will need to complete the pre and post intervention survey.
Intervention:
All participants in this treatment will engage in the same programme delivered by CF.
The Go-Givers’ Make a Difference Challenge (MADC) is a child-led programme that supports KS2 pupils in identifying, researching and addressing a cause or concern that they care about, by developing an awareness-raising campaign, fundraising or taking direct action.
Through supporting teachers with training, resources and on-going encouragement the CF build a systematic induction into social action, helping children to become willing and able to affect the world around them.
Detailed information:
The MADC is a child-led programme for 10/11 year olds that presents an opportunity for children to take the lead in making a difference to their communities.

1. The programme takes place over 10/11 weeks and begins with a full day's training session, led by the CF, for teachers to equip them with tools, materials and activities to support the programme and facilitate children's learning.

2. Teachers introduce the project and facilitate the decision-making process as children choose the cause or issue they wish to champion.

3. Using tools and lessons on the Go-Givers website (www.gogivers.org) the children research, gather the views of the local community, engage with beneficiaries, make links with relevant organisations, and identify how they might ‘make a difference’.

4. The children implement their action plans to raise awareness, fundraise and/or take direct action.

5. Representatives from each school attend a celebration event to make persuasive presentations explaining the importance of their cause. They share the scrapbooks that they have compiled to document their journey.

Go-Givers works with Community Foundations to connect the children into their communities, engage influential people as advocates for the project, support the schools and endorse local activity.
The children will be encouraged to make a commitment to take action to support/improve an aspect of their community/local environment through a re-skinned version of the current ‘Our Pledge’ activity on the Go-Givers website.
The teachers will be charged with encouraging the children to make their pledge, with parental consent, before the end of the summer term.
With the support and supervision of their families, and the peers who they recruit to their cause, the children will carry out their community action during the summer holidays.
All participants in the treatment group will need to complete the pre and post intervention survey.
Intervention Start Date
2014-01-08
Intervention End Date
2014-09-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
There are multiple outcome measures for this trial, which are described in more detail in the supporting documents.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The derivation of our outcome measures is described in the supporting documents.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This trial will use a pipeline design . In this trial design the treatment of some groups is lagged to create a control condition, with the first group allocated to receive the intervention acting as the treatment group and all the groups allocated to receive the intervention later acting as the control. This design may be thought of as the simplest formulation of a stepped-wedge design .
We have chosen this design as a way to incentivise schools in the control condition to participate in the evaluation, as they still receive the intervention only at a later date. In addition, a two year pipeline design with random assignment between year 1 and year 2 maximises the statistical power available for the trial, as well as providing an incentive for groups assigned to receive the intervention in year 2 of the trial to adhere to the trial during the first year. To support the need to recruit additional schools, CF will pay a financial grant (to be paid at the end of the trials so as not to interfere with the evaluation) to all schools that are allocated to year 2.
The participants in the trial will be recruited from secondary schools across Birmingham and Kent. The programme will be implemented in 20 schools in year 1 (treatment group) and in 16 schools in year 2 (control group). Our comparison of interest is therefore in the difference in outcomes between our control and treatment groups at the end of year 1.
Experimental Design Details
This trial will use a pipeline design . In this trial design the treatment of some groups is lagged to create a control condition, with the first group allocated to receive the intervention acting as the treatment group and all the groups allocated to receive the intervention later acting as the control. This design may be thought of as the simplest formulation of a stepped-wedge design . We have chosen this design as a way to incentivise schools in the control condition to participate in the evaluation, as they still receive the intervention only at a later date. In addition, a two year pipeline design with random assignment between year 1 and year 2 maximises the statistical power available for the trial, as well as providing an incentive for groups assigned to receive the intervention in year 2 of the trial to adhere to the trial during the first year. To support the need to recruit additional schools, CF will pay a financial grant (to be paid at the end of the trials so as not to interfere with the evaluation) to all schools that are allocated to year 2. The participants in the trial will be recruited from secondary schools across Birmingham and Kent. The programme will be implemented in 20 schools in year 1 (treatment group) and in 16 schools in year 2 (control group). Our comparison of interest is therefore in the difference in outcomes between our control and treatment groups at the end of year 1.
Randomization Method
Cluster randomisation using Excel
Randomization Unit
Schools (clusters)
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
36 Schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
2160
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
60 participants per cluster. 20 Schools treatment, 16 schools control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
This section details the power calculations that we performed to determine the minimum detectable effect sizes for this trial design. We expect that approximately 36 schools will take part in the trial, with and average of 30 participating students from each school. If this will be the case, 20 schools (600 students) will be randomly assigned to the treatment group and 16 schools (480 students) to the control group. For conservative estimates of the minimum detectable effect size, we chose a baseline mean for binary and continuous outcomes of 50% - the point at which the baseline variance is at its greatest for first type of outcome. For continuous outcomes, we chose a baseline variance of 0.04 (a standard deviation of 0.2). This is suitable for outcomes such as test scores out of 100, where a standard deviation of 20% about a mean of 50% is conservative. The table below shows our calculation of the minimum detectable effect size for this trial design for a power of 80%. We also assume a significance level of 5% and an intra-cluster correlation rate of 0.02 (as is standard for trials in schools). This table also includes more and less conservative calculations using intra-cluster correlation rates of 0.025 and 0.015 respectively.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
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