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Boosting (self-) employment for Youth in Cote d’Ivoire: The impact of socio-emotional skills training, information and norms change interventions

Last registered on October 11, 2019


Trial Information

General Information

Boosting (self-) employment for Youth in Cote d’Ivoire: The impact of socio-emotional skills training, information and norms change interventions
Initial registration date
October 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
October 11, 2019, 3:38 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
PRO-Jeunes is a 5-year program (2017- 2021) implemented by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) that targets 10,000 vulnerable young people (60% of female) aged 15-24 in rural and urban Cote d’Ivoire (Abidjan, Bassam, Korogho and Tchologo). The project is designed to offer (self-) employment support services that are particularly flexible to meet a wide range of beneficiaries’ needs, and that adapt to their different starting points and knowledge levels.
The research project proposes to examine the extent to which (i) access to information on the perceived returns to skills training affect the take-up of a training program targeting urban youth and (ii) different socio-emotional skills and, aspirations in a traditional gender norms setting affect primary outcomes of youth employment and entrepreneurship and secondary outcomes of exposure to violence and reproductive health. It will be answered through a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) that targets young people aged 15-24 years eligible and interested in participating in the Pro-Jeunes project in Abidjan and Bassam. To examine the role of these factors, the study will specifically test: (i) the provision of information about the project advantages to eligible program participants; (ii) two socio-emotional skills trainings delivered to program participants; and (iii) screenings of videos with the aim of increasing entrepreneurial aspirations.
A key innovation of this study is to test two different socio-emotional trainings targeting different sets of skills, in interaction (or not) with a video-based intervention aiming to increase entrepreneurial aspirations by providing exposure to role models (successful young men and women) through digital learning- video available on the Pro-Jeunes digital platform.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Annan, Jeannie et al. 2019. "Boosting (self-) employment for Youth in Cote d’Ivoire: The impact of socio-emotional skills training, information and norms change interventions ." AEA RCT Registry. October 11.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


1. Take-up intervention: providing access to information on program advantages

In the Pro-Jeunes project, most of youth register to the program with street agents. After this first step, they need to go in person to a registration center to submit some credentials and finalize their registration. People who initiated the first step of registration will be randomized into receiving or not a text message encouraging them to come and finalize their registration to the program.
Two SMS versions will be developed and sent, will both SMS will emphasize the cost-saving argument, one SMS will integrate the “immediate benefits” and the other one “the future benefits” argument.

2. Two socio-emotional skills trainings
For the purpose of this Impact Evaluation, all learn to earn curriculum modules and additional socio-emotional modules recently developed have been categorized into three categories (i) interpersonal skills modules (ii) intrapersonal skills modules (iii) foundational modules. All program participants will be randomized into receiving either the “interpersonal curriculum”, comprising modules (i) and (iii), either the “intrapersonal curriculum, comprising modules (ii) and (iii).

3. Video-based aspirations intervention
Two videos will be produced, addressing the key constraint to becoming a female entrepreneur, the fear of failure, and norms on women’s role. One video will display role models insisting that failure is part of creating a business, and that overcoming individual failure leads to success; failure does not stop success. The second one will show couples and individuals sharing their views and preferences on intra-household allocation of domestic work and gender roles. Participants to the Pro-Jeunes project will be randomized into receiving (1) no video, (2) a video about overcoming failure individually or (3) a video about norms on gender roles.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcomes for this study can be grouped in the following four categories:
 Employment: employment, hours worked, income, profits, savings, assets ownership, access to credit, investments, networks.
 Empowerment and aspirations: decision-making power, mobility, attitudes towards gender equality, aspirations, gender-based violence
 Socio-emotional skills and personality: Mindfulness, Emotional Self-Awareness, Personal Initiative, Generalized self-efficacy, Emotion regulation, Assertive communication, Decision-making and problem-solving, Creativity, Conflict resolution, Collaboration, Cognitive empathy, Expressiveness and persuasiveness, Perseverance.
 Individual subjective well-being and sexual and reproductive health outcomes (e.g. knowledge and use of modern contraception, early marriage, transactional sex).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This randomized experiment seeks to answer the following research questions:
• What works in increasing take-up of a youth employment program?
• What socio-emotional skills matter most for young people employment? Are the impacts of socio-emotional skills different across men and women, and across entrepreneurs and salaried workers?
• What works to improve young women’s entrepreneurial aspirations?
This research will first evaluate the impact of an intervention which aims at stimulating interest in the program and increasing program take-up. Recruitment to the Pro-Jeunes program is done in three stages: (i) interested young people first register and express their interest to the program; (ii) after screening all the applications, the project team calls the eligible candidates to give them more information about the program and confirm their interest in participating; (iii) eligible applicants who have confirmed their interest in participating to the program during stage (ii) are then invited to an “enrollment meeting”. Recruitment is done either by program staff directly in the street, or people interested in the program can apply in application centers where they will fill an application form and provide information about their motivation to participate in the program and some credentials. The proposed take-up intervention will take place between stage (i) and stage (ii) and thus focus on increasing take-up from registration to enrollment – not on increasing the number of first-stage registrations. Eligible applicants to the Pro-Jeunes program will be randomly assigned to receiving a text message reminding them to enroll to the program,and insisting on positive returns to the program. This initial experiment will answer the following question: what works best in increasing take-up of a youth employment program – emphasizing immediate or future gains? The main outcome studied here will be actual enrollment.
Another goal of this study is to estimate the impact of two variations of the foundational skills training delivered under the Pro-Jeunes program and their combinations with a norm-changing intervention on aspirations and entrepreneurial mindset on a range of employment, women empowerment and reproductive health outcomes. To answer these questions, potential program participants (eligible and enrolled people; N=5500) will be randomized into two treatment arms and a control group:
- T1: Interpersonal socio-emotional skills training (N=1250)
- T2: Intrapersonal socio-emotional skills training (N=1250)
- Control: no intervention. Youth in the control group will not be offered the Pro-Jeunes program in that cohort and will only participate in data collection. They may however apply for enrolment in subsequent cohorts, in which case they will be randomly assigned to T1, T2 or Control for that subsequent cohort, and remain part of the Control group for the initial cohort. (N=3000)
The two treatment arms will be cross-randomized with a role model intervention where all participants (male and female) are assigned to see either (1) a video showing how to overcome (fear of) failure or (2) a video discussing gender norms around and couples’ preferences on intra-hous
ehold allocation of domestic work; or (3) no video. Both videos will also strengthen entrepreneurial aspirations by putting forward the link between individual success and economic independence.
The randomization will be stratified by gender and expressed preference in terms of program track (Energy, Retail, ICT, Salaried work).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
First stage: Randomized into receiving text message on immediate benefits, text message on future benefits or no text
Second stage: Randomized into receiving the interpersonal skills curriculum or the intrapersonal skills curriculum or no socio-emotional skills training.
Third stage: Randomized into receiving (1) no video, (2) a video about overcoming failure individually or (3) a video about norms on gender roles
Randomization Unit
Randomization will be conducted at the individual level, stratified by cohort.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Total sample size = 5500 individuals
 T1.1 SEL 1 + Role model video 1
 T1.2 SEL 1 + Role model video 2
 T1.3 SEL 1
 T2.1 SEL 2 + Role model video 1
 T2.2 SEL 2 + Role model video 2
 T2.3 SEL 2
 Control
The surveys will be run in Abidjan and Bassam and the timing is as follows:
For Cohort 1:
• baseline survey: March 2019
• midline survey: April 2020
• endline survey: April 2021

For Cohort 2:
• baseline survey: September 2019
• midline survey: October 2020
• endline survey: October 2021

For Cohort 3:
• baseline survey: March 2020
• midline survey: April 2021
• endline survey: April 2022
Sample size: planned number of observations
The sample will comprise 5500 individuals.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The program team will identify 2,200, 2,200 and 1,100 eligible young men and women for the IE sample in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively and will randomly select 1,000, 1,000 and 500 participants for the PRO-Jeunes treatment / program intervention.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
With a total sample of around 3750 individuals, comprising 1250 in each training’s experimental arm, it possible to detect a 2% increase in the mean of the Personal Initiative scale (PI scale), and a 6% increase in the mean of Entrepreneurial Ability, if comparing both treatment groups to the control group. This sample size also make it possible to detect a 2.5% difference in PI scale, and a 7% difference in entrepreneurial ability between the two treatment groups. However, it also makes it possible to detect a 20% increase between treatment and control group in consumption, and a 32% increase in total income.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
International Rescue Committee’s Institutional Review Board (IRC’s IRB)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
ERD 1.00.004
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials