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Randomizing information about receiving incentives in household surveys
Last registered on December 03, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
Randomizing information about receiving incentives in household surveys
Initial registration date
November 29, 2019
Last updated
December 03, 2019 1:54 AM EST
Primary Investigator
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Rural financial services have been touted as a catalytic intervention that can enable farmer organizations and agricultural small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase production and marketing of agricultural commodities, with the ultimate aim of increasing incomes and reducing poverty in rural communities in developing countries. While this appears to be the conventional wisdom, the empirical evidence on the topic shows somewhat varied impacts and is mostly on micro-financial interventions that have targeted rural microfinance groups, such as village savings and loans groups. There is limited research that has actually looked at the impact of providing financial services and investment capital to rural commercial entities such as SMEs, producer organizations and cooperatives engaging in agribusiness.

The Smallholder Agriculture Development Project (SADP) is one such project that is being implemented in Lesotho with a major component on provision of financial capital through competitive grants for agribusiness SMEs and producer organizations. This is combined with technical support for the development of business proposals through professional service providers. SADP has the overall objective of increasing marketed output among project beneficiaries in Lesotho’s smallholder agriculture sector and is co-financed by the World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), together with contributions from the Government of Lesotho and beneficiary contributions. The project entered into force in December 2011 and has a current completion date of March 31, 2020.

This study evaluates the impact of SADP using an ex-post impact evaluation framework towards the completion of project activities. As part of the primary survey data collection, the study administers a randomized control trial (RCT). The intervention as part of the RCT is the information whether the respondent would receive a small token of appreciation for participating in the survey. Within each treatment arm (SADP participants and non-participants), respondent will be randomly assigned whether they would receive this piece of information about the small token of appreciation to take part in the survey from the enumerators. The motivation behind this study is based on existing studies that investigate whether contingent incentives could improve the quality of surveys. This study complements this strand of literature by testing a slightly different but related intervention delivery, and therefore could offer comparisons to what has already been studied.

External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Hossain, Marup et al. 2019. "Randomizing information about receiving incentives in household surveys." AEA RCT Registry. December 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4896-3.0.
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Experimental Details
We collect data from small-scale producer households who are members of agribusiness enterprises, associations, or groups from five districts in Lesotho: Berea, Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Mafeteng, and Maseru. The households are applicants to receive activities supported by SADP, but only some were selected to receive the project. As part of the primary data collection for the ex post impact evaluation of SADP, respondents within each treatment arm (SADP participants and non-participants) are randomly assigned to receive the information from the enumerator that they will receive a box of matches as a small token of appreciation for their time to participate in the household surveys.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Survey non-response rates, quality of survey
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
SADP participants were selected based on a competitive selection process, where each applicant was given a score based on a set of criteria. Applicants who scored more than 70 out of 100 in the technical review were selected to receive the program. This study uses this cut-off point which was pre-established by the SADP project team as the source of plausibly exogenous variation in assigning households into treatment and control groups following the regression discontinuity design (RDD) approach. Then within each treatment group, households within each treatment arm will be randomized to receive the information about the small token of appreciation for their participation in the survey after having provided consent to be surveyed.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The randomization method was done using Stata to generate random numbers for each observation in each treatment arm. Then, half of the observations will be assigned to receive the information about the token of appreciation and the other half will be assigned not to receive the information.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,100 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
SADP participants (treatment group): 350 with information, 350 without information
SADP non-participants (control group): 700 with information, 700 without information
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power calculations were conducted using standard approaches in the literature, which can be found in greater detail in the impact assessment plan attached to this registry.
IRB Name
Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Lesotho
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)