Information is Power: Experimental Evidence on the Long-Run Impact of Community Based Monitoring

Last registered on September 02, 2014


Trial Information

General Information

Information is Power: Experimental Evidence on the Long-Run Impact of Community Based Monitoring
Initial registration date
September 02, 2014
Last updated
September 02, 2014, 8:19 AM EDT



Primary Investigator

Stockholm School of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Poor quality plagues public service provision in many developing countries. In response, policies to enhance beneficiary involvement as a way of strengthening demand-responsiveness and local accountability are becoming increasingly popular. Despite the enthusiasm for this approach, however, the evidence provides mixed results about its short-run effectiveness. Whether it can lead to sustained improvements in service provision is largely unknown. This project studies this through two field experiments on local accountability in primary health care in Uganda. The aim is twofold. First, we provide evidence of the longer run impact of a local accountability intervention in primary health care provision in Uganda. Second, we shed light on why this particular community-based intervention resulted in such a large and sustained change in service provision while several other seemingly similar interventions have not had much of an impact. The focus here is on the role and impact of information.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Björkman Nyqvist, Martina, Jakob Svensson and Damien de Walque. 2014. "Information is Power: Experimental Evidence on the Long-Run Impact of Community Based Monitoring." AEA RCT Registry. September 02.
Former Citation
Björkman Nyqvist, Martina et al. 2014. "Information is Power: Experimental Evidence on the Long-Run Impact of Community Based Monitoring." AEA RCT Registry. September 02.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Child mortality, child weight and height, health facility utilization, health staff performance.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The research project was initiated in 2004 and extended in 2007. Of the 75 rural communities and health facilities, 50 facilities/communities were included in the first phase of the project in 2005 (the participation & information intervention) and 25 facilities/communities were added in 2007 (the participation intervention). The catchment area or community for each dispensary was defined as the households residing in the 5-km radius around the facility. For the participation & information experiment, the units (facility/community) were first stratified by location (districts) and then by population size. From each block, half of the units were randomly assigned to the treatment group (25 units) and the remaining health facilities were assigned to the control group. A similar procedure was initiated in 2007 when the project was extended with the participation intervention; i.e., after stratifying on location and population size, the 25 new facilities were randomly assigned to a treatment group (13 units) and a control group (12 units). Trial sizes were set to detect effects on utilization and under-five child mortality. The trial sizes were also influenced by logistical and cost constraints and the anticipation of smaller long-run treatment effects.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Health facility and its catchment area (defined as the 5 kilometer radius surrounding the health facility).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
50 health facilities and their catchment areas included in 2004 and another 25 health facilities with catchment areas added in 2007.
Sample size: planned number of observations
5000 households (in 2004) and another 2500 households added in 2007.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
In 2004: 50 health facilities and 5000 households in the catchment area. In 2007 we added 25 new health facilities and surveyed 2500 households in their catchment area.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Independent Ethics Committee of the Fondazione Istitutio Nazionale Tumori, Milan, Italy
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
December 31, 2009, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials