'Waste No More': A randomized evaluation of a digital waste segregation curriculum on school children in rural India

Last registered on August 13, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
'Waste No More': A randomized evaluation of a digital waste segregation curriculum on school children in rural India
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005141
Initial registration date
February 01, 2020
Last updated
August 13, 2020, 1:22 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2019-10-15
End date
2020-10-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study aims to evaluate the effect of a digital waste segregation curriculum called 'Waste No More' on students of primary schools in the villages in Maharashtra, India. To establish causality, 118 schools from 52 Gram Panchayats (GPs) are randomly assigned to the treatment group who will receive the digital curriculum, while 125 schools from 53 GPs are assigned to the control group. A baseline and an end-line survey as well as an online waste segregation game involving students and teachers from both treatment and control schools will be carried out to measure the impact of the digital curriculum on their knowledge, attitudes, and actions.

Registration Citation

Citation
Mukherjee, Shagata. 2020. "'Waste No More': A randomized evaluation of a digital waste segregation curriculum on school children in rural India." AEA RCT Registry. August 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5141-1.3
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention consists of an interactive digital curriculum called 'Waste No More' that is designed to educate children about sustainability and waste segregation. The curriculum consists of 4 units where each unit focuses on a certain aspect of sustainability- dry and wet waste segregation, composting, recycling, etc. The curriculum follows a story-telling format for 16 episodes with animated characters. The episodes are complemented with a number of in-class and at-home activities. The curriculum is proctored by the teacher-in-charge of each treatment school. The curriculum is in the local Marathi language which is used by the Education Department of Kolhapur District, who is a key partner in the project.
Intervention Start Date
2020-02-01
Intervention End Date
2020-08-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Knowledge
Attitude
Behavior
Behavior and action
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The study will test the impact on knowledge and attitudes of the students towards waste segregation through a series of questions in the baseline and endline surveys. It will also test the changes in waste segregation behavior of students in the treatment and the control schools through an online waste segregation game.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
attitudes of teachers
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Impact on teachers, in terms of changes in knowledge, attitudes and actions due to the curriculum

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment is conducted across 105 Gram Panchayats (GPs) in Shahuwadi region of Kohlapur district in the state of Maharashtra, India. The 105 GPs were randomly assigned to Treatment and Control groups. The Treatment group consists of 115 schools from 52 GPs who received the 'Waste No More' curriculum. The Control group consists of 128 schools from 53 GPs who did not receive the curriculum. A baseline and end-line survey are to be administered with a subset of students from both treatment and control group. For the baseline survey, 2 students from each standard (4th-7th) were randomly chosen, on the basis of the random generation of a roll number via a computer software. The same procedure was expected to be followed for the endline but it became infeasible do to so due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Update:
The study has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The endline survey will now take place through telephonic interviews. A number of GPs do not have the requisite infrastructure and hence had to be dropped from the survey. Hence, the initial numbers have been revised for the endline to include 76 GPs ( 42 Treatment and 34 Control) with 106 schools (60 Treatment and 46 Control). A total target of 527 students will be included in the endline survey.
Experimental Design Details
At the time of registering the trail, the study was to be an in-person endline survey. However, with the spread of COVID-19 throughout Maharashtra state, it became impossible to collect data on the field due to school closures and social distancing directives. The study has been revised in the following ways to continue during the pandemic:

1) Instead of the original in-person endline survey, telephonic surveys with students will be carried out.
2) Only students' whose households have an active phone connection have been included in the study. This has lead to the original numbers being revised.
The revised targets are 42 GPs in the treatment group including 60 schools and 268 students. In the control group, there are 34 Gps with
46 schools and 259 students.
3) The total number of student participants in the study has reduced, from 1570 in the baseline to a targeted 527 in the endline.
4) The WNM waste segregation game will be sent as a link to each student in the study, to be completed before the phone survey.
Randomization Method
A Stratified randomization was performed, dividing the total sample of 105 Gram Panchayats into 4 strata:
Gram Panchayats with 1 school
Gram Panchayats with 2 schools
Gram Panchayats with 3 schools
Gram Panchayats with more than 3 schools.

Randomization was done within each strata through random allotment of treatment and control groups using RStudio.
Randomization Unit
The randomization unit is Gram Panchayat (GP) which is an administrative unit consisting of a group of villages.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Number of cluster : 105 Gram Panchayats ( 52 Treatment Group and 53 Control Group)
Sample size: planned number of observations
Baseline: 1570 students, 238 teachers Endline: 527 students, 118 teachers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment groups: 52 Gram Panchayats involving 115 schools
Control groups: 53 Gram Panchayats involving 128 schools
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Institutional Review Board - Ashoka University
IRB Approval Date
2020-01-08
IRB Approval Number
N/A

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials