Impact Evaluation of Socio-economic Inclusion of vulnerable youth in Côte d'Ivoire

Last registered on November 05, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Impact Evaluation of Socio-economic Inclusion of vulnerable youth in Côte d'Ivoire
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005167
Initial registration date
November 04, 2020
Last updated
November 05, 2020, 8:05 AM EST

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Felix Houphouet-Boigny University and CAPEC

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
CEDLAS
PI Affiliation
National Employment Cordination Office (BCPE)
PI Affiliation
National Employment Cordination Office (BCPE)
PI Affiliation
National Civic Service Office (OSCN)
PI Affiliation
National Civic Service Office (OSCN)
PI Affiliation
Felix Houphouet-Boigny University and CAPEC
PI Affiliation
Felix Houphouet-Boigny University and CAPEC
PI Affiliation
Felix Houphouet-Boigny University and CAPEC
PI Affiliation
University of Aix-Marseille

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2019-10-15
End date
2021-11-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study aims at evaluating the SCAED program using a randomized controlled trial. After a decade of political unrest, to consolidate peace, the government of Cote d’Ivoire has launched several initiatives, including the SCAED programme targeting at risk youth, who do not take full advantage from the post-conflict economic recovery. Indeed, over 70% of youth aged 14-24 are neither in employment, nor enrolled in the education system, increasing therefore their vulnerability. The Civic Service of Action for Employment and Development (SCAED) was designed by the Government to implement activities for the social and economic inclusion of youth (from 16 to 35 years old) in situation of increased vulnerability through adapted training in Civic Action Centers for Development (CCAD) for their socio-economic empowerment. The main assumption we are testing is that the endowment of youth with moral values through civic education combined with labour skills development should improve their economic conditions, then their propensity to engage in undesired social behaviours should be reduced and their inclusion in the social fabric increased. Our expected primary outcomes are Protective and risk factors, time preference, social networks and monthly earnings.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
AHOURE, Alban Emmanuel Alphonse et al. 2020. "Impact Evaluation of Socio-economic Inclusion of vulnerable youth in Côte d'Ivoire." AEA RCT Registry. November 05. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5167-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

Sponsors

Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Cote d’Ivoire faced a decade of political unrest that alienated economic development, increased poverty and exacerbated unemployment, mainly for the youth. Even though there is an improvement of the economic conditions, with a growth rate of GDP averaging 8% yearly, unemployment still widespread among the youth. According to the national employment survey (AGEPE, 2013), the proportion of youth aged 14-24 who are of working age but who are neither in employment nor in the education system is 70.8%. Those aged 25-35 represent 35.6% of the country workforce. For the most part, these youths come from poor families and live in extremely precarious conditions. To face challenges associated to daily subsistence, these youths very often invest on the streets in order to survive; they are also associated with drug consumption, criminal activities and gang violence.
In the framework of the Debt Reduction and Development Contract (C2D) signed between the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire and the French Republic, the French Development Agency (AFD) has granted the Ivorian Government a subsidy of 15,550 .000 euros to finance the implementation of the C2D Youth Employment Project.
This project aims, on the one hand, to promote employment through the financing of integration schemes through social and economic activity, and on the other hand, to provide institutional support for the implementation of the national employment policy.
The project aims at improving social inclusion of at-risk youths aged between 16 to 35 years old. To reach that goal, the intervention has two schemes:
• The development of social skills through literacy and the appropriation of the rules of community life (civic and psychosocial education);
• The development of professional skills through the vocational training (employment scheme).
Until recently, such an integrated system for the care of marginalized youth was missing from the employment system in Côte d'Ivoire, justifying therefor the need to conduct an impact evaluation. Further, this mechanism is a key approach of the Ivoirian Government to address the problem of vulnerable youngsters in Côte d'Ivoire.
The implementation of the initiative follows the following steps (see description above) in each implementation site:
1. Identification of the target population
2. Profiling of candidates according to the conditions of eligibility
3. Physical and medical fitness test
4. Interview and listening sessions of the shortlisted
5. Definitive selection and information of beneficiaries
6. Social Inclusion training
7. General training
8. Vocational training
9. Internships

Steps 1 to 4 apply to all those who apply to participate in the initiative. From step 5 to 9, only the beneficiaries, identified on the basis of their level of vulnerability are concerned.
Also, regarding cross-training (step 7), illiterate people benefit from specific training in functional literacy. The process lasts approximately fourteen (14) months as follows:
 Reception and registration (3 days);
 Selection of potential candidates and listening and interview (30 days);
 Medical examination of the preselected (5 days) and establishment of the provisional list at the end of the medical examination (1 day);
 Deliberation of the technical selection committee (3 days);
 Publication of the final list of successful candidates (1 day);
 Civic education and psychosocial support (3 months);
 General and vocational (6 months);
 Internship in a company (3 months).
Participants are beneficiaries of the program for twelve (12) months distributed as follows:
 Civic education and psychosocial support phase (3 months);
 General and vocational (6 months);
 Internship (3 months).
Civic education and psychosocial support and General and vocational are carried out in a youth center. During these 9 months, they are totally supported in the center with accommodation, food, medical care, equipment, ...During Internship phase youths return to their family.


Intervention Start Date
2020-07-28
Intervention End Date
2021-11-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
• Social Networks: community engagement and leadership, trust, time preference
• Labour market outcomes: monthly earnings, hours worked
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
• social network: the study will assess change in behavior in term of social inclusion. The research will also question time preference and time allocation.
Labor market outcomes: The study will measure the contribution of the progamme in the improvement of employment status in term of hourly worked, monthly earning and imporvement in living conditions.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Protective and risk factors: self-control, self-esteem, risk exposure, conflict management, violent behaviors
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The body of the research is to assess wether the intervention lead to change in violent behavior, reduction in drug abuse and other criminal behaviour.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The implementation of the experimental protocol will follow three (03) main steps: the constitution of the eligible population, the first level of assignment to treatment (participation in the SCAED program) and the second level of assignment (youth participation in entrepreneurship training and mentoring). The ultimate objective of these two experiment arms is to measure both the effect of social inclusion on the outcome indicators but also to understand the impact on the socio-professional integration of vulnerable youth. Participation in the program will be done using a lottery (software) taking into account the capacity of the centers (100 vulnerable youth in Bimbresso (Abidjan) and 150 vulnerable young people in Bouaké. We use stratified sampling for Abidjan and Bouaké to take into a count the local contest. At the end of the first lottery (treatment arms n ° 1 i.e. 3 psychosocial support and citizen empowerment training, vocational training and mentorship), a group of youth participating in the program (full SCAED package) is constituted, and is called "treatment group n ° 1". This group will go through the entire SCAED process. But the unsuccessful vulnerable youth who do not benefit from the program will be the control group of the treatment study n ° 1. This control group will be monitored and tracked in order to guarantee their participation in the next stage (treatment n ° 2, i.e. vocational training only). Unsuccessful youth, therefore not benefiting from none of these treatments, will constitute the pure control group. This pure control group will be tracked ensure their participation in the evaluation so that to reduce attrition and non-compliance. The final sample is comprised of 250 beneficiaries for the full SCAED package), 250 beneficiary for entrepreneurship training (second treatment arm) and 356 youth in the control group. Three data survey will be carried out:
Baseline survey: this survey will collect information on youth before the experiment and be helpful to implement balance test between t participants to experiment.
Mid-term survey: this survey will be conducted there months after the programme. The aim of this survey is to measure the impact of psychological support and civic education. The primary outcome of interest will be risk factors indicator, soft skills, time preference and social interaction indicators.
End-term survey: this survey will be valuable to measure labour market outcome such as monthly earnings, hourly worked and number of productive activities. The survey will be conducted one year after the programme.
Experimental Design Details
This study is designed to evaluate the impact of the SCAED program using a randomized controlled trial. This experimental evaluation method requires the creation of a treatment group, made up of eligible vulnerable young people who will benefit from the intervention, and a comparison group, composed of vulnerable young people who are also eligible but excluded from participation in the SCAED program. The choice of the treatment group and the control is made randomly using a draw. The evaluation aims to answer 3 main questions: (i) Does the program reduce the vulnerability of at-risk youth in Côte d'Ivoire? (ii) What is the causal effect of the program on the employability of vulnerable youth? (iii) What is the impact of the program on the propensity of young people to engage in antisocial behavior or illegal activities?
The experimental impact assessment will better highlight the issue of employment and social rehabilitation as instruments for consolidating social cohesion, reducing the vulnerability of fragile layers and consolidating peace in Côte d'Ivoire.
The implementation of the experimental protocol will follow two main stages: the constitution of the eligible population and the assignment to treatment (participation in the program). Regarding the constitution of the eligible population, we will identify in close collaboration with social workers, a sample of 1,000 elligible vulnerable youth in each area of implementation i.e. Abidjan (for the center of Bimbresso) and Bouaké. After the identification of the target population, participation in the program will be assigned by lottery (using a software) taking into account the capacity of the centers (100 vulnerable young people in Bimbresso and 150 vulnerable young people in Bouaké). At the end of the draw, vulnerable young people who do not benefit from the program will constitute the control group of the study. This control group will be monitored and tracked to ensure their participation in the evaluation


Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual randomization
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
856 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
856 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
250 individuals in controml group; 606 in the control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Thanks to a close collaboration with all stakeholders involved in the implementation of the program and using the experienced learnt from the pilot phase by social workers, the research team was able to reach eligible youth and compose overpopulation. Let’s recall that places in the CCAD center are limited. This capacity constraint is taken into account in our power calculation approach. 100 places were available in Abidjan and 150 in Bouaké. The facility in Abidjan (Brimbresso) could only host male youth while that of Bouake is a mixt one, allocating a third of the places (50) to female learners. Based on Bertrand et al (2016) who conducted a similar study in Cote d’Ivoire, our main outcome of interest is occupation. Following Bertrand et al (2016) and taking into finding from the pilot phase, we expect an increase in occupation by 12%, with a standard deviation of 0.1. Since we have a capacity constrain in our design, we use the Optimal Design software to determine the MDE, using these parameters, under the assumption of equal size in each group of individuals. The power calculation is made for each city (Abidjan and Bouaké) taking into account attrition. In Abidjan, for a sample of 400 observations, for Sigma= 0.1, Alpha=5%, a power of 80%, the minimum detectable effect (MDE) is 0.27. Power calculation for Abidjan: MDE=0.27 The same exercise is implemented in Bouaké with a sample size of 450 observations (see chart 3). We found MDE= 0.25. Power calculation for Bouaké : MDE=0.25 Taking into account the objective of 150 beneficiaries, with a third of places allocated to female youth, we will conduct two separate draw for men and women. 100 male youth will be assigned to the male treatment group ad 200 following to the male control group. In the female group, 50 youth will be randomly allocated to the treatment group while the 100 others will be assigned to the control group.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
PEP Ethic Committee
IRB Approval Date
2019-10-03
IRB Approval Number
N/A

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

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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