Can Aid Change Attitudes Toward Refugees? Experimental Evidence from Uganda

Last registered on December 19, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Can Aid Change Attitudes Toward Refugees? Experimental Evidence from Uganda
Initial registration date
January 03, 2020

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
January 08, 2020, 2:18 PM EST

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

Last updated
December 19, 2022, 8:16 AM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

University of Rochester

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Center for Global Development
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
Young African Refugees for Integral Development

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
How should assistance for refugees be allocated to aid refugees and gain the support of host communities? Host populations often believe they are negatively affected by refugees, yet the scope for assistance to facilitate positive relations and mitigate tension is largely unknown. We conduct a randomized controlled trial to investigate three programs for Ugandan microentrepreneurs that we saliently link to the refugee presence and Uganda's existing aid-sharing policy: canvassing, canvassing accompanied by a cash grant, and mentorship by an experienced refugee. We measure social outcomes, including support for hosting additional refugees and allowing them to work, and economic outcomes, such as business survival and profits, to test whether effective development aid associated with refugees can induce support for inclusive hosting.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Baseler, Travis et al. 2022. "Can Aid Change Attitudes Toward Refugees? Experimental Evidence from Uganda." AEA RCT Registry. December 19.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Grant only: Receive a grant of about $140, at least half of which must be used for an in-kind purchase.

Information only: A staff member at YARID conveys information about the existing aid-sharing policy in Uganda, the activities of the NGO, and experiences of refugees in Uganda.

Grant + information: Combination of the above two interventions. The grant is branded as directly associated with our refugee-led NGO partner YARID.

Refugee mentor: Assigned to mentorship by an experienced refugee business owner in the same sector. Mentorship meetings will be facilitated and coordinated by a YARID staff member who will also serve as translator if necessary. topics of conversation included skills and training that the mentee wanted, customer service and retention strategies, finance and management. A facilitator will be provided for 6 meetings (though attrition is expected) and then we will encourage them to keep meeting on their own if they desire.

Ugandan mentor: Same as above, but the mentor is a Ugandan business owner.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Support for inclusive refugee hosting, business profits
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See pre-analysis plan.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Our secondary outcomes are, in general, refinements of the primary outcomes. We will measure business outcomes, support for inclusive refugee hosting policies, and perceptions about refugees. See pre-analysis plan for details.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
See pre-analysis plan.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
There are two broad groups of interventions for inexperienced Ugandan micro-entrepreneurs. We have one 2x2 design with four arms: cash, information, cash plus information, and a control. The second group of interventions is a mentorship program in which inexperienced Ugandan business owners are randomly assigned an experienced Ugandan or refugee business owner who serves as a mentor.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Done in office using random number generator in STATA.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
About 1500 entrepreneurs.
Sample size: planned number of observations
About 1500 entrepreneurs.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
About 285 control, 249 grant, 282 info, 249 grant+info, 226 refugee mentor, and 267 Ugandan mentor.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
All MDEs are listed as change divided by standard deviation. Total household income: - Grant or grant+info vs. control or info: 0.11. - Refugee mentor vs. control or info: 0.14. - Ugandan mentor vs. control or info: 0.13. - Refugee mentor vs. Ugandan mentor: 0.16. Attitudes toward refugees and support for refugee hosting policies: Grant vs. control: 0.12 Grant + info vs. control: 0.12 Info vs. control: 0.12 Grant + info vs. grant: 0.13 Grant + info vs. info: 0.12 Refugee mentor vs. Ugandan mentor: 0.13 Refugee mentor vs. control: 0.13

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard University-Area Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
University of Rochester Research Subjects Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


MD5: f892b7b95df5d4f2be1794a736cca9b8

SHA1: d884bb50b59a1a34955eb6af93ee0c7b382879cd

Uploaded At: October 30, 2020


MD5: 90bc41331df56c292c3546d66a8973cd

SHA1: 171d263959ef256628ebd1ecb2f649554141138c

Uploaded At: October 20, 2020