Microenterprise Support to Integrate Urban Refugees in Uganda
Last registered on January 08, 2020


Trial Information
General Information
Microenterprise Support to Integrate Urban Refugees in Uganda
Initial registration date
January 03, 2020
Last updated
January 08, 2020 2:18 PM EST
Primary Investigator
University of Rochester
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
Center for Global Development
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
How should assistance for refugees be allocated to 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 are conducting a randomized controlled trial to examine whether sharing aid between hosts and refugees engenders goodwill among host communities in Kampala, Uganda. We investigate two programs for Ugandan microentrepreneurs, cash grants and mentorship, implemented by a refugee-led non-profit to connect the programs to the refugee presence. We measure social outcomes, including support for hosting additional refugees and allowing them to work, and economic outcomes such as business 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. 2020. "Microenterprise Support to Integrate Urban Refugees in Uganda." AEA RCT Registry. January 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5229-1.0.
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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)
Total household income, support for refugee hosting, support for refugee right-to-work, perceived effect of refugees on host community.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Total household income will be the sum of the following, directly-elicited variables over the last 30 days: profit of the listed business, profits of other business owned by the household, wage income of the respondent, wage income of other household members. We will analyze the log transformed variable.

Support for refugee hosting will be measured using a 5-point Likert scale question asking whether the respondent supports Uganda's hosting and assisting of refugees, overall.

Support for refugee right-to-work will be measured using a 5-point Likert scale question asking whether the respondent believes that Uganda should continue to allow refugees living in Uganda to work outside of settlements.

Perceived effect of refugees on host community will be an index variable constructed from the arithmetic average response to 5-point Likert scale questions about 1) overall economic effect of refugees on Uganda, 2) effect of refugees on culture in Uganda.
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.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Business outcomes:
1) business capital, elicited directly. We will analyze the log transform of this variable.
2) number of supplier relationships, elicited directly
3) (for mentorship treatment arms only) number of weeks that mentors and mentees continue meeting, elicited from the mentee directly and cross-validated with the mentor
4) index of household welfare, measured

Support for inclusive refugee hosting policies:
1) support for relocation of current urban refugees to settlements, measured with 5-point Likert scale question
2) support for land provision to refugees, measured with 5-point Likert scale question
3) support for a path to citizenship and the right to vote for refugees, measured with 5-point Likert scale question
4) reservation price for permitting new refugees into settlements in Uganda, measured by fixing a hypothetical shock ("imagine that new refugees wish to come to Uganda and live in settlements, such that the current number of refugees would double. Donors will share aid between refugees and Ugandans, such that your household would receive X as a cash grant. What is the lowest value of X that would convince you to support letting the refugees in?")
5) reservation price for permitting new refugees into Kampala, measured like #4 but substituting Kampala for the settlements.
6) altruism toward refugees, measured by the share of a real donation the respondent chooses to allocate between a refugee-focused NGO, a Ugandan-focused NGO, and themselves. We will analyze the amount donated to the refugee-focused NGO, controlling for the amount kept for themselves

Perceptions about refugees:
1) Social distance index, measured as the arithmetic average of a series of 5-point Likert scale questions about whether the respondent would be comfortable marrying a refugee, having a family member marry a refugee, having a refugee as a close personal friend, and having a refugee as a neighbor.
2) Index of negative effects of refugees on Uganda, measured separately for Congolese and Somalis, using the arithmetic average of a series of 3-point Likert scale questions about the effect of refugees on the dress code, acceptable behaviors, access and quality of schools and health facilities, rents, and prices of goods.
3) Number of close friends or business collaborators from another country, measured as the sum of answers to a question about # of close friends and one about # of business collaborators
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
IRB Name
University of Rochester Research Subjects Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Harvard University-Area Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number