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Aspirations intervention to enhance savings and food security in Ghana
Last registered on March 04, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Aspirations intervention to enhance savings and food security in Ghana
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005336
Initial registration date
March 04, 2020
Last updated
March 04, 2020 11:57 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Groningen
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Groningen
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-09-16
End date
2021-01-04
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The project investigates how to increase the long-term savings of cocoa farmers in Ghana, with the aim of improving food security. While cocoa farmers are very eager to open savings accounts, it turns out to be difficult for them to continue savings for old age. We study whether long-term savings can be increased by showing a pension documentary (Video), and/or handing out a savings calendar. We hypothesize that the pension documentary can increase viewers’ savings by raising their aspirations, and savings are important for future food security. In this field experiment, we work with about 750 cocoa farmers in 2 Ghanaian cocoa cooperatives, and randomly assign them to two treatment groups and one control group.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Lensink, Robert and Annika Mueller. 2020. "Aspirations intervention to enhance savings and food security in Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. March 04. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5336-1.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We work with a sample of 750 cocoa farmers from two cooperatives in Ghana: SUHUM and FANTEAKWA. These farmers opened a long-term savings account with people pension trust (PPT). The sample of farmers has been randomly distributed (stratified by community) in 3 groups: (1) a control group, without intervention; (2) a treatment group in which individuals were shown a documentary on pensions (an “aspirations” video) and (3) a treatment group in which individuals were shown the same documentary on pensions. Moreover, individuals in this treatment group obtained a calendar in which they could write down their saving plans on a monthly basis. Individuals in groups 1 and 2 received a placebo calendar.
Intervention Start Date
2019-09-16
Intervention End Date
2020-04-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Savings; Aspirations; Hope; Agency;
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We have three types of outcome variables.
A) aspirational hope, measured via the following questions:
1. Indicate the level of satisfaction/happiness with your financial situation you wish to achieve in old age / the future.
2. Indicate the level of satisfaction/happiness with your financial situation you expect to achieve in old age / the future if you do make adjustments to the way you are financially preparing to the best of your ability.
3. It is important to set financial goals, when planning for old age / the future.

B) Individual savings: long term savings (which we obtain from administartive data from PPT), and other types of savings (vai questionnaire)
C)Aricultural inputs: use of fertilizer; land preparation; planting new seedlings (to be collected via specific questionnaire modules.)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Income
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We work with a sample of 750 cocoa farmers from two cooperatives in Ghana: SUHUM and FANTEAKWA. These farmers opened a long-term savings account with people pension trust (PPT). The sample of farmers has been randomly distributed (stratified by community) in 3 groups: (1) a control group, without intervention; (2) a treatment group in which individuals were shown a documentary on pensions (an “aspirations” video) and (3) a treatment group in which individuals were shown the same documentary on pensions. Moreover, individuals in this treatment group obtained a calendar in which they could write down their saving plans on a monthly basis. Individuals in groups 1 and 2 received a placebo calendar.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
We use stratified randomization; randomization done with a computer in an office.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
We stratify at community level; 50 communities
Sample size: planned number of observations
750 cocoa farmers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
250 farmers per treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The minimum detectable standardised effect size equals around 0.20 for the main outcome variables (see uploaded pre-analysis plan)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Institutional Review Board Faculty of Economics and Business University of Groningen
IRB Approval Date
2020-01-15
IRB Approval Number
RDMPFEB-20200115-10406
Analysis Plan

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