The promise of proactive service delivery
Last registered on February 05, 2020


Trial Information
General Information
The promise of proactive service delivery
Initial registration date
January 30, 2020
Last updated
February 05, 2020 3:14 PM EST
Primary Investigator
Inter-American Development Bank
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
High transaction costs may affect the quality of the interactions between citizens and the public sector leading to low trust in the government and low take up of services provided by the government. We study the effects of a proactive approach to public-service delivery on citizens trust in public institutions. We partnered with Panama’s Tribunal Electoral (Electoral College) and developed an online app allowing citizens to renew their IDs online and avoid rather lengthy visits to the offices of the Tribunal Electoral. We then randomly vary the opportunity of using the application among citizens whose IDs are about to expire and compare the effect of access to the online application relative to a) the effect of simply receiving reminders and b) neither receiving reminders nor access to the application. The study will first use administrative data to quantify the effects of the interventions on the probability of renewing IDs on time. In a second stage, we will use survey data of a subsample of participants to quantify the effect of the intervention in time use, and trust in the implementing agency and other government institutions.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Reyes Rangel, Ángela, Benjamin Roseth and Diego Vera Cossio. 2020. "The promise of proactive service delivery ." AEA RCT Registry. February 05.
Experimental Details
The sample of study participants includes all citizens whose contact information was registered at the Tribunal Electoral and whose ID card expires between 2/20/2020 and 8/20/2020. We will randomize individuals into three groups. Participants in Group 1 will receive a series of messages either through SMS or email with information regarding the expiration date of her/his ID card. Participants in Group 2 will receive the exact same message plus a link to a web application (within the Tribunal Electoral web portal) that will allow them to renew their ID card. Access to the web application will be restricted to Group 2 members only. Finally, a third group will be a pure control group. Participants in Groups 1 and 2 will receive weekly reminders starting 4 weeks before their ID’s expiration data, and up to 4 weeks after the expiration date. The reminders will be automatically suspended upon the renewal of the ID.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
probability of ID renewal, time passed after the expiration date, Trust in the implementing agency and other public institutions
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Trust will be based on a battery of questions regarding perceptions about the performance of the staff of the implementing institution, the safety of the data handled by the implemented institution and the willingness of the staff of the implementing institution to consider the citizens' needs.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Usage of web application, time use, policy demand
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Using a randomized control trial, we will assess the hypothesis that providing individuals reminders about the expiration date of their IDs and the opportunity to renew them online affects ID renewal, time use, trust in public institutions and policy demand. We will measure ID renewals, and application usage using administrative data provided by Tribunal Electoral of Panamá (the implementing agency). We will measure time use, trust in public institutions and policy demand through short phone surveys conducted by IPSOS Panamá.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
557 corregimientos (municipalities)
Sample size: planned number of observations
approx. 9000 individuals (Primary Outcomes/Administrative data), 1500-2000 individuals (Secondary Outcomes/ Survey data)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately one third of the participants will be assigned to either treatment group. Approximately one third of the participants will be assigned to the control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number