The promise of proactive service delivery

Last registered on December 16, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The promise of proactive service delivery
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005371
Initial registration date
January 30, 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
February 05, 2020, 3:14 PM EST

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

Last updated
December 16, 2020, 10:15 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2019-12-02
End date
2021-02-28
Secondary IDs
Abstract
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 and access to government benefits. 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

Citation
Reyes Rangel, Ángela, Benjamin Roseth and Diego Vera Cossio. 2020. "The promise of proactive service delivery ." AEA RCT Registry. December 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5371
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The sample of study participants includes all citizens whose contact information was registered at the Tribunal Electoral and whose ID card expires between 1/20/2020 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
2020-01-20
Intervention End Date
2020-03-20

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, access to government benefits
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Access to government services will be measured based on administrative records of beneficiaries of the emergency cash transfer implemented by the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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. We will use administrative data related to access to government benefits provided during the pandemic.
Experimental Design Details
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. We will use administrative data related to access to government benefits provided during the pandemic.
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

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

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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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