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Using Social Networks to Promote New Agricultural Technologies
Last registered on January 16, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Using Social Networks to Promote New Agricultural Technologies
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000556
Initial registration date
January 16, 2015
Last updated
January 16, 2015 11:20 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Yale University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2014-01-01
End date
2015-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Low adoption of agricultural technologies holds large productivity consequences for developing countries. Social networks are recognized as the most credible source of information about new technologies. We investigate whether social learning can be actively leveraged to increase technology diffusion. We conduct a large-scale field experiment in which we communicate with farmers about a productive new technology through different members of social networks. We also test if communicator effort and success are susceptible to small performance incentives and flat rewards.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Mobarak, Ahmed. 2015. "Using Social Networks to Promote New Agricultural Technologies ." AEA RCT Registry. January 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.556-1.0.
Former Citation
Mobarak, Ahmed. 2015. "Using Social Networks to Promote New Agricultural Technologies ." AEA RCT Registry. January 16. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/556/history/3384.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
(i) Treatment 1: Experimental variation in types of communicators assigned to different wards

Each treatment ward is randomly assigned one type of communication strategy:

a) Local government extension workers
b) Lead farmers who are educated and able to sustain experimentation
c) Peer farmers who are more representative of the general population and whose experiences may be more applicable to the average recipient farmer’s own conditions

ii) Treatment 2: Experimental variation in nature of incentive/reward offered to different communicators

Each communicator type (presented above) is randomly assigned to one type of incentive/reward:

a) Performance based incentive
b) Flat reward
c) No incentive

Intervention Start Date
2014-03-03
Intervention End Date
2015-10-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcomes of interest are as follows:

a) Rate of adoption of disseminated technologies
b) Total hectares of smallholder area on which disseminated technologies are used
c) Extension workers knowledge of disseminated technology
d) Lead farmer and peer farmer knowledge of disseminated technology
e) Farmer knowledge of disseminated technology
f) Access to extension services (number of farmers receiving advice/training)
g) Maize yields (tons/ha)

Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
A cross cutting experimental design using the two different interventions described above.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Wards
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
168 wards
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,520 households (15 households per ward)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
48 control wards; 120 treatment wards
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Yale University Human Subjects Committee
IRB Approval Date
2014-04-09
IRB Approval Number
1401013338
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers