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Religious Suasion in Health Beliefs and Behaviour: A Field Experiment during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Pakistan
Last registered on October 02, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Religious Suasion in Health Beliefs and Behaviour: A Field Experiment during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Pakistan
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006394
Initial registration date
September 01, 2020
Last updated
October 02, 2020 6:57 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Oxford
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2020-08-01
End date
2021-02-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This paper presents experimental evidence on the impact of a simple information intervention on the health knowledge and behaviour of microfinance borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan. A random sample of borrowers from the largest microfinance institution in Pakistan were individually randomised into various treatments arms. All received an SMS with the same COVID-19 health advice from the World Health Organisation. The SMS documents the 3 main symptoms of COVID-19 and 5 mitigation steps to reduce the spread of the virus. In the main treatment, clients received the information primed with a religious introduction. Additional treatments explore other mediums to disseminate information, such as local and international organisations, and local and national government.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Barnard, Jordan. 2020. "Religious Suasion in Health Beliefs and Behaviour: A Field Experiment during the COVID-19 Outbreak in Pakistan." AEA RCT Registry. October 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6394-2.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Interventions used in that trial:
- The control group receives no SMS.
- Treatment 1: Simple SMS reminder.
- Treatment 2: Local Government SMS.
- Treatment 3: National Government SMS.
- Treatment 4: Local Organisation SMS.
- Treatment 5: International Organisation SMS.
- Treatment 6: Religious SMS.
Intervention Start Date
2020-08-03
Intervention End Date
2020-08-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Main Outcomes:
- Number of symptoms known that are specified in the SMS.
- Number of mitigation steps taken that are specified in the SMS.
- Response to the question: what would you do if you had the symptoms of COVID-19.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This study presents experimental evidence on the impact of a simple information intervention on the health knowledge and behaviour of microfinance borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Pakistan. A random sample of 7000 borrowers from the largest microfinance institution in Pakistan were individually randomised into 6 treatment arms (1000 each) and a control group (1000). Note the sample is drawn from the entire population of active borrowers at the microfinance institution to be as nationally representative as possible. All received an SMS with the same COVID-19 health advice from the World Health Organisation. The SMS documents the 3 main symptoms of COVID-19 and 5 mitigation steps to reduce the spread of the virus. In the main treatment, clients received the information primed with a religious introduction. Additional treatments explore other mediums to disseminate information, such as local and international organisations, and local and national government. After 1 week, all recipients will receive a call from an enumerator, where we will collect data by phone on health knowledge and behaviour. The survey questions are concerned with several aspects pertaining to individual and household health behaviour, business performance and other intermediate outcomes. A second survey may occur after some months to explore the persistence of the intervention (although this is of course subject to the prevalence of COVID-19 in Pakistan later in the year).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomisation done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Randomised at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
7000 microfinance clients.
Sample size: planned number of observations
7000 microfinance clients.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1000 microfinance clients.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Oxford Department of International Developmentā€™s Departmental Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2020-08-19
IRB Approval Number
CUREC 1A/ODID C1A 20-076
Analysis Plan

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