Conservation Incentives for the Diffusion of Sustainable Land Management: A randomized controlled trial in Burkina Faso”

Last registered on September 24, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Conservation Incentives for the Diffusion of Sustainable Land Management: A randomized controlled trial in Burkina Faso”
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006461
Initial registration date
September 23, 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
September 24, 2020, 7:33 AM EDT

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
The World Bank Group

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Tilburg University
PI Affiliation
The World Bank Group
PI Affiliation
Tilburg University and TSC

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2019-03-01
End date
2021-06-15
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This randomized controlled trial (RCT) is aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of an intervention to increase the uptake of Sustainable Land Management Practices (SLMPs) in arid Sub-Saharan Africa. The intervention is a modified version of a ‘cascade training scheme’ through which we test whether, and by how much, financial incentives can help increase SLMPs adoption. More specifically, we test the effectiveness of two types of financial compensation schemes. In one treatment arm only the ‘peer farmers’ are offered compensation conditional on their adopting SLMPs; in the other, the financial payment is split between the peer and the contact farmer so that the latter has a direct financial stake in fostering SLMP adoptionby their peer farmers. The first treatment arm directly stimulates demand for information in the knowledge transfer stage (stage 2); the second provides direct incentives for the supply of information as well. The key hypotheses tested in this project are (i) that the provision of financial incentives results in more frequent exchange of information in stage 2 (compared to the outcomes of the cascade training scheme without any financial incentives in the control group) as well as in higher adoption rates in stage 3, and (ii) that neither the amount of knowledge transfer (in stage 2) nor actual adoption (in stage 3) are affected by how the payments will be shared. The underlying rational for the latter is that if parties can bargain, the initial allocation of the financial compensation does not affect actual outcomes (as predicted by the Coase theorem).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Adjognon, Guigonan Serge et al. 2020. "Conservation Incentives for the Diffusion of Sustainable Land Management: A randomized controlled trial in Burkina Faso”." AEA RCT Registry. September 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6461
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention is a modified version of a ‘cascade training scheme’ aiming at promoting the adoption of sustainable land management practices by smallholder farmers. The standard cascade training involves having government extention agents train a limited number of farmers in a new agricultural technique (stage 1). These so-called ‘contact farmers’ are then encouraged to, in turn, pass on their newly acquired knowledge and expertise to their fellow community members (the so-called ‘peer farmers’, in stage 2), in the hope that not only the contact farmers but also the peer farmers adopt the new technology (stage 3). We focus our training on the pro’s and con’s of adopting SLMPs, and on how they should be implemented. Our intervention introduces financial incentives into the cascade training scheme in order to learn the extent to which they can help increase SLMPs adoption. More specifically, we test the effectiveness of two types of financial compensation schemes. In one treatment arm only the ‘peer farmers’ are offered compensation conditional on their adopting SLMPs; in the other, the financial payment is split between the peer and the contact farmer so that the latter has a direct financial stake in fostering SLMP adoptionby their peer farmers. The first treatment arm directly stimulates demand for information in the knowledge transfer stage (stage 2); the second provides direct incentives for the supply of information as well.
Intervention Start Date
2019-04-15
Intervention End Date
2019-12-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Knowledge of SLMPs
Adoption of SLMPs
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Communication efforts by farmers
Agricultural Outcomes (technology adoption, yields, etc.)
Conservation attitude
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
To establish the role of financial incentives in the dissemination of SLMPs, we introduce the following 1 control and 2 treatment arms in the roll out of the intervention:

CONTROL GROUP: The peer and contact farmers participate in the cascade training project as described above. After the training of the contact farmers was completed and upon having returned to their villages, all farmers are informed that the project team will come by to monitor SLMP uptake at the end of the agricultural season (i.e., about 6 months after the completion of the contact farmer training).

TREATMENT 1: Farmers in this treatment arm participate in the cascade training project as described above, but peer farmers in this group receive a financial payment depending on the number of SLMPs adopted by them. After the training of the contact farmers was completed and upon having returned to their villages, all farmers are informed that the FIP will come by to monitor SLMP uptake at the end of the upcoming agricultural season (i.e., about 6 months after the completion of the contact farmer training). Contact farmers were in charge of distributing the PES contracts which contain a clear outline of the payment structure among their peer farmers.

TREATMENT 2:This treatment arm is identical to treatment T1 except that the money which is paid for actual adoption by the peer farmers is split, 80-20, between the peer farmer and her contact farmer. From the government point of view, the same amount of money is being paid for the adoption of each practice. However, from the farmers point of view, contact farmers receive a share of the financial incentive will the peer farmers receive a small amount for their own adoption.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The randomization process was implement in the office using Stata.
Randomization Unit
The study involves 32 communes distributed across four regions of Burkina Faso. The randomization of communes was stratified at region-level which ensures that regions and climatic zones are similarly represented across treatment groups. The 32 communes included in the program were pre-determined by the government at the project inception stage. In the end 10 communes were allocated to treatment group 1 (T1, adoption payment paid only to the peer farmer), 10 communes to treatment group 2 (T2, adoption payment split between peer and contact farmers), and 12 communes to the control group (C, no payment). The design therefore introduces exogenous variation in the presence of financial incentives and the structure of the financial incentives.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
32 communes
Sample size: planned number of observations
1920 farmers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment 1 ---> 600 farmers
Treatment 2 ---> 600 farmers
Control ---> 720 farmers
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
0.4 SD
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Tilburg School of Economics and Management
IRB Approval Date
2019-12-20
IRB Approval Number
2019-008

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