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Strategies to increase compliance with National Transparency Law by increasing response rate of the ITA index
Last registered on September 23, 2020


Trial Information
General Information
Strategies to increase compliance with National Transparency Law by increasing response rate of the ITA index
Initial registration date
September 22, 2020
Last updated
September 23, 2020 9:41 AM EDT
Primary Investigator
New York University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Access to information from public entities or other organizations that receive public funds is a citizen right in Colombia. This data also assists the National Government in tracking and monitoring decentralized operations and entities. However, ensuring that information is made public and accessible can be difficult especially in a decentralized context like Colombia’s. In 2014, the National Government passed the National Transparency Law which defines a set of transparency indicators (the ITA matrix) that must be made public, as well as which entities or subjects are obliged to comply with the reporting of these data. The Transparency Law requires the Inspector General’s Office (the PGN) to promote or enforce compliance with the National Transparency Law. Public sector entities and entities that contract with the state must complete the ITA matrix, which allows for calculation of a score on the ITA Index. The ITA matrix is used as a measure of compliance with the National Transparency Law and constitutes the main monitoring tool of the National Government.
Filling out this matrix is mandatory for all obliged subjects (public and private sector entities). Nevertheless, the response rate has been very low and thus leaves the PGN and the State with limited information on compliance with the National Transparency Law. As such, this study seeks to evaluate which communication strategies work best to improve obliged subjects’ participation in the ITA Matrix and consequently increase the response rate of the ITA and transparency of public information. Four treatments are implemented in a factorial design. Obliged subjects will be randomly assigned into one of seventeen treatment arms. In a pure control group, mandates to complete the ITA matrix are disseminated through 76 “sector heads” following the communication strategy used in 2019. The other arms share the information mandate directly with subjects (bureaucrats or contacts within the entities) and vary: (1) the repetition of requests for information; (2) access to trainings on how to complete the ITA Matrix; (3) acknowledgement of completion/non-completion of the past ITA; and (4) communication that responses could be audited. The treatments seek to identify which communication strategy increases completion and accuracy of the ITA matrix in accordance with the Transparency Law. These estimates will also provide information about the barriers to decentralized data collection.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Slough, Tara. 2020. "Strategies to increase compliance with National Transparency Law by increasing response rate of the ITA index ." AEA RCT Registry. September 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6516-1.0.
Experimental Details
In the control arm, the Inspector General's Office (PGN) notifies obliged entities through 76 "section heads," as was done in 2019.

In the other treatment arms, obliged entities are contacted directly by email by the Inspector General's Office (in addition to notification by the "section heads"). The direct contact varies in (1) frequency of reminders; (2) acknowledgement of response/non-response in 2019; (3) information about prospective audits of 2020 responses; and (4) provision of links to training videos about how to fill out the ITA matrix.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Compliance with the ITA Matrix in 2020 (indicator measured by the Inspector General’s Office).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Accuracy of responses to the ITA matrix benchmarked to other administrative data.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We conduct a factorial experiment with a pure control arm and a fully-crossed 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 factorial design. All obliged subjects (entities) will be notified of their obligation to fill out the ITA matrix through 76 "section heads," as was done in 2019. This constitutes the only notification for the pure control group. In the treatment groups, subjects are emailed directly. Manipulation of the content and frequency of these messages constitutes the 2*2*2*2 factorial design, following the four interventions above.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Obliged subjects (each a public or private sector entity).
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
12,053 entities (there is no clustering)
Sample size: planned number of observations
12,053 entities
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1339 entities in pure control. 669-671 entities in each of the 16 cells of the factorial treatment conditions.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number