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Entrepreneurship support for refugees and host communities in a fragile context
Last registered on October 01, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Entrepreneurship support for refugees and host communities in a fragile context
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006551
Initial registration date
September 30, 2020
Last updated
October 01, 2020 7:28 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Trinity College Dublin
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Trinity College Dublin
PI Affiliation
Trinity College Dublin
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-10-01
End date
2022-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Conflicts and climate-induced forced displacement put increasing pressure on the Sahel region of Africa, one of the poorest regions in the world. Niger hosts over 300,000 displaced people, placing additional pressures on many of its already fragile regions. Both displaced and host populations are poor, face limited access to basic services, have few opportunities to make a living, and are affected by socioeconomic inequalities. How can already vulnerable societies absorb large numbers of displaced people? Which interventions can work to increase the resilience of both displaced and host populations in these settings? This study will evaluate the impact of an entrepreneurship support project targeting both displaced and host communities in Niger. The program, financed by the World Bank, will provide cash grants and training to support income-generating activities.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Adjognon, Guigonan Serge et al. 2020. "Entrepreneurship support for refugees and host communities in a fragile context." AEA RCT Registry. October 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6551-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The program consists of two principal components: a US$200 cash grant, corresponding to more than 50% of the yearly GDP per capita in Niger, and a 5-day entrepreneurship/business training that covers skills in both agricultural and non-agricultural enterprises. Program recipients will receive complementary interventions such as savings support and coaching. To be eligible, applicants are required to have an idea for a concrete income-generating activity for using the grant. The selected program recipients will have to verbally present the idea to the implementing partner, responsible for carrying out the intervention. In case the idea does not appear feasible, the partner will work with the individual to identify a possible alternative. The individual will then be enrolled in the training program and, conditional on completing it, will receive the cash grant.
Intervention Start Date
2021-03-01
Intervention End Date
2022-09-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Intermediate/short-term outcomes
Economic: Investment in productive assets, Productivity
Social: Aspirations, Expanded social networks (social capital)

Longer-term outcomes
Individual:
Economic: Economic opportunities, Income, Consumption, Resilience, Food security, Vulnerability, Migration
Social: Social networks, mental health

Community:
Economic: Economic activity, In and out migration, prices
Social: Integration, Social cohesion, Conflicts
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Due to implementation capacity constraints, the entrepreneurship support programme will be delivered in two phases over a 5-year period, and is expected to reach more than 600 villages, across the three regions of Diffa, Tillabery, and Tahoua. During the first phase, only half of those villages are expected to receive the program interventions, while the others will be reached roughly two years later. We will leverage this phased-in approach and rely on a 2-level randomization to test the impact of the programme on social and economic outcomes for individuals and communities in the study region. As a first step, we will randomly allocate villages in the study area to phase 1 (treatment) villages and phase 2 (control) villages.

For the second randomization we will take advantage of the fact that, due to limited resources and logistic constraints, even within treatment villages not every eligible individual will be able to receive the program (the expected capacity is to cover about 30% of the community). As per program guidelines, eligible individuals will have to be poor but able to meet basic consumption needs. This will be determined through a Proxy Means Test (PMT), based on census data that will be collected before the beginning of the program. The Census is being carried out by CERISES-CSF, a local survey firm, as part of the broader PARCA project beginning in September 2020. Within each village (treatment and control) individuals will then be classified into three groups: very poor, poor, and non-poor. The target population will be the middle group of poor individuals. A public lottery will be used in treatment villages to identify, among the eligible individuals, those that will be offered the opportunity to join the programme.

Overall, this design will allow us to identify three groups of individuals: program recipients; spillover individuals (i.e. non-recipients in treatment villages); and pure control individuals. The inclusion of spillover individuals will allow us to detect the impact of the program on non-beneficiaries within treatment villages thus providing insight into the general equilibrium effects. More specifically, by comparing the different groups, we will be able to evaluate the impact of the intervention at three different levels: impact on the village as a whole (which includes both community-level outcomes and average impact on individual-level outcomes); impact on individual program recipients; and impact on non-recipients within treatment villages (spillovers).

We will conduct two rounds of surveys, at baseline and end-line, and rely on three survey tools:

1. Village/community survey: a relatively short survey will be conducted with the village chiefs to collect information related to the community.

2. Individual/Household survey: a detailed survey will be administered to a randomly selected sample of eligible individuals within each village.

3. Market survey: we will also carry out a short market survey that will register local prices on a selected group of common agricultural and non-agricultural commodities.

The specific context for our study will allow us to investigate additional policy-relevant questions. We will take advantage of a rich baseline survey and the presence of both displaced and host individuals among the target population to explore heterogeneous effects by status (displaced vs local), by initial level of social capital within the community, and by psychological attributes. Finally, we will also collect detailed data on community-level economic and social integration to evaluate the impact of the program on this dimension.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Village randomization: randomization done in office by a computer (using Stata software)
Individual randomization: randomization done by public lottery in the villages
Randomization Unit
First level: The unit of randomization is the village.
Second level: The unit of randomization is the individual
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
238 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
6,069 individuals (17 Treatment individuals and 17 Spillover individuals in each treatment village, plus 17 Control individuals in each control village) at baseline
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
119 treatment villages (clusters) and 119 control villages. 34 individuals per Treatment village and 17 individuals per control village. About half of sampled individuals within treatment villages will be in the Treatment group and half in the Control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Assuming individual attrition=10%, ICC=0.25, power=80%, significance level =5% the MDES is 0.2 SD for the comparison between T and C villages and 0.16 SD when comparing outcomes between treatment and spillover individuals (assuming effect size variability of 0.1).
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Research Ethics Committee, Trinity College Dublin
IRB Approval Date
2020-06-08
IRB Approval Number
N/A