Primary Outcomes (end points)
For each of our sub-hypotheses, we construct one index consisting of several related outcome variables. These are used as the main outcome variables to test the effects of the awareness campaign. Note that hypotheses 1 and 2 refer to intermediary outcomes, whereas hypotheses 3, 4 and 5 refer to final outcomes.
Awareness: We expect treated individuals to have higher levels of awareness of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic compared to the control group. Improved awareness is manifested in increased knowledge about the corona virus, the symptoms related to COVID-19, and possible preventive measures. Additionally, we expect that treated individuals are able to better identify misconceptions or false information about the virus as compared to those assigned to the control group.
Hypothesis 1 The treatment increases respondents’ awareness of the COVID-19 virus. H 1.1 The treatment increases knowledge about the COVID-19 virus.
H 1.2 The treatment reduces misconceptions about the COVID-19 virus.
H 1.3 The treatment reduces stigma about the COVID-19 virus.
Perceptions: We expect the treatment to alter perceptions about: (1) the severity of the disease, (2) the likelihood of contracting COVID-19, (3) the likelihood of infecting other family members, (4) the expected cost of getting infected, and (5) the influence of individual behavior on the likelihood of contracting the virus.
Hypothesis 2 The treatment changes respondents’ perceptions about COVID-19.
H 2.1 The treatment changes perceptions about the severity of the COVID-19 virus [d].
H 2.2 The treatment changes perceptions about the likelihood of getting infected with the COVID-19 virus [p(l + s; h; V)].
H 2.3 The treatment changes perceptions about the likelihood of infecting others with the COVID-19 virus [pi(.)].
H 2.4 The treatment changes perceptions about the costs of getting infected with the COVID- 19 virus [C].
H 2.5 The treatment changes perceptions about own behavior and the probability of getting infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Here, we do not make claims about the direction of changes. For instance, a positive adjustment indicates that the individual will report at endline a higher likelihood of contracting the virus and/ or infecting others, relative to the baseline and to peers in the control group. Additionally, selected beneficiaries may report perceiving the virus to be more severe and/ or perceiving treatment costs to be higher. The direction of change is governed by a number of factors that will be examined further in Section 3.3 on the heterogeneity of effects.
Behavior The treatment is expected to improve adherence to preventive measures. The preventive measures under scrutiny include: Hand hygiene practices, wearing of a mask, reduced labor supply and reduced social interactions. Following the theoretical framework presented in Section 2.2, reduced labor supply and social interactions are more costly for individuals given their direct impact on the household’s utility.
Hypothesis 3 The treatment increases respondents’ adherence to preventive measures. H 3.1 The treatment increases the number of reported prevention measures.
H 3.2 The treatment reduces mobility.
H 3.3 The treatment reduces social interactions.
H 3.4 The treatment reduces labor supply.
Health: We further test the hypothesis that the treatment has an effect on the health status of recipients. We capture (only) self-reported health status.
Hypothesis 4 The treatment improves respondents’ general health status.
The awareness treatment is administered to only one of the household members. However, in addition to the anticipated direct impact of the awareness treatment on the respondent’s behavior and health status, we expect an indirect impact of the treatment on other household members through a spillover of information. We expect this indirect effect to be larger if the respondent is the household head and hence the main decision maker. In the case of the LHTF treatment, which is administered at the village level, all individuals in treatment villages can directly benefit from information provided by the program. Effects on household members other than the main respondent can thus be understood as indirect effects only, or a combination of indirect and direct effects, depending on whether a household member was reached by the LHTF.
Hypothesis 5 The treatment impacts the prevention behavior and health status of other house- hold members and village residents.
H 5.1 The treatment reduces mobility of other household members.
H 5.2 The treatment reduces social interaction of other household members.
H 5.3 The treatment reduces the labor supply of other household members.
H 5.4 The treatment improves the general health status of other household members and village residents.
Finally, we expect that the higher the intensity of the intervention, the higher the impact on the outcome variables. Intensity is defined in terms of exposure to more than one treatment at the same time, with a maximum of three possible treatments, Tba, Tad, and LHTF, at the same time.
Hypothesis 6 The higher the intensity of treatment, the higher the impact on key outcome variables.