TabangKO Philippines - Mobile Money Cash Transfers and Financial Literacy in the Post-disaster Context
Last registered on March 05, 2015


Trial Information
General Information
TabangKO Philippines - Mobile Money Cash Transfers and Financial Literacy in the Post-disaster Context
Initial registration date
March 05, 2015
Last updated
March 05, 2015 7:56 PM EST
Primary Investigator
Causal Design
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Causal Design
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This program attempts to better understand the role different cash transfer programs design elements using a unique experiment targeted to households in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. The program featured several distinct interventions. In all cases, households received a cash transfer delivered to mobile bank accounts that could be then accessed at local banking outlets in the region. One group received the standard delivery method of three disbursements over the course of four to five months. This was contrasted to a group that received the disbursement in a lump sum payment at the first disbursement period. An additional group received the standard disbursement model along with an introductory financial literacy overview and presentation. A final group received the standard disbursement, the introductory financial overview, and a series of messages delivered via text and voice messages that encouraged savings behavior.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Ives, Keith and Reimar Macaranas. 2015. "TabangKO Philippines - Mobile Money Cash Transfers and Financial Literacy in the Post-disaster Context." AEA RCT Registry. March 05.
Former Citation
Ives, Keith, Keith Ives and Reimar Macaranas. 2015. "TabangKO Philippines - Mobile Money Cash Transfers and Financial Literacy in the Post-disaster Context." AEA RCT Registry. March 05.
Experimental Details
In early 2014, Mercy Corps partnered with BPI Globe BanKO, a branchless mobile bank, to open savings accounts and deliver unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) of PhP 3,950 (approximately 88 USD) to over 25,000 households severely impacted by typhoon Yolanda. The transfers were scheduled for disbursement in three payments, PhP 2000, 1200, and finally 750 (approximately 45, 27, and 16 USD, respectively), between June and September 2014. The program utilized a completely mobile platform to deposit secure cash transfers to savings accounts provided to all beneficiaries. In addition to the UCT, participants received a brief one to two hour overview of financial literacy principles through a local consulting company. For a specific subset of beneficiaries, Mercy Corps aimed to build on the initial financial overview by providing targeted text and voice messages consisting of savings behavior encouragement.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Use of Cash (Intermediate Outcome): Nondurable Goods Index, Durable Good Index, Materials used to build home.

Productive Asset Investment (Intermediate Outcome): Animal Assets Index (Large and Small Animals), Work Equipment Index, Ability to recover damaged work assets.

Prevention of Asset Shedding (Intermediate Outcome): Animal Assets Index (Large Animals), Work Equipment Index

Reported Savings Behavior (Intermediate Outcome): Reported Average Monthly Savings, Informal Savings Usage, Formal Savings Usage, Reported activity following hypothetical positive cash shock

Secondary Intermediate Outcomes: Dietary Diversity Index, Coping Strategies Index, Progress out of Poverty Index
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
In certain cases, outcome variables will be constructed through the creation of various indices from a set of variables. For established indices, guidance will be taken from source material on the appropriate scoring and compiling process. For general asset compilation the evaluation will employ two strategies; the sum of asset inventories will be aggregated across the variables and Principal Component Analysis (PCA) will be used. For variables utilizing a likert scale, average values will be used to construct a single index.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
While Mercy Corps’ program was implemented across multiple areas, this impact evaluation is limited to Western Leyte. The eligibility criteria and subsequent registration process resulted in 5,489 households enrolled in the program. Of these 1,738 were randomly selected to receive a baseline survey and assigned to the following treatment groups: A1, A2, B, and C.

In total, three surveys were administered to the treatment groups involved in the evaluation. A baseline survey was conducted for each beneficiary immediately after the completion of program registration and before administration of the financial literacy training overview. Analyzing basic difference of means, data from the baseline survey indicated that all treatment groups were balanced across observable characteristics. A midline survey was conducted after the distribution of the third cash transfer and focused on changes in consumption patterns spending. The third and final survey will be completed by the end of February 2015.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office
Randomization Unit
Individuals Beneficiaries (Household Financial Decisionmakers) for all four treatments. Randomization assignment of individuals occurred within each village.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
The focus of the impact evaluation is Western Leyte. Within this region, the targeted beneficiaries resided in 39 villages that were spread out over six municipalities.
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,738 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment A1: 446, Treatment A2: 456, Treatment B: 364, Treatment C: 393
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
TabangKO PreAnalysis Plan.docx

MD5: fbdd667391d1bd2b15f28a728a01f078

SHA1: d2a09fe9ea282f8ea73c2b58058f2088d195d383

Uploaded At: March 05, 2015

Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)