Experimental Evaluation of the Primeira Infância Melhor Program

Last registered on June 24, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Experimental Evaluation of the Primeira Infância Melhor Program
Initial registration date
July 26, 2021

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
July 28, 2021, 5:59 PM EDT

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

Last updated
June 24, 2022, 1:53 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

São Paulo School of Economics – FGV EESP

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
São Paulo School of Economics – FGV EESP
PI Affiliation
Department of Economics – University College London
PI Affiliation
Center for Public Policy and Administration – Insper
PI Affiliation
Social Protection and Health Division – Inter-American Development Bank
PI Affiliation
São Paulo School of Business Administration – FGV EAESP
PI Affiliation
São Paulo School of Economics – FGV EESP

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This study aims to evaluate the 'Primeira Infância Melhor' Program (Better Early Childhood, PIM), an ongoing large scale home visiting program targeting socioeconomically disadvantaged families to promote the health, cognitive and socioemotional development of young children during their early years of development in the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Sul. We explore program expansion within municipalities to randomize individuals (either children aged 0-3 or expectant mothers) into the treatment group or a waiting list whenever there is excess demand. We will assess program impacts on child development, parental practices, parent-child relationship and family access to services. This trial also sets up the building blocks of a longitudinal study design to evaluate medium and long-term effects of PIM on dimensions such as educational achievement and performance, labor market entry and health outcomes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Weber Costa, Gabriel et al. 2022. "Experimental Evaluation of the Primeira Infância Melhor Program." AEA RCT Registry. June 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6799
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Motor, cognitive, socioemotional, and communicative development of the child; parenting practices.
For future follow-up stages: parent-child interactions; finer measures of child development; educational, health outcomes of the child.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Access to services; mental health of the caregiver.
Subgroup analysis: child age, gender, socioeconomic status, educational level of the mother/caregiver, municipality/community, and interactions between these subgroups as sample sizes allow.
For future follow-up stages: health outcomes of the child and caregiver/family members and long-run labor market outcomes of the child.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This study focuses on families with a child aged 0 to 3 or an expectant mother. Eligible individuals are mapped by local program staff. A stratum is defined by child age group and communities/municipalities. For each stratum, we randomize families into two groups: an active treatment and a waiting list. Home visitors then offer the program following the randomization protocol until local supply is met. In case a family is composed of more than one child, all children receive the same treatment status, but we only consider the youngest one for the evaluation sample.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual (either a child or an expectant mother)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Planned total of 3000 families. Currently 2422 in various stages of implementation, divided into 61 strata (mean strata size=39.7).
Sample size: planned number of observations
3000 children
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Expected sample of 1500 treated x 1500 control. Final numbers are dependent on local program supply capacity. Currently 1192 treated x 1230 waiting list.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Comissão Nacional de Ética em Pesquisa - Conep
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Comitê de Conformidade Ética em Pesquisas Envolvendo Seres Humanos - CEPH/FGV
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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