Gendered impacts of Public Work Programs in fragile states: the case of the Social Response to the Ebola Crisis Program in Democratic Republic of Congo

Last registered on October 20, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Gendered impacts of Public Work Programs in fragile states: the case of the Social Response to the Ebola Crisis Program in Democratic Republic of Congo
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007092
Initial registration date
April 28, 2021
Last updated
October 20, 2021, 7:33 PM EDT

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2020-09-01
End date
2021-11-15
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Women in fragile contexts are more likely to experience displacement or have their education interrupted and, have less access to employment and income opportunities, as compared to men. Women also face limited mobility and physical access to markets; incomplete access to market information; and restricted access to credit and other financial services. All this makes it quite challenging to engage women in economic activities and help them overcome poverty. Public work programs (PWP) and Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) have been widely implemented as social protection instruments to fight poverty. Evidence on the effectiveness and gendered impacts of CCTs has been widely documented, whereas the evidence on the effectiveness and gendered impacts of PWP is still scarce and comes mainly from the experiences in India and Argentina, with limited evidence from fragile contexts. This evaluation will contribute to the literature by providing evidence on the gendered impacts of PWP in fragile contexts. In particular, we aim to test the hypothesis that in fragile contexts, women, and particularly the poorest women, don’t have the same capacity as men to fully leverage PWP’s benefits. Factors such as stronger care burdens, limited capacity to react to shocks, limited opportunities to invest, limited bargaining power, or partners with stronger gender norms, may be constraining the capacity of women to fully take advantage of the program. To test this hypothesis we exploit the random selection of individuals to participate in a PWP implemented in the provinces of Ituri and Nord Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Lopez, Diana, Niklas Buehren and Laura Bermeo. 2021. "Gendered impacts of Public Work Programs in fragile states: the case of the Social Response to the Ebola Crisis Program in Democratic Republic of Congo." AEA RCT Registry. October 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7092-1.3000000000000003
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The Social Response to the Ebola Crisis Program takes place in health zones affected by Ebola, with the goal of improving the public infrastructure by addressing the needs of the communities and the public health teams. The program started in Jan 2020 and is planned to go until July 2021. The program will cover 29 health zones in the provinces of Ituri, Sud Kivu and Nord Kivu and aims at benefiting at least 100,000 beneficiaries in a period of 18 months. The program targets poor and vulnerable men and women over 18 years of age and who reside in the same health zone of the worksite. Those interested must be registered to participate in the public lotteries through which the beneficiaries will be selected. Selected beneficiaries will receive 3 USD per day and will be authorized to work 60 days for a period of 3 consecutive months.
Intervention Start Date
2020-09-01
Intervention End Date
2021-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Income, savings
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
These outcomes will be measured, 3 to 6 months after the completion of public works, through the following indicators: i. likelihood of having an income source or being employed over the past 7 days, ii. monthly earnings, iii. Likelihood of saving over the past 6 months and, iv. amount saved.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
food security, intrahousehold decision making, sharing of housework, gender norms and social cohesion
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
o Food security: i. number of meals eaten in a day, ii. Likelihood of skipping a meal over the last 30 days because there was not enough money
o Intrahousehold decision making: extent in which women provide input into decisions regarding: i. the income they earn, ii. How household income is spent and iii. Major household expenses. We will analyze each dimension separately and will also build an index defined as the equally weighted average of the standardized values of these variables (factor z-score index).
o Sharing of Housework: extent in which women get the help from their partners on activities such as cooking, cleaning the house and taking care of the children. We will analyze each dimension separately and will also build an index defined as the equally weighted average of the standardized values of these variables (factor z-score index)..
o Gender norms: we ask for personal attitudes and injunctive norms (perceived acceptability) on: i. women being good leaders, ii. Women and men participating equally in housework, iii. Women having an equal participation on household’s expenses. We will analyze each question separately and we will also build an index for personal attitudes and one for injunctive norms, each of them defined as the equally weighted average of the standardized values of the corresponding variables (factor z-score index).
o Social cohesion: we ask for personal attitudes and injunctive norms (perceived acceptability) on feeling comfortable having as neighbors people from other ethnic groups. We will analyze each question separately.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
To evaluate the impact of the program, we will exploit the fact that beneficiaries are randomly selected through a public lottery. Around 1 to 3 days prior to the registration, an information campaign takes place to disseminate information on the job opportunities that would be available and how the selection process will be. Field staff register up to double the number of workers needed in each worksite, on a first-come-first-serve basis. Among the registered participants, a public lottery is conducted, at the health zone level, to select the beneficiaries and those that will be part of a waiting list in each worksite. In each health zone, there will be as many lotteries as worksites. Out of 100 participants randomly selected to participate in the project, between 20 and 30 are randomly selected to be part of a waiting list. If someone from the main list decides not to participate, his/her position is filled with the first position in the waiting list and so on. People from the waiting list are called to replace beneficiaries who drop out, never show up or, complete 3 consecutive days of absence without a valid justification.

We will use as a counterfactual those that participated in the lottery and are randomly assigned to the waiting list. The random selection of beneficiaries, based on the whole list of people registered, allow us to get rid of the selection bias associated to program participation and hence, allow us to have comparable groups that only differ in the likelihood of having participated in the public works. Prior to estimating the impact of the program, we will verify that treatment and control groups are comparable in key observable characteristics.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Public lottery
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
6,400 individuals equally divided between men and women
Sample size: planned number of observations
6,400 individuals equally divided between men and women
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
3,200 individuals in treatment and 3,200 individuals in treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Sample of 6,400 men and women-MDE of 10% increase in monthly earnings (0,09 sd)-Power of 98% Sample of 3,200 women-MDE of 8% increase in monthly earnings (0,06 sd)-Power of 75% Sample of 3,200 men-MDE of 8% increase in monthly earnings (0,06 sd)-Power of 72%
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
HML Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2021-04-27
IRB Approval Number
887TWBG21

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials