Using narratives to change beliefs about Female Genital Cutting in Sierra Leone

Last registered on February 11, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Using narratives to change beliefs about Female Genital Cutting in Sierra Leone
Initial registration date
February 10, 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
February 11, 2021, 11:58 AM EST

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


Primary Investigator

Universita Bocconi

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Universita Bocconi
PI Affiliation
Universita Bocconi
PI Affiliation
Cattolica University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This project aims at exploring the role of narratives as a tool to change attitudes towards and ultimately reduce prevalence of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) in Sierra Leone. In Sierra Leone, 89.6% of women are cut (Statistics Sierra Leone and ICF International, 2014) and cultural identity seems to be one of the main factors responsible for the persistence of FGC. Drawing on work in psychology, we propose a new tool to alter the association between a person’s sense of “self” and behaviors prescribed by norms: narratives, and test if a 'narrative' can reduce support for the practice. The narrative in our study consists of a short video that makes women aware of the historical origins of FGC among slave women along the Red Sea route. We will survey 3500 mothers who have daughters aged 3-17 in 150 villages, and half of the women will receive the treatment video. We hypothesize that discovering this link between FGC and slavery may induce people to re-assess the intrinsic value of FGC and change their attitudes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Corno, Lucia et al. 2021. "Using narratives to change beliefs about Female Genital Cutting in Sierra Leone." AEA RCT Registry. February 11.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Attitudes towards female genital cutting
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our project covers 150 villages randomly selected from the list of villages in the most recent Census in Sierra Leone. The villages will be randomly divided into two equally sized groups: treatment and control (we randomize at the village level to minimize the possibility of contamination across arms). In both groups, we will first administer a survey including socio-demographic questions, as well as information on the FGC status of the woman and her attitudes towards the practice. Then we will administer either the treatment video (origins of FGC and thanking the participants) followed by questions prompting them to reflect upon FGC, or the control video (thanking the participants).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in the office on a computer using a statistical software.
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization is the village.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
3,543 mothers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
75 villages (1,776 mothers) receive the treatment, and 75 villages (1,767 mothers) are in the control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Cattolica University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials