Behavioral Science for DRC Kinshasa CT

Last registered on August 02, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Behavioral Science for DRC Kinshasa CT
Initial registration date
February 11, 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, 11:55 AM EST

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

Last updated
August 02, 2021, 12:06 PM EDT

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


Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
ideas42 is working with the Kinshasa cash transfer team, including the DRC World Bank social protection team and the Fonds Sociale du DRC (FSRDC) with the aim to develop behavioral messages to send transfer recipients messages around the time of transfer disbursement that help them optimally spend the cash they receive. Through the program, households located in urban Kinshasa that have been identified as vulnerable will complete a SMS survey to register, after which they will receive a cash transfer of USD 25 per month for six months sent through mobile money. GDP per capita in the DRC is about USD 581 , which makes each monthly transfer about 4% of GDP per capita. The team has been developing ‘traditional’ messages to send during disbursement of the transfer to inform recipients of ways to use their cash, including messages about financial literacy and human capital. In parallel, ideas42 is working to develop a set of behavioral messages to help transfer recipients identify and follow through on spending the transfer on their priorities. During the first disbursement of the Kinshasa cash transfer program in mid-February, we intend to test the ‘traditional’ messages and the ‘behavioral’ messages to identify which set of messages is more effective at helping transfer recipients optimally spend the cash they receive.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

MacLeod, Catherine. 2021. "Behavioral Science for DRC Kinshasa CT." AEA RCT Registry. August 02.
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Experimental Details


The intervention we were able to design to address the problem was limited to SMS messages, as we were limited by program constraints and the intervention had to fit into the existing program agreement and structure. In the messages, recipients are prompted to consider their priorities for how they wish to spend the cash transfer and provided with simple instructions to consider or write down a plan for how they wish to budget the transfer. Shortly after the cash is available, we also include a timely reminder message to encourage recipients to remember and follow through with spending according to their budget. In the messages, we also aim to highlight recipient’s agency and ability to change their households life through the program.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We intend to test the following outcomes:
1. Recipient identified a priority for which they wished to spend their cash in advance of the transfer (binary: 0=no, 1=yes) (note: the priority will be identified by the recipient selecting from a list, which will then be pre-filled for additional questions about spending on that priority)
2. Recipient created a budget or plan for how to spend their cash (binary: 0=no, 1=yes)
3. Recipient followed through with spending the cash on their identified priority after receipt (binary: 0=no, 1=yes)
4. Percent of the transfer recipient reportedly spent toward their priority (numerical- between 0 and 100%)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This experiment is an individually-randomized RCT, where half of cash transfer recipients will receive the 'behavioral messages', and half will receive the 'traditional messages'.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer randomized (Stata)
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
5000 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
2500 households treatment, 2500 households control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Minimum detectable effect of 4 percentage points

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
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