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Family Dialog: a couples-based intervention to improve economic cooperation and change gender norms in the Mauritanian Safety Net Program
Last registered on April 15, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Family Dialog: a couples-based intervention to improve economic cooperation and change gender norms in the Mauritanian Safety Net Program
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007370
Initial registration date
April 14, 2021
Last updated
April 15, 2021 6:20 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
World Bank
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Trinity College Dublin
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Trinity College Dublin
PI Affiliation
World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2021-02-01
End date
2023-01-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Cash transfers have been consistently proven to smooth consumption and, especially when conditions are attached, encourage human capital investments in education and health care. However, the evidence on the potentially negative impacts of cash transfers on intimate partner violence (IPV) is less conclusive and varies substantially based on context, intervention parameters, and outcomes measured. Emerging evidence suggests that engaging husbands is critical to mitigating conflict within the household and engaging the broader community might also be required to enable social norm changes. Understanding what mechanisms can create sustained changes in social norms and strengthen the wellbeing of households, will allow program’s recipients, and particularly women, to better materialize the impacts of interventions such as cash transfers. This study evaluates the impact of a couples- and community-based pilot intervention in Mauritania implemented as part of a national social transfer program (Tekavoul). The couples- and community-based pilot intervention “Family Dialogue” consists of six monthly meetings for couple’s aiming at strengthening economic cooperation within the couple. In addition to this basic training, a group will receive 6 additional monthly sessions on topics such power, gender norms, gender inequalities, healthy relationships, and violence against women; and another group will be part of a community-based intervention in which short fiction films, with similar content to the additional six months of training, will be broadcasted. This study relies on a randomized controlled trial and will estimate the impact of the intervention on economic wellbeing, women’s and men’s behavior, gender norms, and domestic violence, among others.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bedi, Tara et al. 2021. "Family Dialog: a couples-based intervention to improve economic cooperation and change gender norms in the Mauritanian Safety Net Program." AEA RCT Registry. April 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7370-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In Mauritania, a national social transfer program (Tekavoul) targets 100,000 extremely poor households to protect them from severe deprivation and support investment in human capital. The program combines regular transfers with promotional activities, delivered at the Social Promotion Spaces (SPS), aiming at imparting knowledge of essential family practices and investment in human capital, as well as household resilience. Recipients receive 1,500 MRU (USD 50) every three months for a period of five years, subject to their participation in social promotion activities (quarterly sessions) dealing with hygiene, nutrition, and child development.
As part of this program, a couples- and community-based pilot intervention, Family Dialogue, is planned to start being implemented the second quarter of 2021. The pilot intervention focuses on training for Tekavoul beneficiary couples to improve economic cooperation and transform gender norms through the involvement of both spouses and will be implemented in the Moughataa of Maghama in the Wilaya of Gorgol.
The basic intervention consists of six monthly meetings for couple’s aimed at strengthening economic cooperation within the couple. In addition to this basic training, a group of couples will receive 6 additional monthly sessions on topics such power, gender norms, gender inequalities, healthy relationships, and violence against women; and another group will be part of a community-based intervention in which short fiction films, with similar content to the additional six months of training, will be broadcasted.
Intervention Start Date
2021-05-16
Intervention End Date
2022-05-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
• Economic outcomes: income, savings, likelihood of being employed, time use
• Wellbeing outcomes: food security, consumption
• Gender outcomes: intra-household decision making, gender norms and intimate partner violence
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The pilot intervention will be evaluated using a clustered randomized controlled trial (RCT). The randomization will be conducted at the Social Promotion Spaces (SPS) in which Tekavoul beneficiaries are grouped to receive the promotional activities. Couples are eligible if the recipient of the cash transfer was married (either in a monogamous or polygamous relationship) at baseline and if any of the spouses is 50 years old or younger. SPS will be randomly assigned to the following 4 groups: i. First six months of training (i.e. basic intervention); ii. First six months of training (i.e. basic intervention) + 6 additional months on power and healthy relationships; iii. First six months of training (i.e. basic intervention) + short films on power and healthy relationships broadcasted at the community level; iv. A control group. We will work with EPS with at least 8 couples. In those SPS with more than 15 couples, we will either randomly select the couples through a public lottery, or we will split the couples to conduct two separate sessions. This will depend on operational constraints.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
* The SPS will be randomly allocated to each of the 4 groups. The randomization will be done either in the office on a computer using a statistical software or through a public lottery, depending on discussions with the government.
* In those SPS with more than 15 couples, we will either randomly select the couples through a public lottery, or we will split the couples to conduct two separate sessions. This will depend on operational constraints.
Randomization Unit
* Social Promotion Spaces (SPS)
* In those SPS with more than 15 couples, we will either randomly select the couples through a public lottery, or we will split the couples to conduct two separate sessions. This will depend on operational constraints.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
109 Social Promotion Spaces
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,200 couples, with an average of 11 couples per cluster
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
27 clusters (SPS) and 300 couples per treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
With 109 clusters and 11 couples per cluster, we will be able to detect a MDE on daily per capita consumption of 0.36 sd, which corresponds to an increase of 20.5%
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee-Trinity College Dublin
IRB Approval Date
2021-01-25
IRB Approval Number
N/A