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Street Food Project
Last registered on October 13, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Street Food Project
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000750
Initial registration date
October 13, 2015
Last updated
October 13, 2015 7:20 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service
PI Affiliation
University of Barcelona (Institut d´Economia Barcelona)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2015-03-15
End date
2016-05-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The aim of this project is to investigate whether, why and under what conditions self-regulation - in terms of improvements of hygienic standards and health hazards - might take place among street-food vendors in urban India. The project is being conducted in Kolkata and it will be based on a RCT with about 930 street-food vendors. . Vendors will be eligible to attend a training program aimed at building their capacity to make such improvements. At the end of the training, vendors will be allocated to different treatments to test which incentives drive self-regulatory behaviours.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Daniele, Gianmarco, Sulagna Mookerjee and Denni Tommasi. 2015. "Street Food Project." AEA RCT Registry. October 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.750-1.0.
Former Citation
Daniele, Gianmarco, Sulagna Mookerjee and Denni Tommasi. 2015. "Street Food Project." AEA RCT Registry. October 13. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/750/history/5581.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Street-food vending in developing countries is one of the most common job for urban poor, both migrant job-seekers and urban unemployed. This micro-entrepreneurial activity is mostly conducted in a tolerated but informal sector. Vendors distribute affordable goods and services to consumers and form a vital part of the social and economic life of a city. However, street food vending represents also a source of major public health issues. The main concern is a general lack of knowledge of street vendors in basic food safety measures. Moreover, the risks to public health are exacerbated by poor hygiene, inadequate access to clean water and waste disposal, and unhealthy surroundings. International organizations such as the FAO and the WHO have repeatedly pointed out the urgency of addressing concerns related to street vending in developing countries.

The aim of this project is to investigate whether, and why, self-regulation - in terms of improvements of hygienic standards and health hazards - might take place among street-food vendors in urban India. The project will take place in Kolkata and it will be based on a RCT on about 930 street-food vendors. Vendors will be eligible to attend a training program aimed at building their capacity to make such improvements.

The training is designed in collaboration with Innoaid, a nongovernment organization (NGO) from Denmark, following WHO's guidelines aimed at: i) enhance vendors' awareness of health risks related to food vending (foodborne illnesses) 1 ; ii) building their capacity to make the necessary improvements in food-quality - specifically, the training will focus on a set of tools as: importance of hands cleaning, vendors' personal hygiene, use of containers for water, food covering, availability of paper plates and cups, waste management and business practices -. A careful field data collection before, during and after the training - will allow testing the effect of the training on vendors' behaviors in terms of food safety hazards and on their overall performances.

At the end of the training, vendors will be randomly allocated to different treatments to test which incentives drive self-regulatory behaviours - namely Treatment groups 1, 2, 3, and Control group. T1 will only receive the training, and it represents our baseline treatment. T2, in addition of the training, receives some promotional material related to the content of the training. As this "signal" is visible to the clients, we might expect a higher impact of the training due to reputational effects. Finally, T3 tests whether monetary incentive can drive a change. Specifically, vendors are eligible to receive a monetary reward depending upon their ability to improve their performance in terms of hygiene and health hazards.
Intervention Start Date
2015-06-14
Intervention End Date
2016-03-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Behavior of the street food vendors in terms of adopting safe and hygienic food handling methods, such as:
(1) Are vendors wearing aprons?
(2) Are vendors using disposable plates to serve food?
(3) Are vendors using implements to handle food, and washing hands often?
(4) Are vendors keeping the raw ingredients and the cooked food covered?
(5) Are there dustbins in the stall?
(6) Is the cooking area clean of food debris and dirt?
(7) Are vessels being washed with soap ?

Awareness of the street food vendors in terms of health hazards, as:
(1) What do you use (or instruct employees to use) to have clean hands?
(2) When do you think it is needed to wash hands?
(3) How do you treat the drinking water provided to customers at your stall?
(4) How often do you replace the oil you are cooking in, from the cooking vessel?
(5) How often do you replace the water in which utensils are washed?
(6) How often do you empty your dustbin?
(7) How often do you sweep in front of your shop?
(8) How long do you use milk for, if not kept in a fridge?
(9) How do you check if meat is cooked properly?
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We constructed various summary measures of the previous key outcome variables in the form of weighted indexes.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The sample is randomly assigned to different treatment groups - namely Treatment groups 1, 2, 3, and Control group - who receive eligibility to different sets of training workshops. Assignment is at the block level, with all vendors in a particular block being assigned to the identical treatment group. Training is staggered, with Treatment 1 attending the first set of training workshops, followed by Treatments 2 and 3, and ultimately the Control group is trained at the conclusion of the study. The staggered nature of the training, coupled with regular monitoring of their food handling practices throughout the program, allows us to observe and identify changes in their behavior post training. The different treatment groups have different incentive schemes to reward the vendors for following the training regulations, allowing us to identify the relative importance of factors that might be prompting their decisions. Finally, a measure of the spatial distance between different blocks allows us to estimate the spillover effects or externalities arising from the training.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office using Stata13.
Randomization Unit
Randomization has been done at the block level, i.e. small groups of vendors (from 8 to 13) working close to each other in the same street.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
100 blocks.
Sample size: planned number of observations
926 street food vendors.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
25 blocks to basic treatment (training), 25 blocks to non-monetary treatment, 25 blocks to monetary treatment, 25 blocks to control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The power calculation was done following a conservative approach, i.e. assuming that the treatment will have a low impact (0.20 standard deviation).
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers