So fresh and so clean: Urban community engagement to keep streets trash-free and improve the functioning and sustainability of drainage infrastructure in peri-urban Dakar

Last registered on July 07, 2015


Trial Information

General Information

So fresh and so clean: Urban community engagement to keep streets trash-free and improve the functioning and sustainability of drainage infrastructure in peri-urban Dakar
Initial registration date
July 01, 2015

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
July 01, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

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

Last updated
July 07, 2015, 5:35 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Trinity College Dublin

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
DIME, World Bank
PI Affiliation
Trinity College Dublin

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This field experiment tests an intervention to increase community engagement in the adaptation to, and prevention and mitigation of, flood risks through maintaining the cleanliness of public spaces and drainage infrastructure in highly flood-prone peri-urban areas of Dakar, Senegal. The study (World Bank Project P145184) takes place in the context of the World Bank and Nordic Development Fund-assisted Stormwater Management and Climate Change Adaptation Project (PROGEP; World Bank Project P122841), implemented by the Dakar Municipal Development Agency. The major investment under PROGEP is the construction of new and the rehabilitation of existing drainage infrastructure in flood-prone areas. Such investments, however, suffer from the tragedy of the commons – individuals have the incentive to abuse shared resources as they personally incur the benefits while the costs are shared by the whole community. In particular, in PROGEP areas public spaces are used to dispose of waste, clogging storm-water drainage systems and reducing their effectiveness, sustainability, and the returns on this major investment. There is a lack of knowledge on the negative effects of poor waste management and a lack of accountability to discourage adverse behavior. Currently, there is little evidence on how best to engage communities in the preservation of public spaces and infrastructures, particularly in urban settings, and this study will experimentally test “Operation Quartier Propre” (Operation Clean Neighborhood), a new intervention where local community-based organizations are charged with the cleanliness of their neighborhood, are provided with an initial in-kind endowment to support them in this task, and are eligible for non-monetary incentives based on an external assessment of their respective community’s cleanliness. Conditional on implementation, the study will also attempt to non-experimentally estimate the impact of community-proposed micro-projects financed through PROGEP.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Holmlund, Marcus, Tara Mitchell and Carol Newman. 2015. "So fresh and so clean: Urban community engagement to keep streets trash-free and improve the functioning and sustainability of drainage infrastructure in peri-urban Dakar." AEA RCT Registry. July 07.
Former Citation
Holmlund, Marcus, Tara Mitchell and Carol Newman. 2015. "So fresh and so clean: Urban community engagement to keep streets trash-free and improve the functioning and sustainability of drainage infrastructure in peri-urban Dakar." AEA RCT Registry. July 07.
Experimental Details


Two interventions are proposed for evaluation as part of this study.

First, Operation Quartier Propre (OQP) will engage local Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to work within their communities to improve and maintain the cleanliness of public spaces and drainage infrastructure. CBOs will receive an initial endowment in the form of standard cleaning equipment provided to them through the municipality. After six months, the progress of the CBOs toward achieving an agreed set of targets will be evaluated against a small set of standardized benchmarks, and where acceptable progress has been made the CBO will be rewarded with a plaque or a banner that will be displayed in a public place signaling their involvement and success in maintaining the cleanliness of their community. At the end of the intervention period (after 1 year) CBOs that have fulfilled all criteria will receive in-kind incentives in the form of t-shirts, cooking materials and plastic chairs, and the right to keep the formerly distributed initial endowment (the endowment and incentives were developed through consultations with the implementing agency and their contracted Social Facilitators, which are larger NGOs operating in PROGEP project areas). In addition, a public ceremony will be held to formally acknowledge and reward the CBOs that have been successful.

The second intervention consists of community micro-projects (Projets d’Investissement Communautaire, or PICs), which are investments of US$10-70k applied for and implemented by community-based organizations with a high-level of implementation support and supervision from the Municipal Development Agency of Dakar (PROGEP implementing agency) and the project’s Social Facilitators. PICs are intended to improve the value of areas surrounding water retention ponds through construction e.g. of walk paths, fishing areas, picnic tables, sports infrastructure, etc.; securing unbuildable lands; improving waste management around drainage infrastructure; and decreasing possible negative externalities of drainage infrastructure, such as malaria transmission.

This registry focuses on the experimental evaluation of the OQP intervention. A non-experimental evaluation of the PICs has been proposed and is contingent on the eventual implementation scale of this intervention.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Household-level final outcomes include loss and damage to property, income, and health and education of household members. Intermediate outcomes include knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to flood prevention and risk mitigation. To measure the latter, we intend to use incentivized decision activities (behavioral games) in the endline survey.

CBO-level outcomes include improved knowledge of and engagement in flood prevention and risk mitigation.

Community level outcomes include improved cleanliness of public spaces and improved functioning of drainage systems and other public infrastructure. Ultimately, this is expected to lead to improved infrastructure sustainability and return on investment, and increase community resilience to flooding.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
OQP will be evaluated using a cluster randomized trial with household-level outcomes. Treatment is applied at the cluster (quartier) level which is the unit-of-randomization. Of the 395 quartiers in the PROGEP’s intervention area, 160 have been randomly selected to participate in the OQP pilot and impact evaluation. Of these, 80 will be randomly assigned to the treatment and 80 to the control group. Quartiers are grouped according to a set of criteria drawn up by the social facilitators, who have intimate knowledge of the study areas, on the basis of geography and social ties between quartiers. While this grouping is not ideal from a study design perspective, from an implementation perspective it is absolutely critical. Random assignment is stratified by group, i.e. within each grouping approximately half of quartiers are randomly assigned to treatment and half to the control group.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization is done through public lottery for reasons of transparency and local buy-in.
Randomization Unit
The proposed unit of randomization is the quartier, or neighborhood. These are located around constructed and planned drainage infrastructures (canals and water retention ponds).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
160 quartiers
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,400 households (15 households per quartier)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
80 quartiers treatment (1,200 households), 80 quartiers control (1,200 households).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Comité National d’Ethique pour la Recherche en Santé (CNERS)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Protocole SEN12/50 – 797 MSAS/ DPRS/ DR
IRB Name
School of Social Sciences and Philosophy Ethical Approval Committee (REAC), Trinity College Dublin
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

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Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials