Returns to Soft-Skills Training for Recent Graduates in Rwanda

Last registered on November 06, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Returns to Soft-Skills Training for Recent Graduates in Rwanda
Initial registration date
April 26, 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
April 26, 2021, 10:32 AM EDT

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

Last updated
November 06, 2023, 3:22 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This project studies whether soft-skills training can make graduates more employable and improve their labor market outcomes. The project evaluates the effects of the soft-skills training on targeted soft skills and labor market outcomes for recent university and TVET graduates in Rwanda.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Brudevold Newman, Andrew and DIEGO UBFAL. 2023. "Returns to Soft-Skills Training for Recent Graduates in Rwanda." AEA RCT Registry. November 06.
Experimental Details


Training focused on communication skills that are relevant for work and career readiness (covering interpersonal skills: listening, empathy, expresiveness, interpersonal relatedness and influence), networking (covering negotiation and collaboration) and intrapersonal skills (personal initiative, perseverance, self-control, emotional regulation and problem solving)
The course will be taught over 2 weeks, 8 hours a day. Participants will be offered transport support, accommodation on campus, childcare facilities and subsistence fees.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Labor Outcomes (employment, formal jobs, earnings)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Soft Skills (interpersonal and intrapersonal skills)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Recent graduates from TVET or University complete an online registration form. They then complete a more detailed baseline survey and a soft-skills assessment.
A random sample of around 1,000 participants with successful registration and baseline survey will be invited to attend in-person public lotteries at 3 sites. The goal is to obtain a final sample of 900 study participants. Half of them will be offered to attend the training.

Randomization will be public and stratified by gender and 3 registration sites. At each site, there will be more than one public lottery in different rooms to guarantee COVID-19 safety measures.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Public Lottery.
Randomization Unit
900 individuals
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
900 individuals, 50% women
Sample size: planned number of observations
900 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
450 assigned to training, 450 control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Rwanda National Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
May 30, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
September 30, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
450 treated, 450 control
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

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Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Young adults seeking to enter the labor market often confront a skills mismatch with firms reporting difficulty finding new entrants with appropriate levels of soft skills. This paper reports findings from a randomized controlled trial in Rwanda in which recent graduates from tertiary education were randomly assigned to a two-week intensive soft skills training program developed and delivered by staff of the University of Rwanda. Results indicate that the program facilitated accelerated entry into the labor market
in a period characterized by COVID-19-related disruptions. These effects dissipated over the following year as more jobs
became available in the economy and the control group’s employment caught up with that of the treatment group. The paper finds evidence of significant job network expansion for participants of the training, which could have led to faster labor market entry for the treated youth.
Brudevold-Newman, Andrew and Ubfal, Diego. 2023. Returns to Soft Skills Training in Rwanda. Policy Research working paper WPS 10489; Impact Evaluation series Washington, D.C. World Bank.

Reports & Other Materials