Strengthening Community Resilience in Conflict-affected Societies: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a CDD Intervention with a Conflict Resolution Dimension in Eastern DRC

Last registered on April 26, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Strengthening Community Resilience in Conflict-affected Societies: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a CDD Intervention with a Conflict Resolution Dimension in Eastern DRC
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007602
Initial registration date
April 26, 2021
Last updated
April 26, 2021, 10:33 AM EDT

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
UAntwerp

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
KULeuven

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2015-09-26
End date
2020-12-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study seeks to analyse the impact of a Community-Driven Development (CDD) program in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The project sought to strengthen community resilience in the conflict-ravaged eastern part of the country. The CDD program was randomly assigned to about two thirds of 400 communities with eligible project proposals. The selected communities received a budget of up to $100,000 to finance an infrastructure project. Furthermore, the members of each CDD community received training to select and manage the project in an inclusive and participatory way. A random half of CDD communities received a third component, namely the conflict mediation component, which consisted of conflict prevention and management activities, identified and led by NGOs specialized in the matter. According to the theory of change the CDD program would lead not only to improvements in community infrastructure but also to more social cohesion, because of the adopted inclusive and participatory process, and the demonstration effect this entails (when it leads to a successful project implementation). The conflict mitigation component would enhance both of these effects, by reducing internal divisions that could work against the effective implementation of the CDD project. Our impact evaluation puts this theory of change to a test. The outcomes of interest that we will evaluate are situated within two outcome families: access to and quality of infrastructure, and social cohesion.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Bousquet, Julie, Eric Mvukiyehe and Marijke Verpoorten. 2021. "Strengthening Community Resilience in Conflict-affected Societies: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a CDD Intervention with a Conflict Resolution Dimension in Eastern DRC ." AEA RCT Registry. April 26. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7602-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The selected communities received a budget of up to $100,000 to finance an infrastructure project. Furthermore, the members of each CDD community received training to select and manage the project in an inclusive and participatory way. A random half of CDD communities received a third component, namely the conflict mediation component, which consisted of conflict prevention and management activities, identified and led by NGOs specialized in the matter.
Intervention Start Date
2015-09-26
Intervention End Date
2020-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The study focuses on two primary outcomes of interest. The first is related to infrastructure while the second one relates to social cohesion. We divide each of them in more precise outcome families to capture a more detailed picture of the intervention effect on the main outcomes of interest.
Regarding infrastructure access and quality, we measure
a) Existence/creation of socioeconomic infrastructure as well as its quantity and quality;
b) Quantity & type of infrastructure obtained on request of village or NGO (vs. government);
c) Household access to this infrastructure;
d) Use of this infrastructure by household (and frequency);
e) Satisfaction with the infrastructure;
f) Health indicators;
g) Education indicators.
This study thus does not only focus on whether infrastructure has been built, but also in how far individuals (particularly the most vulnerable) have access to this infrastructure, make effectively use of it, and whether it has led to improvements in outcomes such as health and education. At the village level we will also study the effect of the intervention on the provision of infrastructure by different actors (village member, government, NGO).
The second main outcome of interest is social cohesion. We decided to divide it in the following families:
a) Trust in another village member;
b) Community organization;
c) Ethnic/social cleaves:
d) Social cohesion;
e) Information transmission;
f) Conflict (within community members and between villages)
g) Inclusion of outsiders (e.g., IDPs; refugees; ex-fighters);
h) Participation in community meeting/collective action;
i) Civic engagement/political participation
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
To capture the effect of the intervention on the economic life of the participants, we will perform additional analyses on variables characterizing socioeconomic well-being. Those include measures of economic welfare, income generating activities, and subjective well-being.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The CDD program was randomly assigned to about two thirds of 400 communities with eligible project proposals. A random half of CDD communities received the conflict mitigation component.
Experimental Design Details
The CDD program was implemented on a phased-in yearly basis, with a new enrollment period at the beginning of each year. Project implementation started each time upon the community’s proposal passing the quality threshold set by DRC’s Social Fund and obtaining approval from the provincial authorities (Comité Consultatif Provincial). As a result, in some months only one new project started, while in other months ten projects started. In order to keep randomization logistically feasible, all provincial headquarters of Fonds Social received a “randomization list”. New communities were added to this list as they came in (row 1, row 2, etc.). Every subsequent three rows on each of the province lists were assigned randomly to CONTROL, CDD or CDD+. In total, 400 villages were assigned across these three categories. For 35 among these 400 villages, project implementation was impossible due to security, inaccessibility and other operational challenges.
The distribution across 'primary' CONTROL, CDD or CDD+ was as follows: 127, 138, 135. (The imbalance of communities across the three experimental groups relates to the phase-in design by province and specificities of the randomization: from 2016 to 2019, 4 randomization occurred (over the 6 provinces). Moreover, the randomization was stratified by project type, to make sure we would have an even number of project type by territories.)
In addition to the primary list of randomized CDD and CDD + communities, more CDD and CDD+ projects from the list were randomly selected as replacement projects, to be used in case a primary community dropped. Following a drop-out, a replacement project would be picked in the same geographic area, and in order of the random rank allocated to it.
Randomization Method
All provincial headquarters of Fonds Social received a “randomization list”. New communities were added to this list as they came in (row 1, row 2, etc.). Every subsequent three rows on the list were assigned randomly to CONTROL, CDD or CDD+.
Randomization Unit
Communities
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
400 communities
Sample size: planned number of observations
4000 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The distribution across 'primary' CONTROL, CDD or CDD+ was as follows: 127, 138, 135 communities, respectively. (The imbalance of communities across the three experimental groups relates to the phase-in design and specificities of the randomization: from 2016 to 2019, 4 randomization occurred (over the 6 provinces). Moreover, the randomization was stratified by project type, to make sure we would have an even number of project type by territories.)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

Documents

Document Name
Appendix2_questionnaires
Document Type
survey_instrument
Document Description
Household and Chief survey
File
Appendix2_questionnaires

MD5: 1a88ee3cc293f662d6d7dd41345f6a5f

SHA1: 57159b58d3d5867b8cabbd234fd8a58623114c95

Uploaded At: April 24, 2021

Document Name
Appendix1_outcomes
Document Type
other
Document Description
Table with outcome families and related measures corresponding to survey questions
File
Appendix1_outcomes

MD5: 32b07ca74a4821c7faef3704f4ef5b67

SHA1: cc75b132d704d2f3ccefe7023373dfc6286ddc96

Uploaded At: April 24, 2021

IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Social Sciences Ethics Committee (SEC) Wageningen University
IRB Approval Date
2015-06-17
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Pre-analysis plan CDD in RDC

MD5: 59feccddb89fd591cc170613ff18d831

SHA1: 1b0062ac348c31d06ccefa3e155f50568f5219fd

Uploaded At: April 24, 2021

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
June 30, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
December 30, 2020, 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
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials