The Impact of Case Management on the Efficiency and Quality of Dispute Resolution: Evidence from Court-Annexed Mediation in Kenya

Last registered on May 21, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Impact of Case Management on the Efficiency and Quality of Dispute Resolution: Evidence from Court-Annexed Mediation in Kenya
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007699
Initial registration date
May 20, 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
May 21, 2021, 9:32 AM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
The World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
The World Bank

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-05-21
End date
2022-06-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Court-Annexed Mediation brings the promise of speeding up resolution of disputes, reducing the cost of access to justice, and providing the space for parties to creatively find solutions to their grievances. However, there is limited research on the potential of technological innovations to improve the efficiency and productivity of mediators and on the parties' resolution of their disputes. In this study, we evaluate the impact of an innovative data management and analytics platform, Cadaster, on the efficiency and quality of mediation in Kenya. The study relies on the random implementation of Cadaster across half of the court stations in Kenya during a pilot period of 3 months. In addition to measuring the overall productivity and quality of mediation, we will evaluate the impact of Cadaster on the satisfaction of the parties, their capacity to resolve their disputes and possibly their socioeconomic status.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Li Chen, Daniel, Wei Lu and Manuel Ramos Maqueda. 2021. "The Impact of Case Management on the Efficiency and Quality of Dispute Resolution: Evidence from Court-Annexed Mediation in Kenya." AEA RCT Registry. May 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7699
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention consists of an open-source general-purpose data management and analytics platform, called “Cadaster”, which will guide the Court-Annexed Mediation (CAM) management’s decisions. We will evaluate the impact of this tech-enabled innovation on the efficiency, quality and productivity of Court-Annexed Mediation in the country, which has the potential to support the Kenyan Judiciary in reducing backlog and increasing their citizens’ access to justice.
Intervention Start Date
2021-05-21
Intervention End Date
2021-09-13

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Key outcomes are the case turnaround time, the settlement rate, and the compliance rate of mediation cases.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1. Case turnaround time: date referred to assigned (registrar productivity), date assigned to date ended (mediator productivity)
2. Settlement rate: full settlement, partial settlement, any (part/full) settlement
3. Compliance rate: 1 - non-compliance/concluded

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Usage of the platform, socioeconomic status of parties involved in mediation cases, satisfaction with the mediator and the mediation process.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The main data source for this study will be administrative data from the CAM team in the Kenyan Judiciary. The datasets include mediator data and mediation case data (please see Annex I for a sample list of data fields). Such datasets are collected by the two committees of the Kenya Judiciary and will be entered into the Cadaster platform on an ongoing basis. We will use analytics tools to measure platform user engagement in order to understand usage patterns and improve the usability of the system. We will assess settlement rates, case duration, time spent on case, and whether cases re-open. We will also use the user engagement data to understand compliance and utilization of the platform.

We will also prototype new ways of measuring the well-being of individuals involved in cases using innovative survey methods (for instance, using oTree or DIME’s VirtualLab that integrates with Facebook Messenger) following the framework of the Kenya Continuous Household Survey (KCHSP) and Afrobarometer to ask about individual’s economic circumstances, justice needs, and trust in the law.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The intervention will be a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). Stations will be randomly allocated to treatment or control: CAM users from the treatment court stations will have access to Cadaster for mediator search & lookup, while those from the control group still receive monthly MAC registers on the 5th of each month.

Given the low number of observations, we use an optimization method--rather than randomization--to elevate power by reducing the discrepancy in means and variances between those in the treatment and control groups.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Optimization done by computer code
Randomization Unit
Court station
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
14 court stations
Sample size: planned number of observations
300-400 cases in total in the 3-month span of the experiment across 14 court stations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
7 court stations in treatment
7 court stations in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
TSE-IAST Review Board for Ethical Standards in Research
IRB Approval Date
2021-05-18
IRB Approval Number
2021-04-001