On Identifying the Causal Links between Local Political Leadership and Sanitation
Last registered on July 16, 2015


Trial Information
General Information
On Identifying the Causal Links between Local Political Leadership and Sanitation
Initial registration date
July 16, 2015
Last updated
July 16, 2015 9:27 AM EDT
Primary Investigator
University of Dhaka
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
In this project, we want to understand whether community led information and education campaign can lead to better environmental hygiene practices and reduction in exposure to pathogens that may be associated with unsafe sanitation and hygiene behavior. Additionally this project will also aim to identify some of the pathways by which these interventions may have impacts on adopting better hygienic practices. Since the interventions are implemented following an RCT protocol, we can interpret the differences in different outcomes (such as bacteriological count from hand swabs) between control and treatment unions (the lowest administrative tier in Bangladesh) as causal relationships. The project will primarily use microbiological analysis of sanitation related environmental outcomes (e.g. E. coli contamination). Moreover, we want to test whether the capacity building activities improve the ability (e.g. as measured by their knowledge on sanitation and hygiene issues) of the female local government members and the ward sanitation sub-committees as well as the perception toward the local government leaders and institutions. We believe the results will have important implications for public policy, as capable institutions are increasingly believed to ensure the households invest in sanitation, which in turn has implications for preservation of local environmental and natural resources such as water bodies.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Rabbani, Atonu. 2015. "On Identifying the Causal Links between Local Political Leadership and Sanitation." AEA RCT Registry. July 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.779-1.0.
Former Citation
Rabbani, Atonu. 2015. "On Identifying the Causal Links between Local Political Leadership and Sanitation." AEA RCT Registry. July 16. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/779/history/4784.
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Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Microbial Counts (fecal coliforms, E. coli etc.), Self-reported Sanitation and Hygiene Outcomes, Management Capacity of the Local Political Leaders
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This study will involve a cluster-randomized trial where half of the 64 unions (the lowest administrative tier in the local government structure in Bangladesh) will be randomly assigned to receive the interventions. Within each union, three local leaders will receive training and capacity building to carry out information and education campaign to promote improved sanitation and better hygiene practices among the households within their respective constituencies. We intend to measure the differences in capacity building outcomes for the local political leaders, interaction between the households and the local political leaders and other change agents (e.g. community women groups and volunteers) as well as sanitation and hygiene outcomes, including bacteriological outcomes from the hand swabs of the young children and their primary female caregivers. All analyses will involve comparing outcome measures between treatment and control unions using an intent-to-treat framework.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization by the PI using the random number generator in Stata (TM).
Randomization Unit
Unions, the lowest local administrative tier in Bangaldesh
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
64 Unions
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,300 Households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
32 treatment unions, 32 control unions, 192 female local government leaders from the treatment unions (three from each union)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers