I design a 2 x 2 randomized experiment among 1000 households with students in 50 schools that join the school-based agricultural program (4-H Liberia) in 2021. Our household-level interventions encourage students and their elders to imagine, at the beginning of the program (and of the first rainy season), the consequences of students' active participation in the program.
The first randomization aims to encourage elders (in students' households) to learn about and support their students' potential growth in farming skills, attitudes, and commitments. Half of the households receive an invitation to treatment video sessions; the other half receive an invitation to placebo video sessions. For every household, the representative elder who attends the session must be a farmer growing crops in the promoted categories (root crops or vegetables). Each video session has 5 elders and lasts around 1.5 hours: baseline questions; video display on a laptop under palava huts; and follow-up questions. Treatment video sessions display a 14-minute video that (i) provides an overview of the program and (ii) summarizes program impact on students’ farming skills, attitudes, and livelihoods from past participants (in communities that are not included in the sample). Placebo video sessions display a 4-minute video that ONLY provides an overview of the program. Both videos are taken from footage shot during late 2020 - early 2021 by a third-party media production company in Liberia. The treatment video is a long version that encompasses everything in the placebo video. We also independently randomize who in the households attend the video sessions (both treatment and placebo): for half of the households, a male is invited to the sessions; for the other half of the households, a female is invited.
The second randomization aims to overcome potential coordination difficulties between students and their elders by encouraging students to reach out to their elders (to introduce the program, what they have learnt, suggest new farming ideas, and propose to manage farms, etc).
During the video sessions, we collect (before showing videos) elders' beliefs about students' current farming skills, attitudes, and commitments; and (after showing video) elders' forward-looking expectations about the same attributes of students in 1 year. We ask if elders would give their consent for IPA to reveal their positive expectations to students. We then manipulate students' information about their elders' expectations in a follow-up survey. In half of the households, we deliver (i) revelation messages that reveal expectations from elders to students and (ii) encouragement messages that ask students to take on the role as an agent of diffusion of new practices. In the other half of the households, we deliver ONLY encouragement messages.