Evaluation of Labor Market Outcomes of a Nudge Campaign among young women in Ghana

Last registered on July 16, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Evaluation of Labor Market Outcomes of a Nudge Campaign among young women in Ghana
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007968
Initial registration date
July 15, 2021
Last updated
July 16, 2021, 11:51 AM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research
PI Affiliation
German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)
PI Affiliation
German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-04-21
End date
2022-09-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) has been demonstrated to improve the lives of the poor in developing countries. Besides supply-side constraints successful participation in TVET programs witnesses a multitude of demand-side constraints among the poor. Many TVET programs are confronted with low numbers of applicants and high drop-out rates. In this context we conduct an information experiment among poor, young Ghanaian women that aims at tackling the demand-side constraints of TVET participation. The experiment involves a randomized controlled trial with one control condition and two treatment arms. Treatment arm 1 provides objective information on the economic benefits of vocational training. Treatment arm 2 provides information that shall help subjects to further develop soft skills and, in particular, to strengthen self-efficacy. Treatments are delivered via SMS and SMS-prompted videos.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Beber, Bernd et al. 2021. "Evaluation of Labor Market Outcomes of a Nudge Campaign among young women in Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. July 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7968-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

Sponsors

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The research project examines the impact of two distinct information treatments on women’s education, skill acquisition, and labor market outcomes.
The intervention is embedded into the recruitment campaign of a program called ‘Network for Enterprise Development Learning through Sewing for Girls’ (N4G). The N4G program will deliver fashion-industry related training and empowerment programs to underprivileged young Ghanaian women with the objective to empower and educate participating women. Prior to program start, recruitment drives in various Ghanaian locations are organized to register young women for the N4G program. It is expected that up to 2,000 women will be registered out of which about 1,000 women will be offered trainings. The nudge campaign will involve all women who registered with N4G as part of the recruitment drive and were identified as eligible (up to 2,000 women).
The intervention involves two treatments arms. Both treatment arms aim to address demand-side constraints with respect to TVET participation by implementing a video and SMS nudge campaign. Treatment arm 1 focuses on information with respect to benefits of vocational training. More specifically, women obtain information regarding improved wage and employment opportunities as a result of successful completion of a vocational training. Thereby, treatment arm 1 sheds light on the question whether information frictions (lack of information) are responsible for the low take-up and high-drop out rates in TVET programs. Treatment arm 2 focuses on information provision that aims at activating and improving women’s self-efficacy. The provided information takes the notion of encouragements and motivational messages and advises on how to develop self-efficacy related soft skills. Topics included in the self-efficacy treatment cover confidence, self-control, anxiety, goal setting, and role models. Thereby, treatment arm 2 assesses whether psychological barriers related to self-efficacy can be overcome in order to successfully pursue TVET programs among the poor.
The intervention consists of three components. All subjects, i.e., control and treatment groups, are exposed to component 1, while components 2 and 3 are implemented in treatment groups only.
Component 1 consists of the transfer of phone credit or internet data packages. Every study subject receives a 2-time transfer of about 1GHS each. Subjects who own a smartphone receive the transfer as internet data package. Subjects who own a cellphone receive the transfer as phone credit transfer.
Component 2 consists of SMS nudges to watch treatment-related video content on YouTube. All SMS are in English language. In treatment groups each subject is encouraged via SMS to watch two videos. The timing of the videos corresponds to the N4G training schedule. The first video is sent prior to starting the N4G program. Irrespective of whether subjects in the treatment groups participate in the N4G program or not, all treated subjects will receive the first video one month after participation at the career day. The SMS invitation to watch the second video will be sent at the start of the N4G training program. Again, subjects in treatment groups of the information experiment who do not participate in the N4G program will receive the SMS around the same time. The weblinks to access the videos, which are embedded in the SMS, are individualized and allow for the tracking of subject-specific usage of the video content.
The video content was produced by a Ghanaian producer. Each video lasts about 3 minutes. Depending on the treatment group the video content either relates to information about the benefits of vocational training (treatment arm 1) or self-efficacy (treatment arm 2). The videos are delivered either in English, Dagbani, or Twi depending on the language preferences indicated by the subjects in the preceding registration process.
Component 3 consists of the sending of routine SMS nudges. Over a period of nine months subjects in treatment groups receive 2 SMS per week. As under component 2 the content of the SMS is specific to the respective treatment group subjects belong to. All SMS are in English language.
Intervention Start Date
2021-06-15
Intervention End Date
2022-05-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary outcome variables relate to (i) education and vocational training and (ii) labor market outcomes. Regarding (i) the focus is on tracking women’s enrollment and completion of various types of education and vocational training programs. Likewise, emphasis is paid to effort made with respect to searching for skill, job, and education related information and actual applications and job interviews. Regarding (ii) the focus is measures of employment and wage measures such as hours of work, earning and wages, job quality & satisfaction, and access to social protection.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Concerning treatment effects, our outcome measures reflect the targets of the information treatment. The outcomes may be considered across several academic papers.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes include variables that we will use to investigate mechanisms underpinning the interventions’ effects. Secondary outcomes relate to (i) the knowledge about the benefits of vocational training/job-professionalization programs, (ii) self-efficacy and related measures of confidence, anxiety, self-control, goal-setting, and self-esteem. Likewise, additional secondary outcome measures relate to mental health, subjective wellbeing, social networks, and job aspirations.
Furthermore, secondary outcomes shall be complemented with an analysis of potential mechanisms derived from split-sample and/or heterogenous treatment effects. It envisioned that this analysis relates to the following variables: region, age, education, employment, economic well-being, living situation, personality traits, economic preferences (risk, time, patience), levels of self-control, self-efficacy, anxiety, confidence, and whether a woman participated/was assigned to the N4G program.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment is based on a randomized controlled trial involving one control condition and two treatment arms. The implementation of the RCT is scheduled as follows:
Baseline survey: The local project partner Samira Empowerment & Humanitarian Projects (SEHP) mobilizes young underprivileged women for participation in the N4G program by organizing pre-registration and career day events. Mobilization takes place in three regions: Greater Accra, Ashanti region, and Northern region
Based on the collected information from the pre-registration, eligible women are identified. Eligibility comprises the following aspects: (i) aged 16 to 24 years old, (ii) started at least primary school, did not obtain or start any level higher than senior high school, and not currently enrolled in school, (iii) not currently pregnant, no children younger than one year, and caretaker for children older than one year, and (iv) no benefits of prior vocational trainings in the textile industry during the last two years. Through text messages all eligible women are invited to the career day taking place in their community and organized by SEHP. Non-eligible women are informed that they cannot be further considered for the program. At the career day the baseline survey is conducted.
Intervention: One month after the career day the information intervention starts. Every woman who participated at a career day and completed the baseline survey receives the first internet data package or phone credit transfer, depending on whether she has a smartphone or not (Component 1. Subjects in treatment arms additionally receive via SMS an invitation to watch the first video (Component 2) which is implemented simultaneously with Component 1. Once the N4G program started the second part of Component 1 (additional transfer) and Component 2 (SMS for second video) will be implemented. About 1 week after the completion of Component 1 and Component 2 Component 3 starts. Implementation of Component 3 lasts for about 9 months.
Endline survey: An endline survey will be conducted with all study subjects six months after completion of the N4G program. In addition, administrative data on subjects’ employment status and wages shall be collected.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Stratified randomization. Stratification occurred based on the following criteria: region, employment status (working or not), education (senior high school or lower), self-efficacy (low or high index value), smartphone (available or not), and N4G course preferences.
Randomization Unit
Randomization occurs at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The sample will consist of up to 2,000 young women. All women registered for N4G. Women recruited for N4G come from a large number of communities throughout Ghana. The communities are distributed over the regions of Greater Accra, Ashanti region, and Northern region.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We anticipate to have a sample of up to 2,000 women.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Each treatment arm/control condition consists of about 667 women. Out of the 667 women about half of all women are offered training as part of N4G, while the other half of women is not offered training as part of N4G.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
In a basic group means comparison with 80% power, a significance level of 0.05, and unit standard deviations, the MDE is 0.08 for the total sample of 2,000 female subjects.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Ghana, Ethics Committee for the Humanities (ECH)
IRB Approval Date
2021-04-26
IRB Approval Number
ECH112/20-21
IRB Name
GIGA, Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2021-03-29
IRB Approval Number
02/2021
Analysis Plan

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