Text Messaging to Improve Early Child Development Service Provision in Ecuador

Last registered on September 02, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Text Messaging to Improve Early Child Development Service Provision in Ecuador
Initial registration date
August 31, 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
September 02, 2021, 10:14 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Tufts University and The World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Approximately 24 percent of children under the age of five in Ecuador are stunted, according to World Bank figures, and reversing this in the early years is critical to build human capital so all children can thrive and succeed. The Government of Ecuador is seeking to improve child nutrition during the first 1000 days of life, by revamping existing nationwide programs where program staff discuss prenatal care, early child development, healthy nutrition, breastfeeding, and hygiene. Due to COVID-19 these services are being provided virtually. This evaluation will test whether sending text messages to program staff members (educators) leads to increased motivation and quality of the services they provide to caregivers, families, and children.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Namen, Olga and Megan Rounseville. 2021. "Text Messaging to Improve Early Child Development Service Provision in Ecuador." AEA RCT Registry. September 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8141-1.0
Experimental Details


Text messages will be sent to program staff (educators) within a national early childhood development program that includes home visits and child care services. Text messages will provide information, motivation and reminders that aim to improve the quality of service provision.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcome measure will be the quality and quantity of early child development services provided to caregivers of children 0-36 months of age and pregnant mothers. This will be measured using administrative data.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Child development, health, and nutrition.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The study participants correspond to a sample of approximately 3,000 educators that provide early child development services. The educators that give their consent to participate in the study will be randomly assigned into two groups: a control group that will not receive the SMS intervention and a treatment group that will receive weekly text messages.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done in office by computer
Randomization Unit
Randomization will be carried out at the educator level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Approximately 3,000 educators
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 3,000 educators
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately 1,500 educators will receive the SMS treatment intervention and 1,500 will be assigned to the control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials