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Piloting a proposed new social welfare program for developing countries

Last registered on August 30, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Piloting a proposed new social welfare program for developing countries
Initial registration date
August 26, 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
August 30, 2021, 1:20 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Bristol

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This trial will pilot a proposed new form of social welfare for developing countries.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Berg, Erlend, Rajasekhar Durgam and Manjular Ramachandra. 2021. "Piloting a proposed new social welfare program for developing countries." AEA RCT Registry. August 30.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
A primary outcome in the experiment is a basic literacy score, measured as the number of letters/characters the participant can recognise from a sheet or characters in pre- and post-intervention tests. Another primary outcome is the satisfaction of treatment users with the intervention, though this cannot be meaningfully be compared to the treatment group. We are particularly interested in whether treated users would prefer the proposed scheme over NREG for themselves, if they had a choice, over the leading existing labour-market scheme. Also, which individual or household characteristics are associated with progress in literacy, and which demographics are the most/least likely to prefer the scheme over NREG?
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes included labour force participation, education participation, time engaged with the app, learning curve over time in the app, earnings in the app.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants will be recruited by using a household list. Going house to house we will use a set of basic eligibility criteria to select participants. Participants will be randomly partiitioned into treatment and control groups after the baseline survey. Treatment users can use system, for a little or as much as they wish, for a week. Literacy tests at baseline and follow-up survey.
Experimental Design Details
From a small number of villages in a district of Karnataka, we will go house to house, in random order. We will ask whether there are any adults present who self-identify as illiterate and who have experience working under NREG in the past three years. Participants also need to identify as native or fluent Kannada speakers. These people will be enrolled into the study until we obtain about 120 participants.

Participants will be randomised to treatment and control groups. Treatment will receive a phone and their fingerprints registered. The phone has an app pre-installed, which provides basic literacy training and also tracks engagement. Users are paid per second of engagement, not per correct answer, and can use the app as little or as much as they want within the week of access. App use is limited to no more than 6 hours per day, within the hours of 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. They can take as many and as long breaks as they wish.
Randomization Method
Randomisation into treatment and control groups is done post-baseline, done in an office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
About 120 individuals.
Sample size: planned number of observations
About 120 individuals.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Bristol, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, Committee for Research Ethics
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