Good Exporting Practices program: A group-based export upgrading intervention for SMEs in Ghana

Last registered on May 24, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Good Exporting Practices program: A group-based export upgrading intervention for SMEs in Ghana
Initial registration date
September 14, 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 16, 2021, 10:04 PM EDT

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

Last updated
May 24, 2022, 10:21 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


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Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The Good Exporting Practices (GEP) program is an innovative initiative of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), HES-SO Geneva School of Business Administration (HES), and the Interdisciplinary Institute of Political Economy (IIEP) of the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina), with funding support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The lack of knowledge about the importance of adopting good exporting practices severely hinders firms’ possibilities for success in export markets. As a result, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) producers of differentiated goods from developing countries often sell their products in foreign markets as if they were commodities and fail in the attempt. To address this limitation, we conduct a capability-building consultancy program to help Ghanaian firms upgrade their export and employment performance through the adoption of good exporting practices. The main outcomes of interest are the degree of adoption of export practices, export performance, and employment. The population of interest is Ghanaian SMEs between 3 and 250 employees producing differentiated goods from the non-traditional export sector.

Our sample size (baseline) is 180 firms. Firms will be randomly assigned to one treatment group and the control group. The randomization will be conducted after the baseline survey is completed and before the intervention starts.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Llamas, Santiago. 2022. "Good Exporting Practices program: A group-based export upgrading intervention for SMEs in Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. May 24.
Experimental Details


The objective of the intervention is to help firms to improve their export practices by both leveraging experiences from peers’ firms and benefiting from the guidance of specialized consultants. Evidence suggests that cooperation among peer firms helps them enhance the learning process to adopt business management practices (Iacovone, et al. forthcoming Review of Economic Studies). Therefore the firms participating in the intervention will be divided into 10 groups. Groups will have, on average, 9 firms. The groups will be created in such a way that companies share similar characteristics (peers). For each firm the intervention will consist of 42 hours group interactions with other firms in the group and 9 hours individual interactions with a consultant.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Export value, export volume, export quality, number of products, number of destinations, number of employees, adoption of export practices
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
In order to address the need for measurement of adoption of export practices, we developed a survey instrument that allows us to standardize and measure the system of 20 good exporting practices through a score. The 20 practices are scored with values between 0 and 5 with an overall score for each firm between 0 and 100.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The trial is designed to be implemented in three consecutive phases: a) diagnostic (baseline), b) technical assistance (intervention) and c) follow-up.

At the diagnostic phase we will measure the baseline level of adoption of export practices for the 180 elegible firms.

Once the baseline survey is completed a sample of 180 eligible SMEs from the Ghanaian non-traditional export sector will be randomized into one of two study arms: (1) a control group, and (2) treatment group. The intervention (technical assistance) is expected to last 5 months.

Once the intervention is finished, all 180 firms will be surveyed again to measure the level of adoption of export practices.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Stratified randomization will be conducted using the randtreat package in Stata 16.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
180 firms
Sample size: planned number of observations
180 firms
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
90 firms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

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IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number