Impact Evaluation of BYLC’s CSF Project

Last registered on October 07, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Impact Evaluation of BYLC’s CSF Project
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008249
Initial registration date
October 04, 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
October 07, 2021, 2:20 PM EDT

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
MIT

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PI Affiliation
University of Maryland

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-08-25
End date
2023-07-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Providing skills training and promoting job matching and entrepreneurship are dominant active labor market policies pursued by governments around the world. While programmatic evaluations have been built into a large number of nationally implemented skills programs, systematically designed rigorous evaluations are limited, particularly in the context of urban wage labor markets in developing countries. In this study, we evaluate the impact of a model that focusses on soft skills training that are particularly relevant for job search processes as well as succeeding in the workplace. The training combines self-paced online and instructor-led in-person learning focused on professional skill development. The target population are urban university students and fresh graduates, aged between 20 and 30 in Bangladesh. The outcomes of interest will primarily be labor market behaviors and outcomes that include an preparedness assessment (e.g. job search behavior and intensity, CV composition, interviewing ability etc), as well as employment status, income/wage, job retention and job satisfaction. .
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Khan, Mahreen, Mahreen Khan and Iman Sen. 2021. "Impact Evaluation of BYLC’s CSF Project." AEA RCT Registry. October 07. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8249-1.0
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) offers a set of training programs to improve employability, job retention, and overall business success. The training combines self-paced online and instructor-led in-person learning focused on professional skill development. BYLC primarily serves urban university students and fresh graduates, aged between 20 and 30 in Bangladesh. Due to the COVID pandemic, all course are currently offered online.
Intervention Start Date
2021-09-11
Intervention End Date
2022-04-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Short term:
- Changes in the soft skills
- Job search effort and intensity
- Interview performance
- Quality of CV
- Soft skills relevant in professional environment

Long term:
- Job placement
- Income
- Entrepreneurial outcomes such as investment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Outcomes will be measured through independent assessment set-ups (e.g. mock interviews and CV scoring) and self-reported surveys. Three rounds of surveys will be conducted at baseline, 1 month post-program and 10 months post-program as appropriate for the outcomes. An independent assessment of employability, involving email and CV scoring and mock interviews, will be conducted during the first follow-up. Based on methods compared during the pilot, soft-skills will be assessed through self-reported surveys.

We will also integrate routine program assessments conducted by BYLC on stock of skills/knowledge on program content. This schedule, aligning with evidence, enables us to tease out short-term impacts of placement services and medium- or longer-term impacts of skills training, for example, the rate of job placement and income, entrepreneurial outcomes such as investment, size, etc. This is especially relevant in the fast-changing demand environment in the labor market post-pandemic.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Randomized controlled trial. Participants are select among all qualifying applicants for the BYLC program.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by computer
Randomization Unit
Individual, BYLC qualifying student applicant
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
NA
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,200 BYLC qualifying student applicant
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
NA
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We are statistically powered to detect a 0.15 SD change in wages and hours spent in looking for jobs observed in the pilot data. We assume 80% power and a level of significance of 5%. We assume survey attrition rate of 16% in both groups using approximations from the pilot study. The above power calculation assumes a post-estimator where we compare the means across groups in the post-intervention survey. We can further boost our power by using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) estimation. In cases when the autocorrelation between baseline and post-intervention survey outcomes is moderate - which we expect in this setting - using ANCOVA estimation can allow for large gains in power of estimating treatment effects with moderate autocorrelation in outcomes (McKenzie 2012). The above figures are roughly equivalent to what we have observed in the few cohorts of CareerX and, as our BYLC partner expect applicant numbers only to increase over time, can be achieved in the study duration. Furthermore, while the above calculations did not incorporate the 15% drop out that may happen between participants starting and completing the program, the ANCOVA compensates for the drop out.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action
IRB Approval Date
2021-08-25
IRB Approval Number
15475