Can Mentorship and Village Savings and Loans Groups Improve the Impacts of Business Training for Women in Conflict Affected areas of Nigeria?

Last registered on November 01, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Can Mentorship and Village Savings and Loans Groups Improve the Impacts of Business Training for Women in Conflict Affected areas of Nigeria?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008305
Initial registration date
October 28, 2021
Last updated
November 01, 2021, 11:36 AM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Tufts University and The World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Tufts University

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2018-03-28
End date
2022-03-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Women face many challenges in conflict affected regions to maintaining economically sustainable self-employment activities. This evaluation builds off an existing yearlong women’s empowerment program that provides small business training and a monthly stipend to women in two conflict affected states of Nigeria. We test the impacts of additional interventions: a six-month mentorship intervention (individually and group based) and support in forming and maintaining village level savings and loan groups (VSLAs). Through random assignment of the interventions, we test whether they are able to boost economic outcomes for women in the program. Due to delays in data collection as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also explore whether the impacts from these interventions can be sustained over a challenging year of pandemic hardship.

Registration Citation

Citation
Aker, Jenny and Megan Rounseville. 2021. "Can Mentorship and Village Savings and Loans Groups Improve the Impacts of Business Training for Women in Conflict Affected areas of Nigeria?." AEA RCT Registry. November 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8305-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
This evaluation tests the impacts of three interventions that were added-on to a yearlong women’s empowerment and business training program:
1) Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) groups with program participants. Women were provided training on how to set up VSLA group governance and by-laws, conduct record-keeping, and taught example meeting procedures. The VSLA meetings were incorporated into program implementation and VSLA group leaders were given additional support. Women were defaulted into a group but had the option to leave after the first cycle share-out.
2) Group Mentorship. Meetings twice a month for six months post-graduation, with a business mentor in their same small business training cohort from the regular programming, approximately 25 women. Each session combined a space for peer-to-peer mentoring and support as well as guided facilitation to address the challenges women faced in their small businesses including reviewing processes such as keeping records, calculating profits, setting achievable goals, conducting a SWOT analysis, making a business plan, or seeking and receiving a loan.
3) Individual Mentorship. Meetings twice a month for six months post-graduation, with a business mentor one-on-one. Mentors identified challenges the mentee faced in their small businesses through conversation and observation, and developed goals for improvement and growth. Mentors guided mentees through processes such as keeping records, calculating profits, setting achievable goals, conducting a SWOT analysis, making a business plan, or seeking and receiving a loan in a one-on-one manner.
Intervention Start Date
2018-04-25
Intervention End Date
2019-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcome measures will be of economic wellbeing (earnings, assets, savings, loans, and experience of economic shocks) and business practices (record keeping, business investments, engagement in business promotion, negotiating better prices with suppliers), and business sustainability (is the business still active).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes for this study are health and wellbeing of women participants and their families (subjective wellbeing, self-efficacy, experience of shocks and coping mechanisms, locus of control, social group participation, household decision making and gender (involvement of women in decision making, women’s name on land deeds).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants in the women’s empowerment program were randomly assigned into one of four treatment arms: control group (250 women), VSLA (250 women), group mentorship (250 women), and VSLA and group mentorship (250 women). This random assignment was done at the village-based training group level. Additionally, the individual mentorship intervention was randomly assigned across all four arms of the study. The individual mentorship assignment was at the individual level creating a group of 500 women that received individual mentorship and 500 women that did not. This factorial design of the study allows for analysis of each of the three treatment interventions.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Randomization into the VSLA and group mentorship interventions were done at the village-based training group level stratified by state and previous program exposure. Randomization into the individual mentorship intervention was done second at the individual woman level stratified by treatment VSLA and group mentorship treatment arms.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
40 village-based training groups
Sample size: planned number of observations
1000 women
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
10 village-based training groups control, 10 village-based training groups VSLA only, 10 village-based training groups group mentorship only, 10 village-based training groups VSLA and group mentorship. Orthogonal random assignment to 500 women individual mentorship and 500 women to control (no individual mentorship).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Tufts University Social, Behavioral, and Educational Research IRB
IRB Approval Date
2018-02-06
IRB Approval Number
1712001
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Rounseville Aker_Nigeria Mentorship and VSLA add ons to business training_Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: d4e59e6d00f2b8756fcc4334600d3b3a

SHA1: 7dad88c60bcbfd26330d3930d50ad32fcaa67494

Uploaded At: October 28, 2021