Ghana Graduation from Ultra Poverty

Last registered on November 22, 2013


Trial Information

General Information

Ghana Graduation from Ultra Poverty
First published
November 22, 2013, 5:27 AM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Northwestern University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Yale University, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
PI Affiliation
Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana
PI Affiliation
Yale University
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The Ghana Graduation from Ultra Poverty (GUP) project is a part of the CGAP/Ford Foundation global initiative, currently being implemented in eight countries, that combines safety net programs with entrepreneurial activities to develop a graduation model for the poorest households. GUP aims to help chronically poor households move from extreme poverty into self-sufficiency over a twenty-four month period by providing treatment households with consumption support, productive assets, financial education, and savings. In addition, the project also seeks to disentangle the relationship of savings from the success of ultra-poverty programs through the Savings Out of Ultra Poverty (SOUP) treatment, which provides both matched and non-matched savings accounts to beneficiaries.

In 2010, 3850 households in 241 villages were identified as ultra-poor through a community participatory wealth ranking process. Villages were randomly selected to either receive the GUP or the SOUP treatment or to be a part of the comparison group. Individual households within the treatment villages were then randomly selected to receive various sub-treatments. A baseline survey was completed in February 2011, with midline surveys every six months for the next 2 years. The endline survey was completed in September 2013. An additional agriculture-focused endline survey will be conducted in January 2014, and a follow-up survey in July 2014.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Banerjee, Abhijit et al. 2013. "Ghana Graduation from Ultra Poverty." AEA RCT Registry. November 22.
Former Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit et al. 2013. "Ghana Graduation from Ultra Poverty." AEA RCT Registry. November 22.
Experimental Details


The Ghana Graduation from Ultra Poverty (GUP) project consists of two treatment arms, each with two sub-treatments. The first treatment arm received two variations of the GUP program- one with a savings component and the other without it. One half of the households (333 households) received the full GUP program. This consisted of a transfer of livelihood assets chosen by the household, weekly consumption support during the lean season, financial training, and savings accounts. The second half received the alternative GUP program. This consisted of all aspects of the full GUP program except for the savings accounts.

The second treatment arm received two variations of the SOUP program. All households received a savings account. Approximately half of the households (362) received a matched contribution to their deposits, while the other half did not (362).
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Consumption, Income, Assets, Savings, Time use, Food security, Financial behavior, Happiness.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participant communities were identified by our partner organization, Presbyterian Agricultural Services, as poor communities in the Northern and Upper East regions of Ghana lacking strong existing NGO programs. The poorest households within each community were identified using a participatory wealth ranking process. A total of 3850 households were selected in 241 villages.

The 241 villages were randomly assigned to a treatment (GUP or SOUP program) or control group. Households within the GUP treatment villages were randomly assigned to one of three groups: full GUP, alternative GUP, or control group. Households within the SOUP treatment villages were also randomly assigned to one of three groups: Matched Savings, Savings with no matching, or control group. The third group served as a pure control group.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computerized randomization

Randomization Unit
Villages, then within the treatment villages, control households and treatment households
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
241 Communities
Sample size: planned number of observations
3850 beneficiaries
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1299 households in control villages.
1308 households in GUP villages: 333 full GUP, 333 alternative GUP, 642 control.
1243 households in SOUP villages: 362 Matched savings, 371 savings with no match, 510 control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Yale University Human Subjects Committee
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