Graduating the Ultra Poor in Egypt

Last registered on July 19, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Graduating the Ultra Poor in Egypt
Initial registration date
July 19, 2022

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
July 19, 2022, 3:33 PM EDT

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


Primary Investigator

University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
PI Affiliation
University of Bristol
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.
The poorest households—known as the “ultra-poor”—often depend on insecure livelihoods and face many barriers to transitioning out of poverty. The Graduation approach is a multifaceted intervention that combines a suite of productive assets and trainings to help households graduate out of extreme poverty. Following a series of evaluations of the Graduation approach in 15 other countries, researchers are now evaluating the impact of the Graduation approach on the livelihoods of the ultra-poor in Upper Egypt. Researchers will also assess whether cutting the cost of the intervention by half could lead to a more cost-effective program, and whether restricting the program to women would improve outcomes for the household.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Assaad, Ragui et al. 2022. "Graduating the Ultra Poor in Egypt ." AEA RCT Registry. July 19.
Experimental Details


The objective of the project is to measure the impact of the Graduation approach on ultra-poor households as well as identify variations that could make the program more cost-effective. The Graduation approach is a multi-component livelihood program which provides ultra-poor households with a productive asset (such as livestock or supplies for petty trade), financial and technical training to manage the asset, access to savings groups and counselling, consumption support, linkages to government services and community solidarity committees, and home coaching visits by facilitators to help them graduate from extreme poverty.
Researchers randomly assigned the eligible households to one of three intervention groups that varied in the intensity of support and whether the program was targeted towards women, or a comparison group that did not receive the graduation program:
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Consumption, food security, income, employment, women’s decision-making
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
To identify the poorest of the poor, researchers collected data on nearly 26,000 households in Assiut and Sohag, and utilized a proxy means test that uses observable assets to predict poverty. Households that were assessed to be not poor enough to participate based on basic criteria were then filtered out, and, among the remainder, community leaders and representatives were asked to identify the poorest half of households in their communities. The identified households were surveyed using a more detailed questionnaire to further screen the sample. Based on this process, researchers determined the final sample of 3,469 ultra-poor households.

Researchers randomly assigned agglomerations (subdivision of a village) into four groups : a standard graduation program, a low cost graduation program, a female-targeted program while the comparison group did not receive any interventions.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Agglomeration (subdivision of a village)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
470 agglomerations
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Standard program: 115
Low-cost program: 96
Female-targeted program: 122
Comparison group: 137
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
The American University in Cairo Institutional Review Board
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