Investing in Digital Technology to Increase Market Access for Women Agri-preneurs in Guatemala

Last registered on April 28, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Investing in Digital Technology to Increase Market Access for Women Agri-preneurs in Guatemala
Initial registration date
April 24, 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
April 28, 2022, 6:08 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Smallholder farmers in developing countries face information barriers that hinder market opportunities and business productivity. Women in agriculture face higher information gaps, lower access to markets, and higher informality, compounded by restrictive social norms. Information diffusion through digital technologies can increase market participation in rural areas and holds promise to enhance the status of women in the business sphere. To address the information gap and lack of market access faced by smallholder women in Guatemala, the DIGITAGRO project used digital technologies to provide information about the national School Feeding Programme (SFP), which by law buys half of schools’ food from local family farming. The project conducted an impact evaluation of a digital information campaign conducted in 271 villages at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The treatment group received a video and a series of tailored text messages with information on SFP participation, food quality standards and practices, products and prices, and relevant contact information. The control group received a placebo. The intervention increased knowledge about the SFP, especially for women not reached by traditional extension programmes, prompted women to increase their sales, and had effects on intra-household decision-making. However, barriers such as product mismatches, production capacity, and institutional trust seem to be hampering women’s direct involvement in the SFP, calling for targeted complementary extension services and a better alignment of the SFP structure with local market conditions.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Lopez, Angela , Viviana Perego and Javier Romero. 2022. "Investing in Digital Technology to Increase Market Access for Women Agri-preneurs in Guatemala." AEA RCT Registry. April 28.
Experimental Details


The World Bank’s DIGITAGRO project piloted digital technologies to improve market access for women agri-preneurs in the ambit of the School Feeding Program (SFP). The intervention, which operated in the department of San Marcos in Western Guatemala, in partnership with the World Food Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and in coordination with local authorities, broadly aimed to address the information gaps and asymmetries that preclude the smooth functioning of the SFP, on one hand, and hold back women from taking advantage of the program as a profitable market opportunity, on the other.

Among other activities, the project featured a digital information campaign that attempted to promote the SFP as a profitable market opportunity for women and to provide essential SFP product, price, and contact information, through a short video and SMS reminders. The campaign was entirely carried out by phone, by sending eligible women an information bundle consisting of: (i) a video with key information on the general features of the SFP, ways for farmers to sell to schools, food quality standards and practices, and SFP functioning under COVID-19; and (ii) a tailored set of six text messages that included reminders on how to access the SFP, information on products demanded and prices paid by the program, and relevant contact information.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Knowledge about the SFP, business-related outcomes (sales, participation in markets, prices), decision-making and empowerment.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment involves 881 eligible women across 272 villages in San Marcos. The randomization protocol followes a cluster trial methodology, where villages (clusters) are allocated randomly into a treatment or control group, stratified on a set of characteristics. Specifically, the strata are the municipality and a variable to account for villages with high rates of WhatsApp adoption (above 95 percent). In total, 445 women in 130 villages were assigned to the treated group, and 436 women in 142 villages were assigned to the control group.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Cluster-level, where each village is a cluster.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
272 villages (clusters) in San Marcos.
Sample size: planned number of observations
881 women
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
445 women in 130 villages were assigned to the treated group, and 436 women in 142 villages were assigned to the control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


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