Group Interventions for Agricultural Transformation in Mozambique

Last registered on November 08, 2015


Trial Information

General Information

Group Interventions for Agricultural Transformation in Mozambique
Initial registration date
November 08, 2015

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
November 08, 2015, 10:06 AM EST

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



Primary Investigator

World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Cornell University
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Mozambique ranks third amongst the African countries most exposed to risks from multiple weather-related hazards, suffering from periodic floods, cyclones and droughts. Drought affects by far the largest number of people and climate change is expected to increase exposure to extreme weather. The smallest landholders are especially vulnerable to these shocks, because they cultivate marginal land and are unable to adopt technologies that buffer their productivity against these shocks. In recognition that promoting sustainable irrigation and drainage is essential in making smallholder farmers resilient to these intensifying climate variations, the government of Mozambique has made the development of irrigation a priority for agriculture growth and rural development.

Our study aims to address two major constraints to irrigated agricultural production: (1) the absence of mechanized intensification, and (2) the lack of institutional capacity to ensure a sufficient water supply for all farmers within the scheme. Both issues require tackling a collective action problem. The proposed research aims to shed light on which monitoring and accountability interventions can induce higher levels of collective action towards a cooperative, more efficient equilibrium in the management of a common pool resource. The evaluation includes 2 components. First, we will test interventions designed to promote financial literacy and incentives for collective action. Second, we will explore the role of information on the individual and communal distribution of water use in improving water productivity. Both interventions will be evaluated using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Christian, Paul et al. 2015. "Group Interventions for Agricultural Transformation in Mozambique ." AEA RCT Registry. November 08.
Former Citation
Christian, Paul et al. 2015. "Group Interventions for Agricultural Transformation in Mozambique ." AEA RCT Registry. November 08.
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Experimental Details


1. Financial Literacy and Incentives for Cooperation

The first treatment arm will isolate the impact of a package consisting of capacity building and social encouragement on both short-term contributions towards a common pool resources and long-term operation and maintenance outcomes. For this evaluation, we will use the financial literacy training and matching grant component of the irrigation project, which also requires collective action.

2. Provision of water monitoring information

Two information products will be provided. First, information on plot-specific actual water use and the associated productivity outcomes (in terms of crop per drop) will be discussed with the farmers on a regular basis after the agricultural surveys have established plot-level crop outcomes. Second, for each of the pilot schemes, both sources of individual farmer information will be aggregated and the sub-scheme level and mapped within the scheme. These maps will not only show farmers how much water they use relative to other members of the community leading to an adjustment in their own water use, but also convey information with respect to how their own practices affect the distribution of water to other parts of the scheme.

3. Irrigation infrastructure

The project will support the rehabilitation and development of at least 3,000 ha of irrigated farmland in three central regions of the country.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary outcome indicators:

Outcome name -- Definition -- Measurement level
1. Individual Savings Contributions -- Total annual savings -- Individual
2. Individual achieved savings target -- Binary variable for whether the individual achieved his or her annual savings target -- Individual
3. Yield -- Total Revenue per hectare -- Individual
4. Profit -- Total income received from crop sales net input costs -- Individual
5. Cyclicality of yield -- Variability of NDVI throughout the year -- Communal/individual
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
1. Financial Literacy and Incentives for Cooperation

The financial capacity building evaluation questions investigate whether inputs and capacity building provided from the project to the farmers groups can stimulate savings and investment. In total 64 groups are identified by the project to receive the basic financial literacy and group savings program. Half of the groups will receive additional follow-up training and information treatment to provide incentives for collaboration. To answer this question, we propose to randomly assign the follow-up interventions aimed at strengthening the impact of the basic training on investment and community savings in the selected groups. The unit of randomization will be farmers groups, so that all farmers within a group receive the same treatment.

2. Provision of water monitoring information

The water measurement evaluation questions will be addressed by randomizing information on water use and revenue per Ha outcomes to farmers within irrigation schemes. Water use and revenue will be measured for each plot in both the treatment and control arms but the information will only be provided to the 21 schemes selected for treatment.

Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer using Stata
Randomization Unit
Randomization will occur at the farmer/ water user association level. Outcome of interest include both cluster as well as individual farmer household level. Treatment will we implemented at the cluster level.

We will stratify the randomization at the level of 3 provinces and 3 value chains (rice cultivation, horticultural cultivation, and outgrowing).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
64 associations
Sample size: planned number of observations
2000 farmers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
42 locations will receive the irrigation infrastructure. The financial literacy will be applied in an additional 22 locations. The water information treatment will be implemented in 21 of the irrigation sites. The randomization will be done in such a way that for each particular intervention the proportion of treatment and control of the other interventions is balanced. The resulting allocation is as follows:
- [fin. lit treatment ] + [water feedback treatment ] = 11 organizations
- [fin. lit control ] + [water feedback treatment ] = 10 organizations
- [fin. lit treatment] + [water feedback control] = 10 organizations
- [fin. lit control] + [water feedback control] = 11 organizations
- [fin. lit treatment] + [no irrigation] = 11 organizations
- [fin. lit control] + [no irrigation] = 11 organizations
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Our sample size is limited by the number of farmer groups that will be treated and the number of members of these groups. The project will build around 42 irrigation schemes. However the financial intervention will be provided to an additional 22 groups. Given these parameters on cluster size and the number of observations within each cluster, we calculate the minimum detectable effects (MDEs) assuming a power of 0.8 and an alpha of 0.1. For both evaluations the main outcome indicator is yield. Our sampling frame will be based on the random selection of 25 households per scheme. To calculate the MDE of household Maize revenue per hectare (MZN/ha), we take the mean (1051), standard deviations (1186) and ICC (0.10) of yields from the Smallholders Survey collected in an adjacent region of Mozambique (Kondylis, Mueller, and Zhu, 2015). With a baseline and one follow up for yield outcomes, we should be able to detect a 18.7% increase in revenue the financial literacy intervention (64 clusters) and 23.8% in the water monitoring intervention (42 clusters). For the financial literacy intervention, the main outcome indicator of interest is proportion of farmers that meet their saving target after one year. We will have farmer level data on savings contributions for each of the on average 40 members of the farmers groups. We assume currently none of the farmers contribute to a common savings pool. The MDE ranges from 0.08 with an ICC of 0.05 to 0.13 with an ICC of 0.15.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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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