Eligible farmers are randomly chosen in localities where agricultural activities encroach conservation efforts undertaken by Virunga National Park, and hence where reducing the demand for lands is a priority to effectively protect the park. These areas are identified along with our partner, Virunga National Park. Participants are defined to be eligible if they were farming, did not have a full-time non-agricultural job and between 18 and 32 years old.
Eligible SMEs are randomly drawn from the list of electricity clients listed with Virunga Energies, a subsidiary of the park in charge of green electricity production and distribution to promote SME creation. The list of SMEs cover all the SME in Rutsuru, Lubero and Mutwanga territories, and over half of the city of Goma.
We randomly assign eligible farmers into one of three groups:
1. Treatment A: In the first treatment arm, we offer young farmers a labelled cash transfer, intended for travel to the nearby towns, alleviating the budget constraint of these young farmers.
2. Treatment B: In the second treatment arm, we further de-risk migration by offering young farmers a guaranteed fixed term urban job, in addition to the labelled cash transfer. The temporary job is intended to be a certain outside option to agriculture and boosts demand, as well as supply, for non-agricultural employment, assuming that there may not be enough labour demand in these urban centres. Specifically, we create a three-month guaranteed job in a small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) located in nearby cities in North Kivu where we subsidise the wages for these enterprises.
3. Control group: In the control group, young farmers receive no incentive.
To manage implementation logistics against a backdrop of high insecurity, the study will be rolled out in two waves, with the first phase starting in June 2021 and the second phase starting approximately 12 to 18 months later.