The effects of a bundled livelihood intervention on livelihoods outcomes: Evidence from PRESERVE

Last registered on July 12, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

The effects of a bundled livelihood intervention on livelihoods outcomes: Evidence from PRESERVE
Initial registration date
July 12, 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 12, 2022, 1:59 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
Causal Design

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 PReSERVE program, implemented by Food for the Hungry, will provide an integrated set of livelihood deepening (LD) interventions aimed at improving food security and reducing poverty among vulnerable households in targeted PSNP communities in Amhara Region. The primary objective of the impact evaluation will be to measure the marginal impact of the LD interventions on improving livelihoods and food outcomes in the targeted communities.

The proposed evaluation contributes to a growing literature analyzing the effect of multifaceted “graduation models” implemented to target the reduction of poverty and broader enhancement of welfare in low-income countries (Banerjee et al. 2015, Bedoya et al. 2021, Brune et al. 2021, Bossuroy et al. 2022). Evidence has suggested that intensive multisectoral programs, often entailing asset transfers valued at $500 or more as well as consumption support, training and coaching visits, and other supplemental services can have sustained positive effects on consumption, assets, and other household-level outcomes (Bandiera et al. 2017, Banerjee et al. 2021a, Banerjee et al. 2021b). These interventions generally entail a cost per recipient household of $1000 or more, of which at least 75% is received by the household in the form of direct cash or asset transfers.

However, the evidence base around lighter-touch and lower-cost interventions is more limited. We identify livelihoods deepening as a lighter touch intervention based on the intervention services received by households: they have access to credit but do not receive asset transfers, and while they receive transfers through the PSNP, the value of those transfers based on overall PSNP programmatic guidelines is lower than what is generally observed in other graduation models. This raises the important question as to whether this lighter-touch and lower-cost model can still be effective in generating transformational livelihoods impacts – a finding that has important implications for overall program design and cost-effectiveness in the graduation model space. This project will contribute to the literature by providing new evidence about the effects of a livelihoods-focused set of interventions for an extremely poor set of households (PSNP beneficiaries) in poor communities in rural Ethiopia.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Leight, Jessica and Miguel Uribe. 2022. "The effects of a bundled livelihood intervention on livelihoods outcomes: Evidence from PRESERVE." AEA RCT Registry. July 12.
Experimental Details


To create sustainable change in targeted woredas, PReSERVE will implement a prioritized portfolio of evidence-based, catalytic interventions with potential to increase graduation of ultra-poor PSNP households from poverty. PReSERVE’s interventions are organized around three main purposes:

1. Vulnerable HHs and Individuals Have Sufficient Quantity, Quality, and Diversity of Food at All Times
2. Vulnerable Community Members’ Livelihoods Transformed
3. PSNP Systems Deliver Accountable, Effective, and Shock-Responsive Services

This evaluation will focus on the purpose two interventions implemented at the individual or household level for households on the credit track. These include

-Organization of VESA groups
-Linkage of VESAs with MFIs and Unions for informal apprenticeship and credit access
-Support of initial materials for VESAs
-Linkage of individuals in the VESA groups with RuSACCOs
-Handover of nurseries to youth entrepreneurs
-Linkage of PSNP HHS with high value tree (fruit & others) nurseries to access fruit seedlings
-Provision of loan fund for grantees selected male and female youth
-Provision of behavioral (soft) skills training for male and female youth
-Provision of vocational skill training for male and female youth
-Provision of technical skill training for male and female youth
-Provision of business development training for male and female youth
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
• The prevalence of moderate and severe food insecurity, based on the FIES
• The percent of households with poor, borderline, and adequate food consumption score (FCS)
• The percent of farmers who used financial services in the past 12 months
• Daily per capita expenditure
• Percent of people living on less than $1.90/day
• The percent of women and men in a union who earned cash over the past 12 months.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The evaluation team will implement a randomized controlled trial using randomization at the household level designed to estimate the effect of FH PReSERVE Livelihood Deepening (LD) interventions. In a set of eligible kebeles, the research team will select a set of eligible households that will be part of the IE study. Half of those households will be allocated to the treatment group and will receive the LD activities and support in addition to the other components of the PReSERVE RFSA, while the other half will be allocated to the control group will only receive the other components of the PReSERVE RFSA.

Using baseline and endline data, we will compare the households assigned to control and treatment in order to identify the direct impact of participating in LD in addition to the other components of the PReSERVE RFSA, using BHA food security and nutrition and poverty indicators.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was conducted in Stata by the research team
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The target sample includes 3123 households.
Sample size: planned number of observations
The target sample includes 3470 households.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Given that there are two treatment arms, we anticipate that there will be 1735 households in each arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Solutions IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number