Motivating Civil Servants in Uruguay: Evidence from an Innovation Contest

Last registered on June 19, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Motivating Civil Servants in Uruguay: Evidence from an Innovation Contest
Initial registration date
August 01, 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
August 03, 2022, 1:49 PM EDT

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

Last updated
June 19, 2023, 5:22 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


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Primary Investigator

University of Warwick

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
In this randomized evaluation, we study the effects of innovation contests (hackathons) organized within the state bureaucracy on civil servants' motivation, job satisfaction, their perceptions of the work environment and organizational culture. We implement a cluster-randomised design, implying that entire organisational units will be randomized into a treatment or a control group. For this pilot study, we collaborate with a local government in Uruguay and randomise the intervention across 65 organisational units. In the treatment group, civil servants will participate in a 2-3 month long innovation contest. In this contest, they will be invited to develop innovative suggestions for policy reforms to address a challenge defined by the local government.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Shaukat, Mahvish and Andreas Stegmann. 2023. "Motivating Civil Servants in Uruguay: Evidence from an Innovation Contest." AEA RCT Registry. June 19.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Motivation, job satisfaction, willingness to provide feedback and suggestions, perceptions of work environment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The study follows a cluster-randomised design. We randomize the intervention at the level of organizational units of a local government in Uruguay. The sample of organisational units will be equally split into a treatment and a control group. We will measure outcomes via four consecutive online surveys (administered over the span of approximately 12 months, beginning with a pre-intervention baseline survey, a midline survey after the opening event of the innovation contest, and two endline surveys - one after the end of the innovation contest and one later in time when policy proposals developed during the innovation contest have been implemented).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Organisational unit of the Government of Canelones, Uruguay
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
65 organisational units
Sample size: planned number of observations
310 civil servants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Equal split in treatment and control group, i.e. 32/33 treatment or control clusters.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Warwick Humanities & Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
HSSREC 01/21-22