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Study Overview

Evaluating the Impact of WFP’s EMOP Cash Transfer on Haitian Households
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:
Understanding whether a given product, program or intervention improves livelihoods is as important as it is challenging. While established impact evaluation techniques can provide credible evidence of impact, they can also be expensive because they typically require active survey-based data collection. Building on encouraging research that uses mobile phone records (CDRs) in developing countries to predict household wealth, we aim to rigorously evaluate an emergency unconditional cash transfer in Haiti based on CDRs. A conventional survey-based evaluation of the transfer will provide a benchmark against which the CDR-based evaluation can be compared.
Agriculture and Rural Development
Environment and Disaster Management
Health, Nutrition, and Population
Social Protection
Additional Keywords:
Mobile Money
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Travis Lybbert
University of California, Davis
Name of Second PI:
Joshua Blumenstock
University of California, Berkeley

Study Sponsor

Funding Proposal:

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
World Food Program (WFP)
Type of Organization:

Intervention Overview

This intervention involves a monthly unconditional cash transfer to targeted households for three consecutive months. In coordination with other large assistance interventions, WFP used local screening committees to pre-select vulnerable households and then conducted brief ‘scorecard’ surveys with each of these households. Based on household responses in these surveys and a simple threshold, WFP then selected the households to target as beneficiaries. Benefits in the program vary, but consist of monthly transfers on the order of $75 per household. WFP has partnered with Digicel and uses the Digicel Mon Cash platform to deliver these transfers to targeted beneficiaries.
Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
World Food Programme
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Start Date:
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Regression discontinuity
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
In order to target assistance to rural households in the wake of a drought in Haiti, the WFP used a scorecard exercise. This exercise interviewed selected households about assets, household composition and occupation. Households were then assigned a score based on their answers. Cut-offs for assistance were selected after scores were assigned, assuring that households could not precisely target treatment status. In this way, we achieve randomization around the cutoff to assess the impact between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries using a traditional regression discontinuity design.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
Primary outcomes of this intervention are related to food security. See the submitted pre-analysis plan for endpoint variables used to measure food security. Additionally, the intervention features secondary outcomes related to both risk coping strategies and mobile phone use, as are described within the pre-analysis plan.
Unit of Analysis:
Household level
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Household level
Number of Clusters in Sample:
While the program was not administered explicitly by cluster, it is reasonable to view the Section (Section Communale) level as the unit of clustering. The sample features 11 sections.
Number of Individuals in Sample:
1516 households
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
878 treated households and 638 untreated households

Supplementary Files

Other Documents:

Outcomes Data

The data set used to measure outcomes will be the outcome of a household survey in south and southwestern rural Haiti.
Data Already Collected?
Survey Name:
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Restricted -- Access requires a formal approval process
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
The survey data is not at this moment open to the public.
Approval Status:
Yes-obtained approval and have received the data

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
The household survey data will be matched with data from the WFP run scorecard exercise which served as the sampling frame for the household survey.
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Restricted -- Access requires a formal approval process
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
The survey data is not at this moment open to the public.
Approval Status:
Yes-obtained approval and have received the data

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

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Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 3: Data for measuring impacts have been obtained/collected by the research team but analysis for this evaluation has not started

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:


Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
Data URL or Contact:
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Other Materials

Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Program Files:
Program Files Links or Contact:
External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped