Designing a Randomized Controlled Trial on Livelihoods for Refugees and Hosts: The Case of Re:Build in Kampala

Few livelihood programs for refugees are rigorously evaluated. While findings among other populations are informative, the effects among refugees could differ significantly. This paper outlines our process for jointly developing a livelihood program and randomized study design in Kampala, Uganda. We first review rigorous evidence on interventions targeting wage and self-employment in low- and middle-income countries. Based on this review and input from a variety of stakeholders, we chose to pilot cash grants and different forms of networking programs in a sample of about 100 people, which we summarize in the next chapter. We describe the pilot’s design and discuss the lessons that informed the scale-up to 2,600 people in the full study. Finally, we present the intervention and research design that resulted from this process: cash grants and groups with a mentor and three mentees that vary by nationality, gender, and group-level incentives. We hope that sharing our process and evidence base will be helpful for practitioners and researchers leading similar projects. Preliminary results from the randomized trial are expected in May 2024.

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