A Random Evaluation of a Civic Participation Strengthening Program in Rwanda

Ali E. Protik, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Ira Nichols-Barrer, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Matt Sloan, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Lindsay Wood, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

This paper evaluates the Strengthening Civic Participation component of the Rwanda Threshold Program sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an initiative with two focus areas: (1) supporting the efforts of civil society organizations to advocate for local issues and (2) training local government officials to increase responsiveness to the concerns and priorities of citizens. Our evaluation uses a stratified random assignment process, whereby districts within each province were paired based on district population and economic characteristics and then were randomly assigned to either a treatment or a control group. Using household data from a nationally representative survey administered before and after the implementation of the program, we found no effects on awareness of local government meetings, familiarity with local government officials, or perceived access to government information, and found robust negative effects on satisfaction with local government services, knowledge about local government affairs, and perceived citizen influence over local government.

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Presented in Session 170: Effects of Education Investments: Randomized Evaluations