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Empowering IDPs with SMS: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Bogota

  • Mariana Blanco
  • Juan F. Vargas

A randomized controlled trial was carried out in Bogota, home to the majority of Colombia’s internally displaced persons (IDPs), to assess whether the use of short message service (SMS) technology effectively informed this population of its eligibility to receive social benefits. The methodology was to randomly inform half of the sample population’s households of their eligibility via SMS and estimate the Local Average Treatment Effect of the text message on the awareness of available benefits. While the findings conclude that on average treated households are more aware of their rights, a more disaggregated analysis suggests there is variation of awareness across benefit type. The analysis further suggests that the intervention was successful in empowering IDPs and indicates that the use of SMS as a policy instrument should be expanded.

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File URL: http://www.iadb.org/research/pub_hits.cfm?pub_id=IDB-WP-222&pub_file_name=pubIDB-WP-222.pdf
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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4704.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4704
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  1. Ibáñez, Ana María & Moya, Andrés, 2010. "Vulnerability of Victims of Civil Conflicts: Empirical Evidence for the Displaced Population in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 647-663, April.
  2. Daniel Mejía & Pascual Restrepo, 2008. "The War on Illegal Drug Production and Trafficking: An Economic Evaluation of Plan Colombia," HiCN Working Papers 53, Households in Conflict Network.
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