3rd-Party Randomized Controlled Trial Validates Village Enterprise Model

3rd-Party Randomized Controlled Trial Validates Village Enterprise Model

World-class povery research group Innovations for Poverty Action (another of TLYCS’s Recommended Best Charities) released the results of Village Enterprise’s four-year, independent Randomized Controlled Trial last month at events at the World Bank in Washington D.C. and in Kampala, Uganda.
A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) is considered the “gold standard” of evidence in the social sciences for measuring the direct impact of any intervention. This RCT tested Village Enterprise’s program in 6,378 of the poorest households across 138 villages in rural Uganda.The Village Enterprise model was validated as both impactful and cost-effective. 
Devex explains the RCT’s findings and how they fit into the existing research on poverty alleviation programs in this article: Ultra-poor graduation model results show more than just cash is needed.

Data from Village Enterprise’s RCT shows:

  • Village Enterprise’s graduation program led to increased consumption, assets, and income, as well as improvements in nutrition and subjective well-being.
  • Cost-effectiveness is high: researchers estimate a full cost recovery in 3 to 4 years.
  • A cost-equivalent cash transfer appeared to have less promising medium-term impacts on poverty reduction and subjective well-being than the Village Enterprise program.

To learn more, see IPA’s “Variations of Ultra-Poor Graduation Programming in Uganda”.
ImpactMatters upgrades impact audit
Based on the findings, ImpactMatters, an organization that conducts ‘impact audits’ of nonprofits to rigorously estimate their philanthropic impact, compelling them and their funders to make evidence-based decisions, upgraded Village Enterprise’s audit to top ratings across all three categories evaluated: evidence, monitoring and learning.
“Village Enterprise has an exceptionally strong record of making iterative changes to its program based on high-quality data. The impact of Village Enterprise has been validated by an RCT, the highest quality evidence in the social sciences,” explained Elijah Goldberg, ImpactMatters’ Chief Operating Officer.

Support Village Enterprise’s work here.

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Innovations for Poverty Action

IPA is a recommended charity of The Life You Can Save. IPA's mission is to discover and promote effective and sustainable solutions to global poverty. IPA uses rigorous, evidence-backed techniques to develop, test, and appropriately scale solutions to some of the most challenging problems faced by the world's extreme poor.

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The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.