Randomized Controlled Trial

Massive Evaluation Underway


RCT Conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

In October 2013, Village Enterprise launched an ambitious, three-year, independent randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate our ultra-poor microenterprise development program. An RCT is considered the “gold standard” of evidence for measuring the direct impact of any intervention. Learn more about randomized controlled trials.

The purpose of the evaluation is to prove the impact of our program on extremely poor households compared to a control group, as well as to guide future refinements of our model. To learn more, see IPA’s “Variations of Ultra-Poor Graduation Programming in Uganda“, describing the details of the randomized controlled trial.

The positive results from another RCT on the Graduation approach in six countries released in Science magazine and published by The New York Times, created a new awareness among funders, policy makers, NGOs, and governments about the impact Graduation programs can have on ending global extreme poverty.

Village Enterprise’s RCT is being conducted with 6,600 households across Uganda by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) with the assistance of academics from the University of Chicago, Yale, London School of Economics, and Princeton. The RCT will measure the impact of our program and it’s unique components on the lives of our business owners and their families, as well as guide our expansion process and program developments. This RCT is being funded through an anonymous $1 million+ grant.

The table below displays the five study treatment arms and the number of villages and households for each.


These households are being surveyed at baseline, Follow Up 1 (after all intake cycles have graduated from the one-year program), and Follow Up 2 (one and a half years after Follow Up 1).

Final results and findings will be available in the second half of 2017.

Learn more about Village Enterprise’s RCT here.

See the study design here.