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Details

Executive Summary

This report describes the results of the evaluation of the Village Enterprise poverty graduation program, conducted in Kenya and Uganda between November 2017 and December 2020. The objective of this evaluation was to measure the causal impact of the program on household consumption and assets. The Village Enterprise program was randomized across 241 treatment villages and 241 control villages in western Kenya and eastern Uganda and rolled out to cohorts of treatment households from January 2018 to December 2020. We surveyed 9,888 households from all study villages from May to August 2021, which was 6 months to 2.5 years after treatment households had completed the one-year program. All analyses were pre-specified and registered on the American Economic Association’s registry for randomized controlled trials. The findings from this evaluation determine the final payments of the Village Enterprise Development Impact Bond (DIB) from the Trustee of the Outcome Payers, Global Development Incubator, to the Service Provider, Village Enterprise, for the achieved results.

Key Findings

  • Consumption: The Village Enterprise program had a positive and statistically significant impact on monthly consumption for households that were offered the program. On average, treatment households consumed 9.9 USD (or 6.3%) more per month than the control group. Effect sizes were larger in Kenya (15.2 USD or 7.3%) than in Uganda (3.9 USD or 3.6%).
  • Assets: The Village Enterprise program also had a positive and statistically significant impact on household net assets after the end of the intervention. On average, households in the treatment group have USD 40.5 (or 5.8%) more in net assets than those in the control group. Effect sizes were larger in Kenya (60.9 USD or 8.5%) than in Uganda (15.6 USD or 2.3%).
  • Larger versus smaller grants: In Kenya only, some households received larger grants (150 USD/household) while others received smaller grants (50 USD/household). Households that received larger cash grants did not have significantly different treatment effects for consumption than households that received smaller grants, though they did have significantly larger treatment effects for assets (87.7 USD for larger grants vs 5.9 USD for small grants). 
  • Household wealth: Treatment effects on consumption were generally larger for households that had more wealth prior to the introduction of the program. Treatment effects on assets are not strongly correlated with baseline wealth.
  • Other subgroups: There were no clear patterns of differential program effects for other pre-specified subgroups (cohort of treatment household, gender of household head, household member with disability).
  • COVID-19 impacts on well-being: 87% of respondents reported that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on their economic well-being. Households that reported being negatively affected by COVID-19 achieved similar treatment effects as other households.

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