The authors implement a randomized field experiment to test whether a text message-based ICT program – U-Bridge – improves local government monitoring, frontline service provider efforts, and availability of inputs in education, health, and water in Arua district, Uganda. Researchers first created clusters of villages around Arua’s 48 mid-level government health centers (the unit of randomization). Next, they randomly assigned half of those clusters to the treatment group and the remaining to control.
Information about candidates was provided in video recordings in which candidates answered questions about policy preferences, qualifications for office, personal characteristics, and relevant experiences. The videos were edited to give the appearance of a debate in which all candidates answered one question in turn before moving on to the next question.
In the initial stage of the nationwide field experiment, the researchers held a series of public lotteries to select the Members of Parliament (MPs) who would be treated and receive access to the uSpeak system - a platform that allowed MPs to log onto a dashboard where they could read tagged SMS messages from constituents, reply, and see simple descriptive statistics about the messages they received, such as what the priority issues in their constituency were within a selected time-frame.
The authors implement a field experiment to test whether politician performance information distributed to Ugandan citizens early in the electoral term improves their local politicians’ subsequent performance. The study takes place in 20 districts with around 400 local government politicians. The intensive dissemination intervention (“treatment condition”) involved distributing scorecard information – along with a range of general civic education information – directly to citizens at community-wide meetings.
Brief 41: Investigating Unrevealed Biases in Ethnic Voting Behavior in Ugandan Public Opinion Surveys
To test the extent to which respondents conceal their true preferences, the author designs and implements a survey experiment in Uganda with 753 respondents. The author randomly sampled census enumeration areas. Then, surveyors recruited respondents from every fifth household in four directions from the center of the enumeration areas.
The experiment aimed to test hypotheses regarding underlying demand for mobile-based communication with one’s representatives in Parliament in Uganda, as well as the price effect on demand, and how both demand and price effects vary across social groups.