An experimental design was used in which the NSP program was partially extended to ten non-NSP districts in 2007; in each of these, 50 villages were selected and then randomly assigned to take part in NSP or not. Selected villages were grouped into matched pairs based on background characteristics and a requirement that they not be within 1km of each other; one unit in each pair was then randomly assigned to treatment.
The theory behind the Tuungane intervention is that training, coupled with exposure to and practice in accountable governance in the context of these projects, can produce learning-by-doing and bring about change in local accountability and social cohesion as well as improve the welfare of communities. This research project, mounted in partnership with IRC, sought to measure whether these objectives were met. In order to measure the causal effects of Tuungane, we use randomized intervention. The Tuungane communities were randomly selected through public lotteries from a larger pool of potential participating communities. This feature allows us to observe a set of “control” communities that are similar to the Tuungane communities in every respect except for the presence of the program. Also, among a sample of those selected, a randomly selected set of communities implemented a variation of the program in which community development committees were not required to have gender equality.