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Title Recognizing Good Governance: A Field Experiment in Uganda
Post date 01/08/2019
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale We theorize that fostering collective pride in good governance and providing positive recognition for local leaders who forego corruption and work diligently to manage local projects will decrease corruption in a national park revenue-sharing program in western Uganda. We will implement a randomized field experiment and linked ethnographic field study to test whether offering community recognition for the successful planning and implementation of revenue-sharing projects, along with associated radio announcements and public ceremonies that praise good governance, will result in more equitable planning and better delivery of revenue-sharing projects. Our study thus departs from the dominant lines of research on corruption that focus on detection and punishment and instead asks how civic expectations can be realigned to counteract corruption at the local level. We compare outcomes in villages that are made experimentally eligible for positive recognition to those villages that do not have eligibility for recognition.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested? Our hypotheses are: Eligibility for recognition will cause committees to exert more effort and diligence in managing revenue sharing projects. Eligibility for recognition will increase the successful delivery of revenue-sharing projects. Eligibility for recognition will change residents’ norms and expectations to be less accepting of corruption and mismanagement. Eligibility for recognition will change committee members’ norms and beliefs about corruption and mismanagement. More detailed information can be found in our pre-analysis plan.
C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

We will use a randomized-control trial and accompanying ethnographic work of a research partner to test these hypotheses. As for the randomized control trial, the intervention is described below:

All combination project management committee (PMC) / community procurement committee (CPC) will be provided with a checklist of procedures for considering bids for projects, evaluating the bids, and managing contractors. All combination committees will be trained in the procedures that would be required to earn excellence in revenue sharing.

We propose that each combination project management committee (PMC) / community procurement committee (CPC) will be offered the opportunity to earn recognition if they complete a checklist of items during the implementation phase of revenue sharing. The opportunity to earn recognition will be highlighted both during the training on the checklist and at least bi-weekly via reminder messages sent over the Bwindi Information Network.

To prevent spillover, the control committee will be explicitly told that while no formal recognition will be offered for completing the checklist, it was designed to help manage the process of implementation to ensure revenue sharing projects are delivered as approved.

As outcome variables, we will measure four variables (described in greater detail in the pre-analysis plan): number of checklist items completed, proportion of projects completed as approved, punishment in cooperation game (lab-in-field), and cheating in cooperation game (lab-in-field).

C4 Country Uganda
C5 Scale (# of Units) 58 village committees as of registration; 18 add'l expected
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number University of California, Santa Barbara Human Subjects Committee, Protocol Number 4-18-1018.
C9 Date of IRB Approval January 4, 2019
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? not provided by authors
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? not provided by authors
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors