Practical challenges and strategies for randomised control trials in agricultural extension and other development programmes

Michael J. Culbertson, Daniel McCole, Paul E. McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Randomised control trials (RCTs) can yield information about the effectiveness of agricultural extension and other development programmes, facilitating cost-benefit analyses and policy decisions under resource constraints. However, even after RCT design questions have been settled, a number of other practical challenges to successful RCTs remain. As a guide to those interested in applying RCTs more extensively, we outline several ethical, organisational, design and field-based challenges for RCTs, along with potential strategies for mitigating the challenges. We provide illustrations from our experience of an RCT of the Community Knowledge Worker programme, a novel agricultural extension model in Uganda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-299
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Development Effectiveness
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Uganda
  • agricultural extension
  • development evaluation
  • impact evaluation
  • operational settings
  • randomised control trial (RCT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development

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