Empowering IDP with SMS: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Bogotá

29 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2010

See all articles by Mariana Blanco

Mariana Blanco

Universidad del Rosario

Juan F. Vargas

Universidad del Rosario

Date Written: July 1, 2010


We carried out a randomized controlled trial in Bogotá, the recipient of Colombia´s highest number of internally displaced people (IDP), to assess whether the use of SMS to communicate eligibility to social benefits fosters the welfare of victimized internal refugees. Only a fraction of IDP are elegible to benefits. We inform eligibility via SMS to a random half of IDP-households who are, and estimate the Local Average Treatment Effect of the text message on the knowledge of the benefits available to the displaced population. We show that while on the average treated households know their rights better than controls, a more disaggregate analysis suggest that there is variation of awareness across benefits. The intervention was overall successful in empowering IDP and the use of SMS should be widened as a social policy instrument. However our results suggest that text messages should be complemented with other communication strategies, yet to be evaluated.

Suggested Citation

Blanco, Mariana and Vargas, Juan F., Empowering IDP with SMS: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Bogotá (July 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1703556 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1703556

Mariana Blanco (Contact Author)

Universidad del Rosario ( email )


HOME PAGE: http://mbnet26.googlepages.com/home

Juan F. Vargas

Universidad del Rosario ( email )

Calle 12 No. 6-25
Bogota, DC

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