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Trial record 13 of 20 for:    Liberia

Ex-combatant Reintegration in Liberia

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01703936
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : October 11, 2012
Last Update Posted : October 11, 2012
United Nations
World Bank
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Christopher J. Blattman, Columbia University

Brief Summary:
This project is an evaluation of an agricultural training and resettlement program for high-risk young adults in Liberia, especially poorly integrated male ex-combatants. The primary aim is to see to what extent an intensive economic and life skills intervention can rehabilitate high-risk individuals and reduce aggression and armed violence.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Poverty Social Instability Other: Agricultural and life skills training program Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Poor and unemployed youth are widely considered a threat to political stability, often blamed for everything from fights to crime, riots and revolutions. Ex-combatants cause special worry. Not only do they have professional experience in warfare, and hence some comparative advantage in violence, but their social networks may also be dense with potential recruiters. War may also have left them poorer or more traumatized than their peers. Each of these factors could elevate the risk of rebellion, crime, or other aggression, risks greatest in weak states and uncertain economic climates like that of Liberia.

In response, policymakers commonly turn to employment and other poverty alleviation programs, including cash grants, vocational training, small business development, and microfinance. Underlying these programs is the belief that with economic opportunities come stability. When dealing with organized populations, such as former combatants, gang members, or criminal organizations, policymakers are also anxious to break down risky social networks, especially the links between commanders and foot soldiers. Interventions often go beyond simple employment programs, and seek to relocate, resettle, or otherwise remove high-risk individuals from risky networks.

This project evaluates a rehabilitation program for ex-combatants and other high-risk youth in Liberia, a unique case where it was both politically and practically feasible to establish and follow a random control group. The program we study, which was designed and implemented by the international non-governmental organization (NGO) Action on Armed Violence, is among the best of its class. The program is targeted towards ex-combatants and other high-risk populations in resource enclaves and other "hotspots" around the country. It provides extensive agricultural skills training and inputs alongside life skills training and resettlement assistance. Its objective is to reduce the risk of violence and aggression by providing an alternative, stable livelihood in civilian communities to youth otherwise engaged in illicit activities or thought to be easily mobilized into crime or violence. After observing two highly promising courses and classes of graduates, the researchers collaborated with the NGO to randomly evaluate their next round of classes at two training sites.

The program implementers confirmed that the number of youth eligible for the program exceeded program capacity by a factor of at least two. The sample size was limited to 2.5 times the number of spots in the program, for a total of 1500. In order to give all eligible youth an equal opportunity to participate, the program implementers determined entry into the program using a computerized randomization of eligible youth. Respondents were assigned to treatment and control using a randomization program coded in Stata. The sample was stratified by gender, "commander status," and community of registration.

The study has two principal rounds of data collection among both treatment and control groups: a baseline prior to the intervention and a follow-up survey approximately one year following completion of the program.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 1330 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Official Title: Evaluating a Landmine Action Ex-combatant Reintegration Program in Liberia
Study Start Date : May 2009
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2010
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2011

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: agricultural training program
Three to four month residential agriculture and life skills training program.
Other: Agricultural and life skills training program
Other Names:
  • Tumutu Agricultural Training Program (TATP)
  • Sinoe Agricultural Training Program (SATP)

No Intervention: Control group

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Potential for Social Instability [ Time Frame: 1 year after completion of program ]
    This outcome includes engagement in illicit activities, ease of mobilization, political attitudes, violence and aggression, how settled they are, integration into mainstream society, and mental health symptoms.

  2. Economic Stability [ Time Frame: 1 year after completion of program ]
    This outcome includes employment and poverty level.

  3. Preferences [ Time Frame: 1 year after completion of program ]
    This outcome includes risk and time preferences.

  4. Interest in Agriculture [ Time Frame: 1 year after completion of the program ]
    This outcome measures level of interest in agriculture, attempts to engage in agriculture, perceptions of agriculture, and level of willingness to invest in agriculture.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Level of Social Support and Quality of Social Relations [ Time Frame: 1 year after completion of the study ]
    The outcome includes aggregate level of social support, quality of relationship with family and elders, advising, and peer groups.

  2. Aspirations and Future Planning [ Time Frame: 1 year after completion of the program ]
    This outcome measures aspirations for the future and thinking about the future.

  3. Empowerment [ Time Frame: 1 year after completion of the study ]
    The outcome includes locus of control and making their own decisions.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria (determined by program):

  • ex-combatant
  • not served by previous reintegration programs
  • engaged in illicit activities such as mining and rubber tapping

Exclusion Criteria (determined by program):

  • pregnant women
  • individuals deemed physically incapable of agriculture
  • foreigners unwilling to settle in Liberia

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01703936

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Tumutu Agricultural Training Program
Salala, Bong County, Liberia
Sinoe Agricultural Training Program
Panama, Sinoe County, Liberia
Sponsors and Collaborators
Columbia University
United Nations
World Bank
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Principal Investigator: Jeannie Annan, Ph.D. International Rescue Committee
Principal Investigator: Christopher Blattman, Ph.D. Columbia University

Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: Christopher J. Blattman, Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs and of Political Science, Columbia University Identifier: NCT01703936     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: AAAK6203
First Posted: October 11, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 11, 2012
Last Verified: October 2012
Keywords provided by Christopher J. Blattman, Columbia University:
economic intervention
life skills