Working Papers

Empowering Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) with SMS: A Randomized Controlled Trial in Bogota

AUTHOR(s): Blanco, Mariana , Vargas, Juan F.
PUBLISHED: December 2010
RELATED TOPICS: Poverty Reduction and Labor


This paper studied whether the use of short message service (SMS) technology effectively informed Bogota’s population of internally displaced persons (IDPs) about its eligibility to receive social benefits. Half of the sample population was randomly informed of their eligibility via SMS and their awareness of available benefits was estimated. On average, treated households are more aware of their rights; however, awareness varies across benefit type. The study recommends expanding the use of SMS as a policy instrument and as a means for empowering IDPs.

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