Working Paper
Can information campaigns reduce last mile payment delays in public works programme?

Evidence from a field experiment in India

Does information dissemination among beneficiaries of welfare programmes mitigate their implementation failures?

We present experimental evidence in the context of a rural public works programme in India, where we assess the impact of an intervention that involves dissemination of publicly available micro-level data on last mile delays in payment and programme uptake, along with a set of intermediate outcomes.

The findings point to a substantial reduction in last mile payment delays along with improvements in awareness of basic provisions of the programme and process mechanisms while indicating a limited effect on uptake.

However, we find a considerable increase in uptake in the subsequent period, which is potentially indicative of an ‘encouragement’ effect through the reduction in last mile delays. A comparatively higher impact on payment delay was found for deprived communities.

The findings lay a platform for an innovative information campaign that can be used by government and civil society organizations as part of transparency measures to improve efficiency.