Community intervention trials
CIET conducts community intervention trials to demonstrate the extent to which a given solution to a problem will be effective. At its simplest, this is a comparison of outcomes in one group of communities whith those in a similar community or group of communities where the solution has not yet been tried.
We first do a baseline study in all communities likely to be involved in the study. Wherever possible we then randomly allocate communities to "intervention" and "control" status, using the baseline to help ensure balance between the groups. When they are randomized, community intervention trials are known as a cluster randomized controlled trials (CRCTs). Whether randomization is used or not, if the solution is shown to be beneficial, our commitment is to extend it to all communities in the sample.
In late 2009 CIET began a large CRCT in both Mexico and Nicaragua, testing a "green" alternative (camino verde) to conventional dengue control measures through evidence-based community mobilisation.
In Pakistan we conducted a CRCT to test a communication solution to improve household cost-benefit decisions about childhood immunization. Five articles describing the results and various aspects of this trial have been published in BMC International Health and Human Rights and are available at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-698X/9?issue=S1.
In Pakistan, we piloted an evidence-based education intervention based on locally designed communication aids used by Lady Health Workers.
In late 2008 CIET began a CRCT to test the impact of focusing local AIDS prevention on the choice-disabled, especially the victims of gender-based violence, in Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland.