Introduction: People living in poverty have limited access to traditional financial institutions. Microfinance programmes are designed to meet this gap and show promise in improving income, economic productivity and health. Our Congolese-US community academic research partnership developed two livestock productive asset transfer programmes, Pigs for Peace (PFP) and Rabbits for Resilience (RFR), to address the interlinked health, social and economic well-being of individuals, their families and communities. The community-based randomised controlled trials examine the effectiveness of PFP and RFR to improve health, economic stability, and family and community relationships among male and female adults and adolescents living in 10 rural, postconflict villages of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Methods and analysis: PFP participants include adult permanent residents of rural villages; adolescent participants in RFR include male and female adolescents 10-15 years old living in the selected rural villages. Participants were randomised to intervention or delayed control group. Participants in PFP completed baseline interview prior to intervention and follow-up interview at 6, 12 and 18 months postintervention. In RFR, participants completed baseline interview prior to intervention and follow-up interview at 6, 12 and 18 months postbaseline. The primary outcome of both trials, the change in baseline mental health distress at 18 months in the intervention group (adults, adolescents) compared to control group, is used to calculate sample size. Ethics and dissemination: The Johns Hopkins Medical Institute Internal Review Board approved this protocol. A committee of respected Congolese educators and community members (due to lack of local ethics review board) approved the study.
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