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Improving nutritional status through behavioural change: lessons from Madagascar

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  • Emanuela Galasso
  • Nithin Umapathi

Abstract

The authors provide evidence for intermediate and long-term effects of a large scale intervention that focuses on quality of nutritional and child-care inputs during the early stages of life. Their empirical strategy uses a combination of difference-in-difference and weighting estimators in a longitudinal survey spanning ten years to estimate the effect of the availability of the programme at the community level on nutritional outcomes. They also provide indirect evidence to support their main identification assumption using falsification tests. They find that the programme helped 0-5 year old children in the participating communities to bridge their gap in weight-for-age z-score and the incidence of underweight. The programme also had significant effects in protecting long-term nutritional outcomes (height-for-age z-scores and incidence of stunting). Importantly, the effect of the programme exhibits substantial heterogeneity: gains in nutritional outcomes are larger for more educated mothers and for villages with better infrastructure. The results are suggestive of important complementarities between child-care, maternal education and community infrastructure.

Suggested Citation

  • Emanuela Galasso & Nithin Umapathi, 2009. "Improving nutritional status through behavioural change: lessons from Madagascar," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 60-85.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:60-85
    DOI: 10.1080/19439340902727669
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 153-173, January.
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    5. Alderman, Harold, 2007. "Improving Nutrition through Community Growth Promotion: Longitudinal Study of the Nutrition and Early Child Development Program in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1376-1389, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:173-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Marian Meller & Stephan Litschig, 2014. "Saving Lives: Evidence from a Conditional Food Supplementation Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(4), pages 1014-1052.
    3. Fitzsimons, Emla & Malde, Bansi & Mesnard, Alice & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2016. "Nutrition, information and household behavior: Experimental evidence from Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 113-126.
    4. Vinod Thomas & Xubei Luo, 2011. "Overlooked Links in the Results Chain," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2347.
    5. Alderman, Harold, 2007. "Improving Nutrition through Community Growth Promotion: Longitudinal Study of the Nutrition and Early Child Development Program in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1376-1389, August.
    6. Fitzsimons, Emla & Malde, Bansi & Mesnard, Alice & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2012. "Household Responses to Information on Child Nutrition: Experimental Evidence from Malawi," CEPR Discussion Papers 8915, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Álvarez, Begoña & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2013. "Exploiting subjective information to understand impoverished children's use of health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1194-1204.
    8. Maryanne Sharp & Ioana Kruse, 2011. "Health, Nutrition, and Population in Madagascar 2000-09," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 5957.
    9. Shiladitya Chatterjee & Amitava Mukherjee & Raghbendra Jha, 2010. "Approaches to Combat Hunger in Asia and the Pacific," MPDD Working Paper Series WP/10/10, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

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