While substantial progress has been made in combating malnutrition at a global level, chronic maternal and child malnutrition remains a serious problem in many parts of the developing world. In this paper, using a randomized control trial design in Nepal, we evaluate a program that provided information on best practices regarding infant health and cash to families in extremely poor areas with pregnant mothers and/or children below the age of 2. We find significant and sizable impacts of the information plus cash intervention on maternal knowledge and behavior in the short run. We also find suggestive evidence of improvements in child development for the information plus cash intervention relative to groups that received information only. In a long-run 2 year follow up survey, we find that the information plus cash group retained significantly higher knowledge and implementation of best practices regarding early childhood health. However, there appear to be no sustained impacts on child development or anthropometrics in the follow up.
Baseline data collection occurred in August-October 2013, prior to the start of the intervention. One fourth of counties were randomly assigned to be surveyed during the midline in August-September 2014, with the remaining three-fourths surveyed during the endline in November-December 2014. All counties were surveyed as part of the follow-up in November-December 2016. A total of 4,228 women and 3,695 children under two years old were surveyed at baseline. Of these, 3,152 women and 2,783 children were in the counties surveyed at endline, which will be primarily used in the analysis. After attrition and trimming outliers, the primary women sample consists of 2,335 women. For children, attrition and trimming outliers leaves 1,972 children who were interviewed at both baseline and endline. The final child sample also includes 985 children surveyed at endline who were in households that were interviewed at baseline, including some newly born infants and some youth who had missing data at baseline. The final child sample thus consists of 2,957 children.
- Series - completed
- Baseline, Midline, Endline and Follow-up Surveys on Community Challenge Fund, 2013-2016 The Role of Information and Cash Transfers on Early Childhood Development [Nepal]
- Series - completed