Effects of Reproductive Health on Poverty in Malawi

Lead Research Organisation: Institute for Fiscal Studies
Department Name: IFS Research Team

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.
 
Description The overall aim of the research is to provide robust and credible estimates of the effect of reproductive health on poverty-related indicators in rural Malawi. For poverty-related indicators, we not only consider household consumption but also investments in the health, nutrition, and education of children, which are known to be critical for long-term poverty reduction. The first objective is to develop our understanding on how HIV affects both fertility choices and parent's investments in their children's health and education. The second objective is to estimate how interventions which aim to reduce infant mortality (through providing better information on birth preparedness, breastfeeding and child nutrition) affect poverty and child welfare.

On the first objective, the research finds that an increase in mothers' HIV risk reduces the number of children that she has as well as the investments in her children's health and education. On the second objective, the research finds that interventions which aim to reduce infant mortality (through providing information on birth preparedness, breastfeeding and child nutrition) reduce household's vulnerability to adverse shocks and poverty (measured by household consumption), and increase male adult labour supply.
Exploitation Route The findings of our research have already had an impact on the academic community. Preliminary versions of the above papers have already been presented in the: World Congress of the International Health Economics Association (Toronto); African Meeting of the Econometric Society (Nairobi); European Economic Association conference (Oslo); invited seminars at the Inter-American Development Bank and Bureau of International Labor Affairs (Washington DC).

We have developed a software to carry out correct inference in cluster randomised trials with a relatively low number of clusters (as in our case) using t-wild bootstrap procedures. Given the widespread use of cluster randomised trials, we anticipate that this software will be used extensively by academics, and other individuals/organisations involved in policy analysis (think-tanks, NGOs, consulting firms).

We will be submitting the papers arising from this research to peer-reviewed journals of the highest quality and impact.

We will also continue to submit the papers to conferences, and presenting them at seminars and workshops.

We anticipate that the data collected under this project will be used by other researchers, as well as members of think tanks and NGOs. The data are being made publicly available and documented to a very high standard.

We will be holding a "what is" session on electronic data collection in developing countries at the ESRC Festival of Science in 2012.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare

 
Description The Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB-US) funded a research project using the data from our project. Policy makers at ILAB-US emphasised that our research shows the benefit of cross-discipline collaboration, informed the value that they see in community interventions, and the need to pay attention to the unanticipated benefits of policies This is an important impact, as it is an influential body involved in taking decisions on funding aid projects overseas. See http://www.dol.gov/ilab/programs/otla/2010overview.pdf for their views on our research. Evidence Action, an international NGO, learnt about our results and decided to implement a similar intervention (infant feeding counseling) in Western Kenya. Funding was obtained to evaluate their implementation through the Nutrition Embedding Evaluation Program (PATH) Our partners in Malawi, MaiMwana, are heavily involved in collected medical data using paper questionnaires. Thanks to this project, they have gained substantial hands-on experience in collecting economic data such as consumption and prices. They have also acquired the knowledge and experience on how to use Personal Data Assistants (PDAs) for data collection. Indeed, in 2011 they gave a presentation on the use of PDAs for data collection to Welcome Trust grantees in Nepal. MaiMwana has also started to use PDAs for some of their small scale data collection projects, and have plans to use them more generally in larger scale ones. The firm Techneos wrote a case study of our experience of using PDAs to collect data in a rural and poor resource setting. The case study has been posted in their website. Our experience on using PDAs fed through to a World Bank project which was trying to improve the way that Living Standards Measurement Surveys are collected. Three students worked as interns for the project, and they acquired substantial knowledge and experience in data analysis and the collection of data using household surveys.
First Year Of Impact 2008
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Case Study: Mobile Research on Health and Poverty in Africa
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact A Case Study on electronic data collection using our experience collecting data through Personal Data Assistants. The case study was drafted by the software company and posted in its website to provide information to users. The research identified bottlenecks to electronic data collection in rural settings of developing countries, and offered solutions to some of these bottlenecks.
URL http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/4603
 
Description Provided input into World Bank report on Electronic Data Collection
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact We provided input into a following World Bank report: "Comparative Assessment of Software Programs for the Development of Computer-Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) Applications " As part of our research, we gained knowledge and hands-on experience on electronic data collection. We provided the authors of the report with our experience and lessons learned.
 
Description Summary of Impact
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Use of software BootWildCt by Dr. Rawlings Dr. Rawlings (Lecturer at Reading University) used BootWildCt (software developed under this grant) in her Discussion Paper "Scarring and selection effects of epidemic malaria on human capital", University of Reading Department of Economics Discussion Paper 2012/094.The research provided a tool (piece of software) that researchers (such as Dr. Rawlings who is not linked to this grant) have used to solve a statistical inference problem due to small number of clusters
URL http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2060884
 
Description Summary of Impact
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact Our research informed the benefits of establishing women's groups, in particular, benefits regarding risk sharing and co-operation through groups. According to the staff at the International Labor Affairs Bureau (US Dept. of Labor) our research informed strategies to protect women factory workers through women's groups. Our research from Malawi shows that women's groups are feasible to implement and provide large benefits in terms of co-operation. Hence, it was considered that women's groups could also play an important role in supporting female factory workers.
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-183-25-0008/outputs/Read/5e9578ef-0610-41fa-a835-4ceb7b6ac6...
 
Description Do participatory community interventions improve consumption smoothing?
Amount £51,513 (GBP)
Funding ID DOLJ109K31202 
Organisation Government of the United States of America 
Department Department of Labour
Sector Public
Country United States
Start  
 
Description Improving productivity in developing countries : identifying bottlenecks and obstacles to investments and technology adoption
Amount £309,441 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/J009253/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Improving productivity in developing countries : identifying bottlenecks and obstacles to investments and technology adoption
Amount £309,441 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/J009253/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Programme evaluation for policy analysis
Amount £1,539,344 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/I02574X/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Programme evaluation for policy analysis
Amount £1,539,344 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/I02574X/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Title Effects of reproductive health on poverty in Malawi, 2008-2010 
Description This research aimed to investigate the causal effect of reproductive health on poverty, primarily using data from Malawi on randomised interventions that relate specifically to reproductive health. The following poverty indicators were included: household consumption, female labour supply, and health and education of children. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The data is used by researchers from the UK and overseas. 
 
Description Do community based interventions improve risk sharing? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Internal Seminar

no information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-183-25-0008/outputs/read/49a05a89-b83a-4208-a9fa-b4211bd1fc...
 
Description Do community based interventions improve risk sharing? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presented at Seminar at the Inter-American Development Bank

no information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-183-25-0008/outputs/read/e16b4928-687a-4299-b87f-38bd2b6577...
 
Description Do community based interventions improve risk sharing? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation at the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (Department of Labor, US)

no information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-183-25-0008/outputs/read/b789d909-9bfa-46e3-bada-037b62344a...
 
Description Health and nutrition in developing countries 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lecture delivered to MSc Development Economic students, and MSc in Economic students at City University (London)

no information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-183-25-0008/outputs/read/2b6513e1-e063-4c7e-92c7-d2ef193f08...
 
Description Household responses to information on child nutrition : experimental evidence from Malawi 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Join us for a Notes From Around the World brown bag lunch. Marcos Vera-Hernández, PhD, will talk on how households in Malawi changed behaviors - other than those directly targeted - as a result of an information campaign.

no information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-183-25-0008/outputs/read/05582b16-2da0-4872-9065-a108391959...
 
Description Household responses to information on child nutrition : experimental evidence from Malawi 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Internal Seminar at the Institute for Fiscal Studies

no information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-183-25-0008/outputs/read/9f950785-4229-4a74-9874-e5356978d5...
 
Description PDAs for data collection at MaiMwana project Malawi 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact Presentation at a Midterm review of Wellcome Trust grantees in Kathmandu (Nepal) in March 2011

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Practical view on data collection using electronic equipment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The presentation contains information on data collection using electronic equipment (laptops, PDAs, etc) and describes a data collection experience in Malawi using PDAs

no information
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
URL http://www.esrc.ac.uk/my-esrc/grants/RES-183-25-0008/outputs/read/dcddf90b-32c3-4c55-a1fc-e91225652d...