Children need champions. Get involved, speak out, volunteer, or become a donor and give every child a fair chance to succeed.
Jacobus de Hoop, Patrick Premand, Furio Rosati, Renos Vakis
Richard de Groot, Tia Palermo, Sudhanshu Handa, Luigi Peter Ragno, Amber Peterman
Childhood malnutrition remains a significant global problem, with an estimated 162 million children under the age of five suffering from stunted growth. This article examines the extent to which cash transfer programmes can improve child nutrition. It adopts a framework that captures and explains the pathways and determinants of child nutrition. The framework is then used to organize and discuss relevant evidence from the impact evaluation literature, focusing on impact pathways and new and emerging findings from sub-Saharan Africa to identify critical elements that determine child nutrition outcomes as well as knowledge gaps requiring further research, such as children's dietary diversity, caregiver behaviours and stress.
Carolyn Huang, Kavita Singh, Sudhanshu Handa, Carolyn Halpern, Audrey Pettifor, Harsha Thirumurthy
Yekaterina Chzhen, Lucia Ferrone
Amber Peterman, Naomi Neijhoft, Sarah Cook, Tia Palermo
Juan Bonilla, Rosa Castro Zarzur, Sudhanshu Handa, Claire Nowlin, Amber Peterman, Hannah Ring, David Seidenfeld
Jacobus de Hoop, Tia Palermo, Lisa Hjelm, Sudhanshu Handa
Poverty is a chronic stressor that can lead to poor physical and mental health. This study examines whether two similar government poverty alleviation programs reduced the levels of perceived stress and poverty among poor households in Zambia.
Secondary data from two cluster randomized controlled trials were used to evaluate the impacts of two unconditional cash transfer programs in Zambia. Participants were interviewed at baseline and followed over 36 months. Perceived stress among female caregivers was assessed using the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Poverty indicators assessed included per capita expenditure, household food security, and (nonproductive) asset ownership. Fixed effects and ordinary least squares regressions were run, controlling for age, education, marital status, household demographics, location, and poverty status at baseline.
Cash transfers did not reduce perceived stress but improved economic security (per capita consumption expenditure, food insecurity, and asset ownership). Among these poverty indicators, only food insecurity was associated with perceived stress. Age and education showed no consistent association with stress, whereas death of a household member was associated with higher stress levels.
In this setting, perceived stress was not reduced by a positive income shock but was correlated with food insecurity and household deaths, suggesting that food security is an important stressor in this context. Although the program did reduce food insecurity, the size of the reduction was not enough to generate a statistically significant change in stress levels. The measure used in this study appears not to be correlated with characteristics to which it has been linked in other settings, and thus, further research is needed to examine whether this widely used perceived stress measure appropriately captures the concept of perceived stress in this population.
Jasmina Byrne, Patrick Burton
J. Behrman, Amber Peterman, Tia Palermo
We examine the relationship between educational attainment in adolescence on young women's lifetime experience of sexual violence in Malawi and Uganda.
Exposure to Universal Primary Education policies in the mid-1990s serves as a natural experiment to estimate the causal effect of schooling on women's subsequent experience of sexual violence using an instrumented regression discontinuity design and Demographic and Health Survey data.
We find a one-year increase in grade attainment leads to a nine-percentage point reduction (p < .05) in the probability of ever experiencing sexual violence in a sample of 1,028 Ugandan women (aged 18–29 years), an estimate which is considerably larger than observational estimates. We find no effect of grade attainment on ever experiencing sexual violence among a sample of 4,413 Malawian women (aged 19–31 years). In addition, we find no relationship between grade attainment and 12-month sexual violence in either country. Analysis of pathways indicates increased grade attainment increases literacy and experience of premarital sex in Malawi and reduces the probability of ever being married in both countries.
Keeping girls in school results in a number of benefits for young women; however, protects against lifetime experience of sexual violence only in Uganda. It is possible that overall higher grade attainment, particularly at secondary school levels is driving this effect in Uganda. More research on this relationship is needed, as well as on effective interventions, particularly those which can be taken to scale related to enhancing the quality and quantity of education.
Amber Peterman, Audrey Pereira, Jennifer Bleck, Tia Palermo, Kathryn M. Yount
Objectives. To assess the oft-perceived protective relationship between women’s asset ownership and experience of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the previous 12 months.
Methods. We used international survey data from women aged 15 to 49 years from 28 Demographic and Health Surveys (2010–2014) to examine the association between owning assets and experience of recent IPV, matching on household wealth by using multivariate probit models. Matching methods helped to account for the higher probability that women in wealthier households also have a higher likelihood of owning assets.
Results. Asset ownership of any type was negatively associated with IPV in 3 countries, positively associated in 5 countries, and had no significant relationship in 20 countries (P < .10). Disaggregation by asset type, sole or joint ownership, women’s age, and community level of women’s asset ownership similarly showed no conclusive patterns.
Conclusions. Results suggest that the relationship between women’s asset ownership and IPV is highly context specific. Additional methodologies and data are needed to identify causality, and to understand how asset ownership differs from other types of women’s economic empowerment.