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Water, sanitation, and child health: Evidence from subnational panel data in 59 countries

Demography Headey, D., Palloni, G. 2019-2-28
Article on water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), and child health. WASH investments are widely seen as essential for improving health in early childhood. However, the experimental literature on WASH interventions identifies inconsistent impacts on child health outcomes, with relatively robust impacts on diarrhea and other symptoms of infection but weak and varying impacts on child nutrition. In contrast, observational research exploiting cross-sectional variation in water and sanitation access is much more sanguine, finding strong associations with diarrhea prevalence, mortality, and stunting. In practice, both literatures suffer from significant methodological limitations. Experimental WASH evaluations are often subject to poor compliance, rural bias, and short duration of exposure, while cross-sectional observational evidence may be highly vulnerable to omitted variables bias. To overcome some of the limitations of both literatures, a panel of 442 subnational regions in 59 countries with multiple Demographic Health Surveys was constructed. Using this large subnational panel, difference-in-difference regressions were implemented that allowed the examination of whether longer-term changes in water and sanitation at the subnational level predict improvements in child morbidity, mortality, and nutrition.
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Africa
  • Angola
  • Armenia
  • Asia
  • Bangladesh
  • Benin
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Central Asia
  • Chad
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo-Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC))
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt (Arab Republic)
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Europe
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Global
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic)
  • Latin America
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Moldova
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Asia
  • Tanzania (United Republic of)
  • Togo
  • Turkey/Türkiye
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)
  • Children (boys and/or girls 1-10 years old)
  • Children <5 years old
  • Country-level population(s)
  • Research
  • Article
  • Journal article

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Protect the Promise: 2022 progress report on the every woman every child global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health (2016–2030)

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Assessing and mitigating the impact of shocks on food security and nutrition in the Asia Pacific region: Lessons from the COVID-19 response for informing the Global Food Crisis response

  • Policy
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  • Policy Guidance Document
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  • COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Economic
  • Food Insecurity
  • Health
  • Nutrition
  • Other Crises
  • Social Support and Protection
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