Sanitation and Child Health in India

Speaker: Britta Augsburg, Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)
Venue: Upper Meeting Room, London International Development Centre, 36 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD
Time: 12:30 to 14:00 
Date: 25 January 2017

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Abstract

Our study contributes to the understanding of key drivers of stunted growth, a factor widely recognized as major impediment to human capital development. Specifically, we examine the effects of sanitation coverage and usage on child height for age in a semi-urban setting in Northern India. We address endogeneity of sanitation coverage through an instrumental variable approach. Doing so, we find that sanitation coverage plays a significant and positive role in height growth during the first years of life and that this causal relationship holds particularly for girls. Our findings suggest that a policy that aims to increase sanitation coverage in a context such as the one studied here, is not only effective in reducing child stunting but also implicitly targets girls.

Speakers

Britta Augsburg is a Senior Research Economist in the development sector of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the Centre for the Evaluation of Development Policies (EDePo), and an affiliated researcher at the United Nations University-Merit in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Her research concentrates on understanding the effectiveness of programs and policies that tackle constraints to productivity of poverty affected individuals and households, with a particular focus on credit and technology adoption constraints. She has worked on a number of studies related to microfinance and particularly the effectiveness of this financial tool in achieving improved outcomes for the intended beneficiaries. At present, a large part of her project portfolio focuses on sanitation technology – understanding information and financial constraints to uptake at the demand as well as the supply side. To this end, she is managing a number of large scale sanitation impact evaluation projects, primarily randomized field experiments, in India and Nigeria.

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