Fighting malnutrition with cash and information: Evidence from Nepal


Published 02.03.22
Photo credit:
Poul Henning Nielsen/Danish Red Cross

Mothers who received modest cash inputs along with information on practices to reduce malnutrition were more likely to adopt those practices

Read “The Role of Information and Cash Transfers on Early Childhood Development: Evidence from Nepal” by Michael Levere,  Gayatri Acharya &  Prashant Bharadwaj here.

Reducing infant and child malnutrition is one of the most important goals of development policy. In this VoxDevTalk, Michael Levere discusses his work with Gayatri Acharya and Prashant Bharadwaj, evaluating the effect of an intervention designed to enable pregnant women and mothers of infant children to adopt behaviours that can combat malnutrition. They found that while providing information relating to such behaviours improved mothers’ knowledge, combining such information with modest cash transfers led to greater changes in mothers’ behaviours. While the impact on children’s health and development outcomes remain limited, they do find some evidence that the health of children in the household improves when mothers receive both information and the cash transfer. This research also highlights the importance of working with and through established and trusted intermediaries – in this case, social workers already working with pregnant women and mothers in rural Nepal.