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Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF) - Early Childhood Nutrition, Health and Development Cluster

Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF)
SIEF - Impact Evaluation Cluster Note: Early Childhood Nutrition, Health and Development


The Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund is a multi-donor trust fund that supports research to evaluate the effectiveness of programs to alleviate poverty and build shared prosperity. The fund, which was started with the assistance of the British Government’s Department for International Development, finances impact evaluations, capacity building and knowledge sharing activities. In the first Call for Proposals, 30 projects were picked to receive initial funding (initial funding does not guarantee full funding), among them 10 projects in the Early Childhood Nutrition, Health and Development cluster. The Fund has now launched its second call for proposals. For further information on what evidence the fund seeks to generate in the area of early childhood development, read the cluster note.

Projects that received initial funding in the first round are listed below:

Building Parental Capacity to Help Child Nutrition and Health: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Location: Bangladesh
  • Principal investigator: Julia Lane, American Institutes for Research
  • Timeline: March 2013 to March 2015
  • Evaluation: In Bangladesh, malnutrition among children in poor rural areas leads to high incidents of stunting and poor health, delaying development. Supporting mothers to help their children has shown some positive results, but less is known about how to engage fathers. Researchers will evaluate low-cost integrated interventions, which will target pregnant women and parents with children under age three with programs for nutrition and child stimulation.

The Medium Term Effects of a Home-based Early Childhood Development Intervention in Colombia

  • Location: Colombia
  • Principal investigator: Orazio Attanasio, University College London, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Timeline: June 2013 to December 2014
  • Evaluation: In Colombia, researchers will evaluate the medium-term effects of a home-based early childhood development intervention. The program seeks to improve nutrition and development in the first two years of life through home visits to encourage children’s psycho-social development and use of micronutrient supplements. The findings will be used to help policymakers and others understand the extent to which nutrition and parental involvement at an early age carry lasting effects into the medium term and how such programs can be scaled up effectively.

Piloting the First Integrated Nutrition/Workfare Social Safety Net in Djibouti

  • Location: Djibouti
  • Principal investigators: Stefanie Brodmann, World Bank; Florencia Devoto, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab; Emanuela Galasso, World Bank
  • Timeline: December 2011 to June 2015
  • Evaluation: In Djibouti, malnutrition, unemployment, and extreme poverty are key human development challenges. To address malnutrition among children younger than 24 months old, the Government of Djibouti piloted a safety net intervention that combines temporary employment (one beneficiary per household) with a component to promote better nutrition through informational classes. Researchers will examine the effectiveness of linking child nutrition and workfare as a means of reducing malnutrition in young children.

Making Integration the Operative Concept in the Indian Integrated Child Development Strategy

  • Location: India
  • Principal investigators: Harold Alderman, World Bank; Jed Friedman, World Bank
  • Timeline: November 2013 to July 2017
  • Evaluation: In India, researchers will measure the cost and impact of nutrition services and child stimulation in low-income settings by evaluating a package of services currently being offered to the youngest children in a nationwide child development program.

Early Childhood Nutrition, Availability of Health Service Providers and Life Outcomes as Young Adults: Evidence from Indonesia

  • Location: Indonesia
  • Principal investigator: John Strauss, University of Southern California
  • Timeline: November 2012 to June 2016
  • Evaluation: In 1989, Indonesia began a program to expand access to midwives in villages. By the time the program reached scale in 1998, 54,000 nurses had been trained in midwifery and placed in communities. Researchers will evaluate the effects of the midwife program on the educational decisions and outcomes, cognitive abilities, employment, and life satisfaction of the children (who are now young adults) of mothers who had access to midwives.

Addressing Chronic Malnutrition in Madagascar

  • Location: Madagascar
  • Principal investigators: Lia Fernald, University of California, Berkeley; Emanuela Galasso, World Bank; Christine Stewart, University of California, Davis; Ann Weber, University of California, Berkeley
  • Timeline: July 2012 to December 2015
  • Evaluation: Madagascar has the world’s sixth highest rate of stunting in children. Some 53 percent of all children in the country are chronically malnourished and more than one-fourth are severely malnourished. Researchers will conduct a multi-arm randomized controlled trial to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of combined interventions designed to tackle chronic malnutrition. The trial will help the Government of Madagascar test innovative interventions that would enhance the quality and impact of the current national community-based nutrition program.

Randomized Impact Evaluation of Integrated ECD (Early Childhood Development) and Intensive Early Nutrition Activities among Vulnerable Communities in Mozambique

  • Location: Mozambique
  • Principal investigators: Sophie Naudeau, World Bank; Marie-Helene Cloutier, World Bank
  • Timeline: June 2012 to December 2016
  • Evaluation: In Mozambique, researchers will measure the effectiveness of two related programs that provide nutrition, early child stimulation, and parenting information sessions to children, pregnant women, and parents of young children. The project builds on a successful small-scale pilot intervention and will help experts in this field determine the scalability, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability of such projects, and the usefulness of integrating early childhood development and nutrition programs rather than pursuing them separately.

Evaluating the Impact of Information and “Framed” Unconditional Cash Transfer on Nutritional Outcomes

  • Location: Nepal
  • Principal investigators: Gayatri Acharya, World Bank; Prashant Bharadwaj, University of California, San Diego
  • Timeline: October 2012 to October 2015
  • Evaluation: Children under the age of five in Nepal suffer from one of the highest rates of malnutrition and stunting in the world. Moreover, pregnant women tend to have sub-optimal weight gain during pregnancy. The Government of Nepal seeks to rectify these problems by removing two barriers to good nutrition: lack of knowledge about nutrition and lack of income needed to make better nutritional choices. Researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of providing information alone or information and cash on improved nutrition for pregnant women and young children.

Cash Transfers, Parenting Training and Holistic Early Childhood Development in Niger

  • Location: Niger
  • Principal investigator: Patrick Premand, World Bank
  • Timeline: January 2012 to June 2015
  • Evaluation: In Niger, a large share of the population suffers from chronic food insecurity and 45 percent of children under age five are stunted. The Office of the Prime Minister of the Government of Niger is implementing a large-scale safety nets project. As part of the project, poor rural women receive a regular cash transfer, while also participating in accompanying measures that aim to improve a range of parenting practices. A team of researchers is working with project implementers to evaluate the effectiveness of the cash transfers and the value-added of the parenting training on nutrition, health and cognitive development of children under the age of five.

Last updated: 2013-11-05

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