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enGENDER IMPACT: Reducing Health Disparities

Nursing students in training, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Good health is a key aspect of wellbeing and a fundamental human right. Poor health, on the other hand, places high costs on individuals, households, firms, and governments. Poor health also keeps children out of school and adults out of work; both consequences hurt economic development.

The World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development (WDR2012) highlighted how gender disadvantages arise in both sickness and death. In developing countries, the WDR2012 found that poor institutions of public health and service delivery lead to excess female mortality in early childhood and the reproductive ages. In parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, HIV/AIDS risks compound the problem. In some societies, the WDR2012 also highlighted that men have excess death rates. These trends can follow, for example, high rates of homicide, substance abuse, or healthcare avoidance behavior among men compared to women.

Women face particular health challenges during pregnancy and childbirth. Operations on gender-specific health programming are largely driven by the World Bank’s work on reproductive, maternal and child health. Beyond gender-specific interventions, a number of impact evaluations have found that safety nets and cash transfers directed to mothers can lead to lasting improvements in the health of children. Additionally, as part of the increased focus on the Science of Delivery, a group of studies is investigating how to create the right incentives for high-quality healthcare service delivery.

Relevant outcomes: mortality (infant, maternal, gender-disaggregated); sexual, maternal, and reproductive health outcomes; nutrition; access to healthcare; use of health services; hand washing; child health; sanitation

Dispatcher at the Energy Transmission Control Center in Kazakhstan

Learn more about the World Bank's work to promote gender equality in developing countries.

IE Title & Author(s) Country Gender Outcome(s) Intervention Category
5 Years in Juntos: New Evidence on the Program's Short and Long-Term Impacts
Perova & Vakis
Peru Consumption, income, use of healthcare services, child labor, school enrollment, school attendance Cash Transfer
AIDS treatment and intrahousehold resource allocation: Children's nutrition andschooling in Kenya
Zivin, et al.
Kenya Reproductive Health, school attendance, labor force participation, nutrition Antiretroviral Treatment
Almost Random: Evaluating a Large-Scale Randomized Nutrition Program in the Presence of Crossover
Linnemayr & Alderman
Senegal Nutrition Nutrition
Alternative Cash Transfer Delivery Mechanisms: Impacts on Routine Preventative Health Clinic Visits in Burkina Faso
Akresh, et al.
Burkina Faso Use of healthcare services, Intrahousehold Bargaining Cash Transfer
An Impact Evaluation of Education, Health, and Water Supply Investments by the Bolivian Social Investment Fund
Newman, et al.
Bolivia Child mortality, use of healthcare services, school performance Social Fund
Anemia and School Participation
Bobonis, et al.
India Gender disaggregated nutrition, school enrollment, school attendance Iron Supplements
ARV Treatment and Time Allocation to Household Tasks: Evidence from Kenya
d'Adda, et al.
Kenya Intrahousehold bargaining, reproductive health, women's access to healthcare Antiretroviral Treatment
Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment
Macours, et al.
Nicaragua Children's Nutrition, access to healthcare, cognitive skills, non-cognitive skills, Women's labor force participation, psychological agency Cash Transfer
Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment
Macours, et al.
Nicaragua Boys and girls health, nutrition, non-cognitive skills Cash Transfer, Training
Causal effect of health on labor market outcomes: Evidence from a random assignment iron supplementation intervention
Thomas, et al.
Indonesia Gender disaggregated nutrition, psychological agency, labor force participation, productivity Iron Supplements
Child Growth, Shocks and Food Aid in Rural Ethiopia
Yamano, et al.
Ethiopia Gender disaggregated nutrition Food Aid
Did the Health Card Program Ensure Access to Medical Care for the Poor During Indonesia's Economic Crisis?
Pradhan, et al.
Indonesia Access to healthcare Health Subsidy
Do Public Health Interventions Crowd Out Private Health Investments? Malaria Control Policies in Eritrea
Carneiro, et al.
Eritrea Use of healthcare services Malaria Control
Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya
Kenya Reproductive health Sexual Education
Does Community Driven Development Work? Evidence from Senegal
Arcand & Bassole
Senegal Health of women, nutrition, consumption, participation or having a voice in the community Community Driven Development
Does piped water reduce diarrhea for children in rural India?
Jalan & Ravallion
India Sanitation, child health Water
Early Childhood Development Through an Integrated Program: Evidence from the Philippines
Armecin, et al.
Philippines Children cognitive skills, nutrition Early Childhood Development
Economic and Social Impacts of Self-Help Groups in India
Seininger & Liu
India Female nutrition, consumption, psychological agency, participation or voice in community Community Driven Development
Education and HIV/AIDS Prevention: Evidence from a randomized evaluation in Western Kenya
Duflo, et al.
Kenya Reproductive health, school enrollment, fertility Reproductive Health
Educational and Health Impacts of Two School Feeding Schemes
Kazianga, et al.
Burkina Faso Gender disaggregated school enrollment, school attendance, nutrition Nutrition
Effect on Maternal and child health services in Rwanda of payment to primary health-care providers for performance: an impact evaluation
Basinga, et al.
Rwanda Sexual, maternal and reproductive health outcomes Pay Per Performance
Evaluating indoor residual spray for reducing malaria infection prevalence in Eritrea: Results from a community randomized trial
Keating, et al.
Eritrea Use of healthcare services Malaria Control
Handwashing Behavior Change at Scale Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Vietnam
Chase & Do
Vietnam Gender disaggregated hand washing Information Intervention, handwashing
HIV/AIDS sensitization and peer-mentoring Evidence from a randomized experiment in Senegal
Arcand, et al.
Senegal Reproductive health Reproductive Health
How valuable are environmental health interventions? Evidence from a quasi-experimental evaluation of community water projects
Pattanak, et al.
India Hand washing, sanitation Community Driven Development, Water and Sanitation
Impact evaluation of school feeding programs in Lao People's Democratic Republic
Buttenheim, et al.
Laos Gender disaggregated school enrollment, nutrition School feeding
Improving Child Nutrition Outcomes in India: Can the Integrated Child Development Services Program Be More Effective?
Ivaschenko, et al.
India Gender disaggregated nutrition Nutrition
Improving Nutrition through Community Growth Promotion: Longitudinal Study of the Nutrition and Early Child Development Program in Uganda
Uganda Gender disaggregated nutrition, income Early Childhood Development, Deworming
Improving Nutritional Status through Behavioral Change: Lessons from Madagascar
Galasso & Umapathi
Madagascar Gender disaggregated nutrition Nutrition
Incentivizing safe sex: a randomized trial of conditional cash transfers for HIV and sexually transmitted infection prevention in rural Tanzania
de Walque, et al.
Tanzania Reproductive health Cash Transfer
Mobile phone technologies improve adherence to antiretroviral treatment in a resource-limited setting: a randomized controlled trial of text message reminders
Pop-Eleches, et al.
Kenya Use of healthcare services Reproductive Health
Power to the People: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda
Bjorkman & Svensson
Uganda Health of women and girls, sexual, maternal and reproductive health, participation or having a voice in community or societal activities, motivation Community Driven Development
Promoting Handwashing Behavior in Peru: The Effect of Large-Scale Mass-Media and Community Level Interventions
Galiani, et al
Peru Gender disaggregated hand washing behaviors Public Awareness
School Meals, Educational Achievement and School Competition: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation
Vermeersch & Kremer
Kenya Gender disaggregated school enrollment, attendance, performance; nutrition School Feeding
Sexual Behavior Change Intentions and Actions in the Context of a Randomized Trial of a Conditional Cash Transfer for HIV Prevention in Tanzania
Packel, et al.
Tanzania Reproductive health, STDs/STIs, decision making over family formation Reproductive Health
Should Aid Reward Performance? Evidence from a Field Experiment on Health and Education in Indonesia
Olken, et al.
Indonesia Maternal health, nutrition, school attendance Community Driven Development
Split Decisions: Family Finance When a Policy Discontinuity Allocates Overseas Work
Clemens & Tiongson
Philippines Gender Disaggregated: consumption, access to healthcare, property, savings, school performance, intrahousehold bargaining Migration Permits
Spring Cleaning: Rural Water Impacts, Valuation, and Property Rights Institutions
Kremer, et al.
Kenya Health of girls Sanitation
The Economic Impact of AIDS Treatment: Labor Supply in Western Kenya
Thirumurthy, et al.
Kenya Reproductive health, female labor force participation Antiretroviral Treatment
The Illusion of Sustainability
Kremer & Miguel
Kenya Use of healthcare services Deworming
The Impact of a Conditional Cash Transfer Program on Consumption in Colombia
Attanasio & Mesnard
Colombia Consumption, nutrition after transfers to a female Cash Transfer
The Impact of Ethiopia's Productive Safety Net Program and its Linkages
Gilligan, et al.
Ethiopia Gender disaggregated nutrition, access to credit, employment Cash Transfer
The Impact of PROGRESA on Food Consumption
Hoddinott & Skoufias
Mexico Nutrition Cash Transfer
The Impacts of International Migration on Remaining Household Members: Omnibus Results from a Migration Lottery Program
Gibson, et al.
Tonga Gender disaggregated income, property, nutrition, labor force participation Migration
The Promise of Preschool in Africa: A Randomized Impact Evaluation of Early Childhood Development in Rural Mozambique
Martinez, et al.
Mozambique Gender disaggregated nutrition, educational enrollment, attainment, performance, literacy and numeracy, non-cognitive skills, women's labor force participation, aspirations Early Childhood Development
The short-term impact of a conditional cash subsidy on child health and nutrition in Colombia
Attanasio, et al.
Colombia Consumption, nutrition after transfers to a female Cash Transfer
Using Performance Incentives to Improve Medical Care Productivity and Health Outcomes
Gertler & Vermeerch
Rwanda Health of children Pay for Performance
Using Provider Performance Incentives to Increase HIV Testing and Counseling Services in Rwanda
de Walque, et al.
Rwanda Sexual and reproductive health outcomes Pay for Performance
Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities
Miguel & Kremer
Kenya Gender disaggregated use of healthcare services, school attendance Deworming

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