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Micro-Level Estimation of Child Malnutrition Indicators and its Application in Cambodia


Sponsors: Thematic Group on Poverty Impact Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation. 

Thursday, December 8
12:30 - 2:00 pm
Room MC-C1-200

Presenters: Tomoki Fujii (Singapore Management University)
 
One of the major limitations in addressing child malnutrition is lack of information that could be used to target resources. By combining demographic and health survey (DHS) and population census data, we  disaggregate the estimates of the prevalence of child malnutrition in Cambodia from currently available 17 DHS strata into 1,594 communes. The methodology is built on the small-area estimation technique developed by Elbers, Lanjouw and Lanjouw. We extend it to jointly estimate multiple indicators and to allow for a richer structure of error terms. Average standard errors for the commune-level estimates in this study were about 4 percent, a magnitude comparable to those for stratum-level estimates derived from DHS only. We demonstrate three applications of these estimates.  First, we explore the relationship between malnutrition, consumption poverty and inequality. The non-linear effects of consumption on nutritional status of children are a key component of the relationship. Second, we conduct a decomposition analysis of health inequality and find that the between-location share of health inequality is lower than with consumption inequality.  Finally, we evaluate the potential gains from geographic targeting. We find that the savings in the cost of a nutrition program from commune-level targeting is on average at least two to three times higher than that from stratum-level targeting when the per capita cost of the program is fixed.

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