Can Conditional Cash Transfers Improve Education and Nutrition Outcomes for Poor Children in Bangladesh? Evidence from a Pilot Project

Ferré, Céline ; Sharif, Iffath

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Abstract

There is an increasing recognition that investment in human development at an earlier age can have a significant impact on the lifetime earnings capacity of an individual. This notion is the basis for the popularity of conditional cash transfer programs to help boost child health and education outcomes. The evidence on the impact of conditional cash transfers on health and education outcomes, however, is mixed. This paper uses panel data from a pilot project and evaluates the impact of conditional cash transfers on consumption, education, and nutrition outcomes among poor rural families in Bangladesh. Given implementation challenges the intervention was not able to improve school attendance. However the analysis shows that the pilot had a significant impact on the incidence of wasting among children who were 10-22 months old when the program started, reducing the share of children with weight-for-height below two standard deviations from the World Health Organization benchmark by 40 percent. The pilot was also able to improve nutrition knowledge: there was a significant increase in the proportion of beneficiary mothers who knew about the importance of exclusively breastfeeding infants until the age of six months. The results also suggest a significant positive impact on food consumption, especially consumption of food with high protein content.

Document type: Working paper
Publisher: The World Bank
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Date: 2014
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 11 September 2015
Number of Pages: 47
Faculties / Institutes: Miscellaneous > Individual person
DDC-classification: "Social services; association"
Controlled Subjects: Bangladesch, Kind, Armut, Transferzahlung
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bangladesch, Armut, Transferzahlung, Bildung, Ernährung / Bangladesh, Poverty, Transfer Payment, Education, Nutrition
Subject (classification): Education and Research
Sociology
Countries/Regions: Bangladesh
Additional Information: © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/20511 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO
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