Child Health and Development
In the past 20 years, child mortality and child undernutrition have decreased dramatically. However, despite this overall decline, child mortality and child undernutrition remain still at unacceptably high levels, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where still 1 out of 9 children die before reaching the age of five. And despite huge investments by national governments and international donors, most Sub-Saharan African countries have not been able to met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 target, the reduction of infant and child mortality rates by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Hence, the need to reduce child mortality and child undernutrition are two of the major challenges in improving child health and are now two of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
With this project, we hope to contribute to a better understanding of determinants of child health in low-income countries. Existing studies have identified individual and household characteristics (e.g., education of the guardians, wealth) as well as community related or regional conditions (e.g., infrastructure, climate, disease, environment) that directly and indirectly determine child health outcomes. However, the existing literature is mainly focused on single case studies and most existing studies present linear estimates of determinants of child health. But it is important to allow for non-linearities, because the effect of underlying drivers of child health can depend on the level of these underlying factors.
For this project, we analyze multiple large-scale household survey data across low and lower-middle income countries and over time, including detailed information on child mortality, health, and fertility, as well as household and individual socio-economic characteristics. We specifically model non-linear effects in determinants of child health and also study the relationship between undernutrition and child mortality in low-income countries with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.
Contact: Kenneth Harttgen