This is the sixth post in our series of blogs by graduate students on the job market this year.
Interventions during early childhood have begun to gain importance in the social policy agenda in developing countries. These interventions have been mostly designed to address health, nutritional and cognitive deficiencies; and have shown to positively impact children’s development and nutritional outcomes, as well as socio-emotional abilities (Schady, 2006). Less evidence exists on the impact on discipline practices and spousal violence, factors that also affect children’s development. Experiencing or witnessing violence as a child appears to have important effects latter in life (UNICEF, 2014). Children who experience violence are more likely to drop out of school, to engage in adult criminal behavior and to become maltreating parents, among others. Studies have pointed out that physical violence against children is common throughout the world, and violence at home is the most common form of violence against children (Pinhero, 2006). For the particular case of Colombia, the three most common ways parents use to discipline children are verbal reprimand (76%), hitting with objects (44%) and slaps (28%) according to the Demographic Health Survey (DHS, 2005). Despite these figures, parenting practices remains a topic that has not received a lot of attention from researchers in developing countries.
Many who work on impact evaluation are familiar with the concept of the Hawthorne effect and its potential risk to the accurate inference of causal impact. But if this is a new concept, let’s quickly review the definition and history of the Hawthorne effect:
These past few weeks I’ve been immersed in reviews of health systems research proposals and it’s fascinating to see the common themes that emerge from each round of proposals as well as the literature cited to justify these themes as worthy of funding.
A new study presented at Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections found that a community intervention (a package that improves take-up, provides community engagement, and post-test support)
Just before Christmas, Taranaki District Health Board in New Zealand announced their plans to make the emergency contraceptive pill freely available through pharmacies for youth aged 12 to 24.
We know malaria is a big problem and we know fake drugs are a big problem. What do you get when you put them together? Bad news. A recent paper by Martina Bjorkman-Nyqvist, Jakob Svensson and David Yanagizawa-Drott (ungated version here) shows how bad this problem is in Uganda, and provides an innovative way to deal with it.
A 1994 song titled “Positive” by Spearhead goes:
“I should-a done this a long time ago
A-lot of excuses why I couldn't go
I know, these things and these things, I must know
'Cause it's better to know than to not know!
But how am I gonna live my life if I'm positive?
Is it gonna be a negative?