Engaging fathers to improve children’s diet: a clustered RCT in Ethiopia

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Abstract

Fathers may play an important role in infant and young child feeding practices, but the extent of its influence is unknown. We implemented a cluster randomized control trial to determine the efficacy of maternal behavior change communication (BCC) and paternal BCC program. We also examined the differential effects of the BCC programs when households receive food vouchers. We find improvements in infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices among the maternal BCC group, maternal + paternal BCC group, and maternal BCC + food voucher group compared with the control. However, the group that receive a maternal + paternal BCC + food voucher shows smaller, statistically not significant increase in IYCF practices. This suggests that providing paternal BCC and food voucher together nullify the positive effect of the maternal BCC and food voucher program. We also find suggestive evidence that this is mainly driven by the households where the husband is more actively involved in food purchases.

About the Speaker

Yaeeun Han is a postdoctoral fellow of HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies. She has a Ph.D. in international nutrition from Cornell University. Yaeeun’s research focuses on social and behavioral challenges of health, and the link between gender and health. She has been involved in cohort and randomized control trials in Ethiopia and Malawi.

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