Effectiveness of unconditional Cash transfers and mobile behaviour change communications to reduce child under nutrition in rural Bangladesh

Primary Investigator

  • Michael J Dibley

Study Period

January 2019 - October 2020

Study Description

Our study aims to assess the effectiveness of mobile phone nutrition behaviour change communication combined with unconditional cash transfers in reducing the prevalence of stunting (length-for-age < -2 Z) in children at 24 months.

The primary hypothesis of our study is in a community-based, cluster randomized controlled trial of women from food insecure populations, with follow up from early pregnancy for 30 months, mobile phone nutrition BCC and unconditional cash transfers, will reduce the prevalence of child stunting at 24 months by 6.5% (54% control – 47.5% intervention, or 12% relative reduction) compared with usual programs.

The secondary hypotheses are mobile phone nutrition BCC and unconditional cash transfers compared to usual programs will: a) increase maternal caloric intake and dietary diversity; b) reduce the rate of low birthweight & small for gestational age newborns; c) improve breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, including dietary diversity, & d) be cost effective in reducing child undernutrition.
 

Study Arms

  • Intervention Arm: mobile phone nutrition behaviour change communication combined with unconditional cash transfers.
  • Control Arm: control receiving current Government of Bangladesh health and nutrition services.

Primary Outcomes

  • The primary trial outcome will be changes in the percentage of stunted children (height-for-age <-2 Z) assessed monthly for 6 months from birth, at 9th months of age, 12th month of age, 18th months of age and 24 months of age

Study Interventions

  • Cash transfer
  • Behavior change communication (BCC)

Research Gaps

  • Acceptability

    Which food products do recipients enjoy eating and have the fewest side effects?

  • Effectiveness

    How well do different food compositions and interventions prevent or treat undernutrition, when implemented "on the ground"?

  • Innovation

    What novel food-based products and programming methods effectively prevent and treat undernutrition?

Study Population

2850