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Reducing Child Mortality in the Last Mile: Experimental Evidence on Community Health Promotors in Uganda

child mortality

Researchers: Martina Björkman Nyqvist, Andrea Guariso, Jakob Svensson, David Yanagizawa-Drott

Partners: Living Goods, BRAC Uganda, Innovations for Poverty Action

Location: Uganda

Sample: 7,000 households from 214 villages

Timeline: 2011-2014

Theme: Health


The delivery of basic health products and services remains abysmal in many parts of the world where child mortality is high. This paper shows the results from a largescale randomized evaluation of a novel approach to health care delivery. In randomly selected villages a sales agent was locally recruited and incentivized to conduct home visits, educate households on essential health behaviours, provide medical advice and referrals, and sell preventive and curative health products. Results after three years show substantial health impact: under-5 child mortality was reduced by 27% at an estimated average cost of $68 per life-year saved. The academic paper from this study is forthcoming in American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.