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Reducing Child Mortality in the Last Mile: A Randomized Social Entrepreneurship Intervention 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, whether through the public or private sector, remains abysmal in many parts of the world where child mortality is high. In collaboration with two NGOs, we conduct a large-scale evaluation of a novel “social entrepreneurship” approach to health care delivery, randomized across 214 villages in Uganda. In each treatment village, a female door-to-door sales agent is locally recruited and incentivized to sell subsidized medicines and other health products to households, making a small profit on each sale. Our results show the intervention had a substantial health impact: under-5 child mortality was reduced by 27%. The draft version of the evaluation is available as CEPR Discussion Paper 11515.