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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Social Science & Medicine
Title The impact of social action funds on child health in a conflict affected country: Evidence from Angola
Volume 106
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 35-42
URL http://econpapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:socmed:v:106:y:2014:i:c:p:35-42
Although recent evidence shows significant and long-lasting detrimental effects of armed conflict on child health, there is lack of studies rigorously assessing the effectiveness of different social and economic development interventions aiming to mitigate the impact of armed conflict on child health. In order to fill this knowledge gap, this study assesses the impact of health projects and water, sanitation, and waste management interventions financed by the Angola Social Action Fund (ASAF) from 1994 to 2001 on child health. I use data from Inquérito aos Agregados Familiares sobre Despesas e Receitas 2000/2001(IDR 2001), a household survey on expenditures and incomes conducted between February 2000 and February 2001 in Angola. IDR 2001 uses a stratified sampling design in which 12 households were surveyed in a random fashion in each aldeia (village) in rural areas and bairro (neighborhood) in urban areas. Using propensity score matching, a fixed effects model, and propensity-based weighted regression, I find that ASAF leads to a statistically significant increase of the height-for-age Z-scores (HAZ) by 0.335 standard deviations of children less than 5 years. This finding is robust to different implementations of the propensity score model specification and when conducting the sensitivity analysis of hidden bias. The main result that emerges from an analysis of heterogeneous effects shows that ASAF has no impact on children living in war displaced households. Despite many challenges faced by conflict affected countries, social funds which are one the key instruments of the World Bank used to promote development at the local level can be used to mitigate the impact of armed conflict on child health. For children living in war displaced households, specific interventions should be designed to mitigate the impact of armed conflict.

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