We are exploring the potential of leveraging the Dispensers for Safe Water network of local water promoters to deliver nutritional messages to families. We believe that the existing network of trained and dedicated individuals can provide a cost-effective way to increase household knowledge about nutrition, and potentially reduce undernutrition and malnutrition among children. This is the story of a randomized controlled trial to evaluate this.
Despite the availability of inexpensive and easy-to-use technologies and simple behaviors that can prevent diarrhea, it kills more than half a million children a year, predominantly in the developing world. More troubling still, social scientists have found it challenging to get high adoption rates and maintain participation amongst poor households, even when the technology is provided free.
In a randomized controlled trial in Karachi, Pakistan, I test the hypothesis that perhaps families need tools that clearly demonstrate the impact of health interventions – in this case, chlorine tablets for water purification.