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Conference on child height, stunting, early life disease, and sanitation: Delhi School of Economics August 2nd and 3rd

Blog Post3 min read

After a year of preparations, we are very excited to announce a two-day international conference on child height and sanitation at the Delhi School of Economics, starting at 9:00am on Friday, August 2nd.

If you are planning to come, please RSVP at The Delhi School of Economics is here:

Child height and stunting: Early-life disease, water quality, and sanitation

a conference organized by the Centre for Development Economics at the Delhi School of Economics and r.i.c.e., with the support of the Water and Sanitation Program - South Asia

Friday, August 2nd and Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Delhi School of Economics

Planning on coming? Please RSVP to

Friday, August 2nd

9:00 – 11:10 Session 1: Introduction

  • Inaugural remarks

  • Pami Dua, Head of Economics Department, Delhi School of Economics (5 min)

  • Christopher Juan Costain, Regional Team Leader, World Bank WSP (5 min)

  • possible others TBD

  • Introductory presentations

    • Dean Spears, CDE at Delhi School of Economics & r.i.c.e. (20-25 min) “How much international variation in child height can sanitation explain?”
    • Oliver Cumming, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine & SHARE (20-25 min)
    • Robert Chambers, Institute of Development Studies (20-25 min) “Sanitation and Stunting in India: Undernutrition’s Blind Spot”
    • Session-wide discussant: Yael Velleman, WaterAid (5 min)

11:10 – 11:30 Coffee break

11:30 – 1:00 Session 2: Evidence from randomized controlled trials

  • Jeffrey Hammer, Princeton University (25 min) “Village sanitation and children's human capital: Evidence from a randomized experiment by the Maharashtra government”
    • Discussant: Ashi Kathuria, World Bank (5 min)
    • Manisha Shah, UCLA on Indonesia (25 min) “The Dirty Business of Reducing Open Defecation: Lessons from a Sanitation Intervention”
      • Discussant: Rohini Somanathan, DSE (5 min)
      • Session-wide discussant: Sue Coates, UNICEF

1:00 – 2:00 Lunch

2:00 – 3:45 Session 3: Evidence from other countries’ experiences

  • Sangita Vyas, r.i.c.e. on child height in Cambodia (25 min) “Growing taller among toilets: Evidence from changes in sanitation and child height in Cambodia, 2005-2010”
    • Discussant: J.V. Meenakshi, DSE (5 min)
    • Payal Hathi, World Bank WSP on child height in Bangladesh (25 min) “What doesn’t kill you makes you shorter: Evidence from two decades of improving sanitation and infant mortality in Bangladesh”
      • Discussant: Rinku Murgai, World Bank (5 min)
      • Session-wide discussant: Jean Drèze, DSE and Allahabad University (5 min)

3:45 – 3:50 Release of interactive eBook on child nutrition in India by Ashi Kathuria, World Bank

3:50 – 4:20 Coffee Break

4:20 – 6:00 Session 4: Perspectives on nutrition programs in India

  • Bidisha Barooah, Delhi School of Economics (25 min) “The Effect of School Meals on Students' Nutritional Status and Classroom Effort: Evidence from India”
    • Discussant: Manisha Shah, UCLA (5 min)
    • Sunaina Dhingra, Delhi School of Economics (25 min)
      • Discussant: (5 min)
      • Nitya Mittal, Delhi School of Economics (25 min) “Utilization of ICDS services: Does it make a difference to child weight?”
        • Discussant: Jeff Hammer, Princeton University (5 min)

Evening: Invited dinner for conference presenters and discussants

Saturday, August 3rd

9:00 – 10:45 Session 5: Environmental influences on nutrition and height in India

  • Aparajita Chattopadhyay, IIPS (25 min) “Wealth and the health of children in India: A state-level analysis”
    • Discussant: Laura Nolan, Princeton University Office of Population Research (5 min)
    • Antonia Strachey, Oxford (25 min) “The Relationship Between Real Wages and Adult Heights in Colonial Kerala”
      • Neha Raykar, Public Health Foundation of India (5 min)
      • Nisha Malhotra, UBC (25 min) on the effects of indoor air pollution on child height
        • Discussant: Avinash Kishore, IFPRI & r.i.c.e. (5 min)

10:45 – 11:15 Coffee Break

11:15 – 1:00 Session 6: New evidence on enteropathy and nutrition

  • Audrie Lin, UC Berkley and IDDRB on enteropathy in Bangladesh (25 min) “Household Environmental Conditions Are Associated with Enteropathy and Impaired Growth in Rural Bangladesh”
  • Diane Coffey, Princeton Office of Population Research; r.i.c.e.; CDE at DSE (25 min) “Open defecation and hemoglobin deficiency in young children”
  • Session-wide discussants:
    • Oliver Cumming, LSHTM & SHARE (5 min)
    • H.P.S. Sachdev, Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research (5 min)
    • Anjali Chikersal, Centre for Policy Research (5 min) [TBD]

1:00 – 2:00 Lunch

2:00 – 3:10 Session 7: Interactions of nutrition and disease

  • Purnima Menon, IFPRI (25 min) "Diet Quality, Water, and Toilets: What Role for Child Undernutrition in India?"
    • Discussant: Arundati Muralidharan, Public Health Foundation of India (5 min)
    • Gregor von Medeazza, UNICEF (25 min) “Sanitation and stunting in Madhya Pradesh”
      • Discussant: Manish Kumar, World Bank WSP – South Asia (5 min)
      • Session-wide discussant: Farzana Afridi, Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi (5 min)

3:10 – 4:10 Session 8: Round-table discussion of lessons learned and research implications

  • Chair: Dean Spears, CDE at Delhi School of Economics & r.i.c.e.
  • Robert Chambers, Institute of Development Studies
  • Oliver Cumming, SHARE & LSHTM
  • Jeff Hammer, Princeton University
  • Reetika Khera, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  • J.V. Meenakshi, Delhi School of Economics
  • Alessandro Tarozzi, Universitat Pompeu Fabra [TBD]

4:10 – 4:30 Coffee Break

4:30 – 5:30 Session 9: Round-table discussion of lessons learned and policy implications

  • Chair: Juan Costain, Regional Team Leader, World Bank WSP
  • Representative from MDWS
  • Representative from UNICEF
  • TBD

Note: Conference agenda as of 22-7-2013, subject to minor revision.


r.i.c.e. is a nonprofit research organization, dedicated to understanding the lives of poor people, especially young children, in India, and to promoting their well-being.

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