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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 non-profit research organization focused on health and well-being in India. Our core focus is on children in rural north India. Our research studies health care at the start of life, sanitation, air pollution, maternal health, social inequality, and other dimensions of population-level social wellbeing.

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