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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Ethiopia
2016-03-09T23:30:08Z | 2016-03-09T23:30:08Z | 2016-02

Reducing child undernutrition is a key social policy objective of the Ethiopian government. Despite substantial reduction over the past decade and a half, child undernutrition is still high. With 48 percent of children stunted, underweight, or wasted, undernutrition remains an important child health challenge. The existing literature highlights that the targeting of efforts to reduce undernutrition in Ethiopia is inefficient, in part because of the lack of data and updated information. This paper remedies some of this shortfall by estimating levels of stunting and underweight in each woreda for 2014. The estimates are small area estimations based on the 2014 Demographic and Health Survey and the latest population census. It is shown that small area estimations are powerful predictors of undernutrition, even controlling for household characteristics, such as wealth and education, and hence a valuable targeting metric. The results show large variations in share of children undernourished in each region, more than between regions. The results also show that the locations with larger challenges depend on the chosen undernutrition statistic, as the share, number, and concentration of undernourished children point to vastly different locations. There is limited correlation between the shares of children underweight and stunted across woredas, indicating that different locations face different challenges.


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