Aissatou Ouedraogo

Social networks, production of micronutrient-rich foods, and child health outcomes in Burkina Faso

Doctorate: PhD in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, U.S.A., 2016
Home mentor: Dr. Andrew Dillon, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, U.S.A
Host mentor: Dr. Windkouni Haoua Eugenie Maiga, Unité de Formation en Sciences Economiques et de Gestion (UFR-SEG), Université de Koudougou, Burkina Faso

Short Biography:

Aissatou Ouedraogo is a development economist with research interests in rural household economies. Her research focuses on links between household structure and productive resource allocation, labor, health, and technology adoption. She previously worked as a Project Coordinator at Innovations for Poverty Action, where she was responsible for coordinating the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Alatona Irrigation Project, a multimillion-dollar intergovernmental program between the United States and Mali. As a Project Coordinator, she worked with cabinet-level officials of the Malian government on multiple social program interventions and impact evaluation. Her ongoing research includes examining how farm labor responds to the introduction of a climate smart fertilization technique, namely microdosing, among households with differing structures –nuclear versus extended family households. Aissatou holds a PhD degree in Agricultural, Food, and Resources Economics from Michigan State University.

Project summary:

In an effort to reduce nutrition deficiencies among young children in Burkina Faso, where malnutrition is widespread, Helen Keller International (HKI), with funding granted by the United States Agency of International Development (USAID), implemented an agricultural and nutrition program through the promotion of Enhanced Homestead Food Production (E-HFP) and behavior change communications (BBC) strategy in 2010. A prior study has shown that the intervention has significantly improved the production of nutrient-rich foods and raised the level of health and nutritional knowledge among the treatment groups.

Given that strategies to diffuse health and nutrition knowledge through BCC and social networks has been mixed in terms of effects on children’s outcomes, the
aim of my proposed project is to build on this prior study by investigating the differential impact of social network structures on the impact of the program. Specifically, the study will attempt to answer the following question: How did the diffusion of health knowledge and changes in child health and nutrition outcomes differ depending on social networks of the targeted population? To do so, the project will use pre- and post- program intervention data collected in 2010 and 2012, respectively –from the RCT described above –combined with the 2011 social network census.