Expanding Access to Clean Water for the Rural Poor: Experimental Evidence from Malawi

67 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2020 Last revised: 16 Aug 2020

See all articles by Pascaline Dupas

Pascaline Dupas

Stanford University

Basimenye Nhlema

Partners in Health

Zachary Wagner

University of California, Berkeley

Aaron Wolf

Yale University

Emily Wroe

Partners in Health

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2020

Abstract

Using data from an 18-month randomized trial, we estimate large and sustained impacts on water purification and child health of a program providing monthly coupons for free water treatment solution (diluted chlorine) to households with young children. The program is more effective and much more cost-effective than asking Community Health Workers (CHWs) to distribute free chlorine to households during routine monthly visits. That is because only 40% of households make use of free chlorine, targeting through CHWs is worse than self-targeting through coupon redemption, and water treatment promotion by CHWs does not increase chlorine use among free chlorine beneficiaries. Non-

use of free chlorine is driven by households who have a protected water source and those who report that chlorine makes water taste bad.

Keywords: child health, Chlorine, Community Health Workers, targeting

JEL Classification: D10, I11, I12, O12

Suggested Citation

Dupas, Pascaline and Nhlema, Basimenye and Wagner, Zachary and Wolf, Aaron and Wroe, Emily, Expanding Access to Clean Water for the Rural Poor: Experimental Evidence from Malawi (July 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP15095, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3661439

Pascaline Dupas (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Basimenye Nhlema

Partners in Health

Zachary Wagner

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Aaron Wolf

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Emily Wroe

Partners in Health ( email )

641 Huntington Ave, 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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