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India’s Struggle Against Malnutrition – Is the ICDS Program the Answer?

  • March 2015
  • Journal Article
Jain, Monica

Publication Title: World Development

Pages: 72-89

Abstract: Almost half of India’s children are stunted, endangering their life and human capital formation significantly. India’s only national program for combating widespread child malnutrition is Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). Using DHS data from 2005 to 2006 on child-level participation in ICDS, the author assesses the impact of its flagship supplementary nutrition program on children’s physical growth. Using matching and difference-in-difference estimators, the author finds that girls 0–2 years old receiving supplementary feeding intensely are at least 1 cm (0.4 z-score) taller than those not receiving it in rural India. The estimates are similar for boys aged 0–2 but less robust.

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