In the first panel, IGC Country Economist for Ethiopia Yared Seid described his findings from a unique natural experiment in Ethiopia that revealed that children studying in their mother tongue first improves their academic performance (as measured by math test scores) years after they transition to English instruction. EASST Fellow John Bosco Asiimwe shared results from a randomized control trial he conducted that revealed that usage of oral rehydration salts + zinc greatly improves when the supplements are delivered preemptively and for free during household visits by community health workers.
Later in the day, during the Agriculture and Environment panel, EASST Fellow and World Bank Economist Anthony Mveyange made a compelling case in his presentation “Climate Variability and Infant Mortality: Evidence from the Developing World” for exploring both direct and indirect effects of climate change on health outcomes. Mveyange detailed how he and his coauthors found that temperature shocks increase the risks of both neo-natal and post-natal infant deaths. These results have several policy implications, including the importance of strengthening health delivery systems and public health information systems, as well as utilizing heat early warning systems.