Working with a range of talented co-authors and using both qualitative and quantitative primary and secondary data, I am interested in research at the intersection of agriculture, food, nutrition, and health predominately in low-income countries. I am interested in the food system as a whole, but also in its various components (from production to markets and food environments) and how this affects nutrition and health. My research questions often have a gender-focused angle.
- JBSQuantity and quality of physical activity during adolescence: Evidence from a mixed-method study in rural Telangana, IndiaMondira Bhattacharya, Fiorella Picchioni, Giacomo Zanello, and 1 more authorJournal of Biosocial Science, 2023
Adolescence is a unique transitional stage of physical and psychological development. As preferences and behavioural choices adopted in adolescence influence lifelong physical activity habits and health outcomes in adulthood, rural transformation in low- and middle-income countries has the potential to significantly change traditional roles and shape the next generation. By using a mixed-method approach that integrates energy expenditure estimates from accelerometer devices with 24-hour recall time-use data from adolescent boys and girls and qualitative interviews with adolescents and their caregivers, this study sheds light on the patterns of quantity and quality of physical activity of 395 adolescents in Khammam and Mahbubnagar districts of rural Telangana, India. The study shows that energy expenditure and time use are highest for educational-related activities followed by leisure in both adolescent boys and girls. However, notwithstanding the process of rural transformation and the educational infrastructure and economic opportunities provided to adolescent boys and girls, social and cultural norms allow boys, especially in late adolescence to spend more time and energy in activities outside the home such as pursuing economic work, sports and socialising, while girls spend more time and energy at home doing domestic work. The quantitative and qualitative exploration of physical activity and time use among adolescents, as expounded in this study cutting across age groups and gender, highlights the need for changes in gendered norms and renewed government strategies and investments in that direction.
- WORLD DEVMarcello De Maria, Elizabeth Robinson, and Giacomo ZanelloWorld Development, 2023
Despite the existence of a legal framework defining the right to fair compensation, and notwithstanding the vast literature on transnational and domestic land deals, no theory has been developed so far to allow for a specific analysis of the economics of fair compensation in large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs), limiting our understanding of the underlying reasons of success or failure of this important legal protection mechanism. Building on the review of the existing literature on fair compensation and on the critical examination of several real-world case studies, this paper fills this gap by developing a three-player sequential game, which captures the peculiarities of fair compensation in large-scale land deals. We show that, under specific but not uncommon circumstances, the local community will be offered a zero-compensation as a rational consequence of the players’ optimisation, and this will lead to a land conflict, with all players incurring additional costs. Our findings suggest that local populations will be offered – and willing to accept – a compensation that is smaller than their original livelihood, unless they can oppose the land deal at no cost. Thus, the right to consent is inextricably related to the right to reject in LSLAs. If the former is frictionless while the latter comes at a cost, then there is space for strategic behaviours that exploit power imbalances and discretionary processes, and the fair compensation right is, in practice, weakened.
- ECON HUM BIOLStressor or succour? Examining the association between conflict, livestock assets, and farmers’ mental health in NigeriaOlusegun Fadare, Giacomo Zanello, and Chittur S. SrinivasanEconomics & Human Biology, 2023
Farmers are disproportionately vulnerable to violent attacks in the conflict situation in Nigeria, with potential traumatising effects due to the destruction of agricultural livelihoods. In this study, we conceptualise the links between conflict exposure, livestock assets, and depression, using a cross-sectional nationally representative survey of 3021 Nigerian farmers to quantify the relationships. We highlight three main findings. First, conflict exposure is significantly associated with farmers exhibiting depressive symptoms. Second, holding higher herds of livestock, more cattle, and more sheep and goats while exposed to conflict is associated with higher risk of depression. Third, keeping more poultry is negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Finally, this study accentuates the significance of psychosocial support for farmers in conflict situations. The relationships between different livestock species and farmers’ mental health may interest further research in strengthening the evidence.
- UN-NJDaniel Hoffman, Giacomo Zanello, Dariush Mozaffarian, and 1 more authorUN-Nutrition Journal, 2022
- WORLD DEV
PERThe joint effect of terrorism and land access on livestock production decisions: Evidence from northern NigeriaOlusegun Fadare, Giacomo Zanello, and Chittur S. SrinivasanWorld Development Perspectives, 2022
Livestock production is an integral part of the livelihoods of many households around the developing world and plays a significant role in farming households’ food and nutrition security. However, conflict is a major challenge for livestock production in Africa and Nigeria in particular. We employ the Living Standards Measurement Study – Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) panel data for Nigeria with a global georeferenced conflict dataset to examine the effect of terrorism on small-scale livestock production and the role of agricultural land access. Terrorism is an important factor that undermines livestock production. We find that increase in the incidents of terrorism reduces cattle herd size but does not reduce the herd size of households that manage a larger area of land. Also, terrorism significantly increases livestock diversification independently and jointly with land access. However, higher fatalities from terrorism reduces herd size irrespective of the size of land managed by households. Our findings suggest a plausible land abandonment in areas where terrorism is severe. Curbing terrorism in Nigeria would ensure farmers have physical access to their land and sustain livestock production.
- INT J INTERCULT
RELLydiah O. Nyambok, and Giacomo ZanelloInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2022
The acculturation process for internal migrants in ethnically diverse societies has received little academic attention. This is even less in the context of low-income countries where internal migration is often a cause of hostility. We filled this gap by building a more comprehensive picture of the dynamics of acculturation in the Rift Valley. This is particularly, so because Rift Valley has witnessed deep-seated ethnic intolerance between internal migrants and their hosts. We used a survey-based vignette experiment to assess the perceived relative importance of nine migrant characteristics for four acculturation preferences. These include marginalisation, separation, assimilation, and integration. Using a conditional logistic regression model to analyse the vignette experiment’s data, we found that levels of education and experience of ethnic discrimination were perceived as substantial contributors to acculturation processes. We concluded by relating the findings to policies aimed at enhancing the experience of acculturation in order to produce more positive outcomes.
- CAABI AGRI
BIOAmidou Assima, Giacomo Zanello, and Melinda SmaleCABI Agriculture and Bioscience, 2022
Mali’s fertilizer subsidy program aims to reduce food insecurity among the nation’s predominantly rural people by jump-starting productivity gains of major crops. This paper contributes to sparse evidence regarding its effects. Theory predicts that agricultural productivity can affect diet quality directly through two channels. The production channel influences the availability of food for household consumption or sale. The income pathway, resulting from sales, leads to household food expenditure. We test this hypothesis by applying propensity score matching methods to farm household survey data collected from 2400 households in Mali in 2018. We find that the overall effect of the fertilizer subsidy on women’s dietary diversity is positive in the Niger Delta and negative on the Koutiala Plateau. Further examination by food supply source reveals no subsidy effects on the dietary diversity provided by on-farm production in either zone. The subsidy negatively influences dietary diversity of foods sourced as gifts in the Niger Delta. Subsidy effects on dietary diversity accessed through food purchases are strong and positive in the Niger Delta, but negative on the Koutiala Plateau. The Koutiala Plateau is found in the region of Sikasso, where rising incomes from cotton production, which is the major export crop of the region and of the nation, have been shown not to alleviate poverty and malnutrition (a dilemma known as the “Sikasso Paradox”). Our approach reveals that additional income from increased yields stimulated by subsidized fertilizer can enable off-farm purchases of more nutritious food and thereby improve nutritional outcomes for women.
- FOREST POLICY
ECONDominic Rowland, Giacomo Zanello, Eva Waliyo, and 1 more authorForest Policy and Economics, 2022
Measuring the social impact of oil palm requires the use of multiple metrics which capture different dimensions of well-being. To date, most studies have examined welfare outcomes at the household level, relying on a relatively narrow range of indicators. There is a need for a more diverse range of metrics to measure the social impacts of oil palm as well as more explicit accounting for study context and gendered effects. Here we demonstrate the utility of specialised time use methods used in combination with qualitative research to understand intra-household labour dynamics associated with oil palm adoption. We use a mixed-methods approach to investigate the role of smallholder oil palm plasma schemes on men and women’s time use in Kapuas Hulu District, West Kalimantan. Time allocation is an important determinant of well-being as well as maternal and child nutrition and an indicator of women’s empowerment and gender equality. We integrate the results from a fractional multinomial logistic regression of data from 603 individuals with qualitative findings on the subjective experience of time allocation, as well as, the causes, consequences and coping strategies to manage trade-offs in time allocation. We find that relative to non-oil-palm adopting swidden farmers, participation in oil palm plasma schemes is associated with more time spent in productive labour for both men and women, driven by off-farm labour on oil palm plantations. For women, increased time comes at the cost of reduced time spent in rest, leisure and sleep. Increased time spent in off-farm labour drives households to adapt agricultural production methods, changing cash crop production as well as accelerating swidden transitions. These changes alter gender dynamics and responsibilities within the household. Our results suggest that changes in time allocation may have significant consequences for women’s well-being and gender equity. Women in the oil palm site experienced greater stress over time scarcity and employed coping strategies more frequently. Our findings indicate that time allocation could be used as an indicator of the effects of oil palm expansion and adoption on well-being and that potential effects of time scarcity on well-being, gender equity, and maternal and child nutrition should be considered by policy makers when making land use decisions.
- GLO FOOD
SECURITYCostanza Conti, Giacomo Zanello, and Andy HallGlobal Food Security, 2021
A central concern about achieving global food security is reconfiguring agri-food systems towards sustainability. However, historically-informed trajectories of agri-food system development remain resistant to a change in direction. Through a systematic literature review, we identify three research domains exploring this phenomenon and six explanations of resistance: embedded nature of technologies, misaligned institutional settings, individual attitudes, political economy factors, infrastructural rigidities, research and innovation priorities. We find ambiguities in the use of the terms lock-in and path-dependency, which often weaken the analysis. We suggest a framing that deals with interdependencies and temporal dynamics of causes of resistance. Finally, we discuss implications for framing innovation for transformational change and other research gaps.
- WORLD DEVYou’ve got a friend in me: how social networks and mobile phones facilitate healthcare access among marginalised groups in rural Thailand and Lao PDRMarco J. Haenssgen, Nutcha Charoenboon, and Giacomo ZanelloWorld Development, 2021
The seeming “ubiquity” of mobile phones has spawned a wave of interventions that use mobiles as platforms for health service delivery (mHealth). Operating in more than 100 countries, mHealth interventions commonly aspire to make healthcare more inclusive and efficient. Yet, mobile phone diffusion also stimulates locally emerging forms of health-related phone use that could create new digital inequalities among marginalised groups or compete with mHealth and other technology-based development interventions. We aim to inform this subject by asking, “How do mobile phone use and social support networks influence rural treatment-seeking behaviours among marginalised groups?” We hypothesise that (1) resource constraints drive marginalised groups towards informal healthcare access, and that (2) mobile phone use and social support networks facilitate access to formal healthcare with a bias towards private doctors. Analysing representative survey data from 2141 Thai and Lao villagers with descriptive statistics and multi-level regression models, we demonstrate that: (a) health-related phone use is concentrated among less marginalised groups, while social support networks are distributed more equitably; (b) marginalised villagers are more likely to utilise informal healthcare providers; and (c) mobile phones and social support networks are linked to increased yet delayed formal healthcare access that is directed towards public healthcare. We conclude that mobile phone diffusion has a mildly positive association with rural healthcare access, operating in a similar fashion but without (yet) appearing to crowd out social support. However encouraging, this is problematic news for mHealth and technology-based development interventions. The potential behavioural consequences of “informal mHealth” reinforce the notion that mobile phones are a non-neutral platform for mHealth and development interventions. The long-term implications require more research, but the literature suggests that increasing phone-aided healthcare facilitation could undermine local social support networks and leave already marginalised rural dwellers in yet more precarious circumstances.
- WORLD DEVFiorella Picchioni, Giacomo Zanello, Chittur S. Srinivasan, and 2 more authorsWorld Development, 2020
Women’s patterns of time-use, which proxy the work burdens associated with productive and reproductive activities, are an important determinant of nutrition and well-being in LMICs. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence on how patterns of time-use translate into patterns of physical activity and energy expenditure, particularly in rural areas where seasonal agricultural labour plays such an important role. We address this gap by integrating energy expenditure data derived from wearable tri-axial accelerometers with time-use data from conventional recall-based surveys. Using datasets from agricultural households in four rural communities in India and Nepal, our results show that there are significant gender differences in the patterns of time-use and energy expenditure. Men and women participate equally in productive work, however, women shoulder most of the additional reproductive work burdens in rural households at the expense of leisure opportunities. Our results provide insights into women’s responses to opportunities for productive work and highlight the nature of trade-offs they face.
- WORLD DEVCompounding crises of social reproduction: microfinance, over-indebtedness and the COVID-19 pandemicKatherine Brickell, Fiorella Picchioni, Nithya Natarajan, and 4 more authorsWorld Development, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit at a time when microfinance is at its historical peak, with an estimated 139 million microfinance customers globally. Cambodia’s microfinance sector is one of the fastest growing, and like others in the Global South has moved from offering entrepreneurial capital to everyday liquidity, and even disaster relief. In this Viewpoint, however, we argue that the promotion of microfinance as market-based relief and recovery from the pandemic should be a source of concern, not comfort. We firstly suggest that as a result of the health and economic impacts associated with COVID-19, credit-taking is likely to escalate further in terms of the number of borrowers and loan amounts. Second, we contend that a growing reliance on MFIs will leave households undernourished, and further vulnerable to its disciplining and extractive impulses. Third, we argue that the interplay between over-indebtedness, pre-existing malnutrition challenges, and the global public health crisis of COVID-19 represents a major challenge to gender equality and sustainable development. Coordination between the Cambodian government, microfinance lenders, international investors, and development partners is vital to offer debt relief. Furthermore, to reverse the reliance of so many households on the microfinance industry for survival, inclusive socio-economic policies and public welfare services must be prioritised.
- SCI DATAGiacomo Zanello, Chittur S. Srinivasan, Fiorella Picchioni, and 4 more authorsScientific Data, 2020
With more than 820 million undernourished people living in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), ending hunger and ensuring access to food by all is a global priority. In the past few decades, the adoption of technological innovations in the agricultural sector and related crop yield improvements have not led to expected improvements in the nutritional status of rural households in many LMICs. The increased energy expenditure associated with the adoption of productivity-enhancing innovations may provide an important explanation of the disconnect between agricultural productivity enhancements and improved nutritional outcomes. We develop a methodology for generating reliable livelihood energy/calorie expenditure profiles for rural agricultural households using research-grade accelerometer devices. We integrate the data on physical activity and energy expenditure in rural households with data on time-use and food intakes to generate a data set that provides a unique window into rural livelihoods. This can be a valuable resource to analyse agriculture-nutrition impact pathways and improve the welfare of rural and agricultural households.
- BMJ GLO
HEALTHThe impact of gender equity in agriculture on nutritional status, diets, and household food security: a mixed-methods systematic reviewHelen Harris-Fry, Hossain Nur, Bhavani Shankar, and 3 more authorsBMJ Global Health, 2020
Undernutrition rates remain high in rural, low-income settings, where large, gender-based inequities persist. We hypothesised that increasing gender equity in agriculture could improve nutrition.We conducted a systematic review to assess the associations between gender-based inequities (in income, land, livestock, and workloads) and nutrition, diets and food security outcomes in agricultural contexts of low-income and middle-income countries. Between 9 March and 7 August 2018, we searched 18 databases and 14 journals, and contacted 27 experts. We included quantitative and qualitative literature from agricultural contexts in low-income and middle-income countries, with no date restriction. Outcomes were women’s and children’s anthropometric status, dietary quality and household food security. We conducted meta-analyses using random-effects models. We identified 19 820 records, of which 34 studies (42 809 households) met the inclusion criteria. Most (22/25) quantitative studies had a high risk of bias, and qualitative evidence was of mixed quality. Income, land and livestock equity had heterogeneous associations with household food security and child anthropometric outcomes. Meta-analyses showed women’s share of household income earned (0.32, 95percent CI −4.22 to 4.86; six results) and women’s share of land owned (2.72, 95percent CI -0.52 to 5.96; three results) did not increase the percentage of household budget spent on food. Higher-quality studies showed more consistently positive associations between income equity and food security. Evidence is limited on other exposure–outcome pairings. We find heterogeneous associations between gender equity and household-level food security. High-quality research is needed to establish the impact of gender equity on nutrition outcomes across contexts.
- ECON HUM BIOLChittur Srinivasan, Giacomo Zanello, Paul Nkegbe, and 4 more authorsEconomics & Human Biology, 2020
Low and middle-income countries in Asia and Africa have been witnessing a process of rural transformation, characterised by rising agricultural productivity, commercialisation of agriculture, improved infrastructure and access to services, over several decades. However, there is little empirical evidence on how this transformation process has affected the patterns and intensity of physical activity and time use in rural livelihoods. The lack of empirical evidence can be attributed to the constraints in accurate measurement of physical activity and energy expenditure in the context of free-living populations. Using wearable accelerometry devices, we develop robust energy expenditure profiles for men and women in rural households for two case studies in India and Ghana. An innovative feature of this study is the integration of data on energy expenditure (derived from accelerometers) with data on time-use, which has hitherto not been feasible in observational studies of rural populations. Using the data on physical activity, energy expenditure and time use from the case studies, we examine the impact of drudgery reduction- the substitution of less intense for more intense activities – on energy requirements for men and women in rural households. Our results show that drudgery reduction can have large effects on human energy (calorie) requirements, with an hour of drudgery reduction reducing energy requirements by 11–22percent for men and 13–17percent for women in Ghana and India. There are significant gender differences in energy expenditure patterns and drudgery reduction effects vary by socio-demographic characteristics and endowments of households. Our results suggest that drudgery reduction can offer rural households an important route to improved nutritional status. At the same time, drudgery reduction can lead to increased incidence of overweight and obesity for some segments of the population. The design of development interventions needs to explicitly consider the effects on nutrition and well-being through the energy expenditure dimension.
- BMJ OPENAntibiotic knowledge, attitudes, and practices: new insights from cross-sectional rural health behaviour surveys in low- and middle-income South-East AsiaMarco Haenssgen, Nutcha Charoenboon, Giacomo Zanello, and 1 more authorBMJ Open, 2019
Introduction: Low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) are crucial in the global response to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), but diverse health systems, healthcare practices and cultural conceptions of medicine can complicate global education and awareness-raising campaigns. Social research can help understand LMIC contexts but remains under-represented in AMR research. Objective: To (1) Describe antibiotic-related knowledge, attitudes and practices of the general population in two LMICs. (2) Assess the role of antibiotic-related knowledge and attitudes on antibiotic access from different types of healthcare providers. Design: Observational study: cross-sectional rural health behaviour survey, representative of the population level. Setting: General rural population in Chiang Rai (Thailand) and Salavan (Lao PDR), surveyed between November 2017 and May 2018. Participants: 2141 adult members (≥18 bibtex_show=true, years) of the general rural population, representing 712 000 villagers. Outcome measures: Antibiotic-related knowledge, attitudes and practices across sites and healthcare access channels. Findings: Villagers were aware of antibiotics (Chiang Rai: 95.7percent; Salavan: 86.4percent; p<0.001) and drug resistance (Chiang Rai: 74.8percent; Salavan: 62.5percent; p<0.001), but the usage of technical concepts for antibiotics was dwarfed by local expressions like ‘anti-inflammatory medicine’ in Chiang Rai (87.6percent; 95percent CI 84.9percent to 90.0percent) and ‘ampi’ in Salavan (75.6percent; 95percent CI 71.4percent to 79.4percent). Multivariate linear regression suggested that attitudes against over-the-counter antibiotics were linked to 0.12 additional antibiotic use episodes from public healthcare providers in Chiang Rai (95percent CI 0.01 to 0.23) and 0.53 in Salavan (95percent CI 0.16 to 0.90). Conclusions: Locally specific conceptions and counterintuitive practices around antimicrobials can complicate AMR communication efforts and entail unforeseen consequences. Overcoming ‘knowledge deficits’ alone will therefore be insufficient for global AMR behaviour change. We call for an expansion of behavioural AMR strategies towards ‘AMR-sensitive interventions’ that address context-specific upstream drivers of antimicrobial use (eg, unemployment insurance) and complement education and awareness campaigns.
- Food production and consumption in Bamyan Province, Afghanistan: The challenges of sustainability and seasonality for dietary diversityNigel Poole, Habibullah Amiri, Shahabuddin Amiri, and 2 more authorsInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 2019
In Asia, high levels of malnutrition threaten the health and livelihoods of millions of households. This paper concentrates on linkages between agriculture and nutrition in Afghanistan where food and nutrition insecurity are increasing and agricultural sustainability is increasingly compromised by climate change. We explore seasonal patterns of food production and consumption in the remote and robust ecological environment of Shah Foladi, Bamyan Province. Analysis of qualitative data from household interviews in eight villages has provided a wealth of insights into the seasonality of diets. Even within a broadly homogeneous environment, households were found to be markedly heterogeneous in respect of their assets, production, market, finance and employment strategies. The so-called ‘lean season’ was found to vary accordingly. Nevertheless, a general lack of dietary diversity during much of the bibtex_show=true, year is likely to cause micronutrient malnutrition, especially for the vulnerable groups of children, adolescent girls and women. Potential interventions are proposed which need to account for the local context in order to overcome the natural and political constraints. These strategies include agricultural innovation and multi-sectoral policy approaches. In the end, reducing national insecurity is a pre-requisite for sustainable improvement in nutrition-sensitive agricultural development.
- FOOD POLICYGiacomo Zanello, Bhavani Shankar, and Nigel PooleFood Policy, 2019
Increasing on-farm production diversity and improving markets are recognized as ways to improve the dietary diversity of smallholders. Using instrumental variable methods to account for endogeneity, we study the interplay of production diversity, markets and diets in the context of seasonality in Afghanistan. We confirm an important seasonal dimension to the interplay. Improved crop diversity over the bibtex_show=true, year is positively associated with dietary diversity in the regular season, but not in the lean season. Livestock species diversity remains important for dietary diversity throughout the bibtex_show=true, year, but particularly so in the lean season when the influence of cropping diversity is low. Market aspects become important for dietary diversity specifically in the lean season.
- BMJ GLO
HEALTHAntibiotics and activity spaces: Protocol of an exploratory study of behaviour, marginalisation and knowledge diffusionMarco J Haenssgen, Nutcha Charoenboon, Giacomo Zanello, and 37 more authorsBMJ Global Health, 2018
Background Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health priority. Leading UK and global strategy papers to fight AMR recognise its social and behavioural dimensions, but current policy responses to improve the popular use of antimicrobials (eg, antibiotics) are limited to education and awareness-raising campaigns. In response to conceptual, methodological and empirical weaknesses of this approach, we study people’s antibiotic-related health behaviour through three research questions.RQ1: What are the manifestations and determinants of problematic antibiotic use in patients’ healthcare-seeking pathways?RQ2: Will people’s exposure to antibiotic awareness activities entail changed behaviours that diffuse or dissipate within a network of competing healthcare practices?RQ3: Which proxy indicators facilitate the detection of problematic antibiotic behaviours across and within communities?Methods We apply an interdisciplinary analytical framework that draws on the public health, medical anthropology, sociology and development economics literature. Our research involves social surveys of treatment-seeking behaviour among rural dwellers in northern Thailand (Chiang Rai) and southern Lao PDR (Salavan). We sample approximately 4800 adults to produce district-level representative and social network data. Additional 60 cognitive interviews facilitate survey instrument development and data interpretation. Our survey data analysis techniques include event sequence analysis (RQ1), multilevel regression (RQ1–3), social network analysis (RQ2) and latent class analysis (RQ3).Discussion Social research in AMR is nascent, but our unprecedentedly detailed data on microlevel treatment-seeking behaviour can contribute an understanding of behaviour beyond awareness and free choice, highlighting, for example, decision-making constraints, problems of marginalisation and lacking access to healthcare and competing ideas about desirable behaviour.Trial registration number NCT03241316; Pre-results.
- DEV ENGPhysical activity, energy expenditures, and time use in agriculture and rural livelihood: Protocols and preliminary findings from a pilot study in northern GhanaGiacomo Zanello, Chittur S. Srinivasan, and Paul NkegbeDevelopment Engineering, 2017
In this study we report on the protocols adopted and the findings from a pilot study in northern Ghana involving 40 respondents wearing accelerometry devices for a week. We show how integrating energy expenditure data from wearable accelerometry devices with data on activity and time-use can provide a window into agricultural and rural livelihoods in developing country contexts that has not been previously available for empirical research. Our findings confirm some of the stylised facts of agricultural and rural livelihoods, but the study also provides several new insights that come from the triangulation of energy expenditure, time use, and activity data. We report findings and explore the potential applications of using accelerometry devices for a better understanding of agriculture-nutrition linkages in developing countries.
FORECAST SOCXiaolan Fu, Pierre Mohnen, and Giacomo ZanelloTechnological Forecasting and Social Change, 2017
Despite the high profile of the issue in current policy formulations in low-income countries (LICs), there is little large firm level survey based empirical evidence on innovativeness and firm performance, especially in informal establishments. This paper aims to fill this gap in the literature using a revised Crépon-Duguet-Mairesse (CDM) structural model to analyse data from a unique innovation survey of 501 manufacturing firms in Ghana. We find that innovation positively impacts the labour productivity of firms, technological innovations more than managerial innovations. Formal firms do not tend to be more productive than informal firms, but the role of innovation on productivity tends to be greater for formal firms.
- PLOS ONEGiacomo Zanello, Chittur S. Srinivasan, and Bhavani ShankarPLoS ONE, 2016
In many developing countries, high levels of child undernutrition persist alongside rapid economic growth. There is considerable interest in the study of countries that have made rapid progress in child nutrition to uncover the driving forces behind these improvements. Cambodia is often cited as a success case having reduced the incidence of child stunting from 51 to 34percent over the period 2000 to 2014. To what extent is this success driven by improvements in the underlying determinants of nutrition, such as wealth and education, (“covariate effects”) and to what extent by changes in the strengths of association between these determinants and nutrition outcomes (“coefficient effects”)? Using determinants derived from the widely-applied UNICEF framework for the analysis of child nutrition and data from four Demographic and Health Surveys datasets, we apply quantile regression based decomposition methods to quantify the covariate and coefficient effect contributions to this improvement in child nutrition. The method used in the study allows the covariate and coefficient effects to vary across the entire distribution of child nutrition outcomes. There are important differences in the drivers of improvements in child nutrition between severely stunted and moderately stunted children and between rural and urban areas. The translation of improvements in household endowments, characteristics and practices into improvements in child nutrition (the coefficient effects) may be influenced by macroeconomic shocks or other events such as natural calamities or civil disturbance and may vary substantially over different time periods. Our analysis also highlights the need to explicitly examine the contribution of targeted child health and nutrition interventions to improvements in child nutrition in developing countries.
- PLOS ONEReducing anemia prevalence in Afghanistan: socioeconomic correlates and the particular role of agricultural assetsArtemisa Flores-Martinez, Giacomo Zanello, Bhavani Shankar, and 1 more authorPLoS ONE, 2016
This research aims to examine the socio-economic correlates of anemia in women, and potential sources of iron in household diets in Afghanistan. It also examines whether ownership of agricultural (particularly livestock) assets and their use in food production has a role in alleviating anaemia, especially where local markets may be inadequate. We analyse data from the 2010/11 Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, estimating a logistic regression to examine how anemia status of women is associated with socio-economic covariates. A key result found is that sheep ownership has a protective effect in reducing anemia (prevalence odds ratio of sheep ownership on anemia of 0.83, 95percent confidence interval (CI): 0.73–0.94) after controlling for wealth and other covariates. This association is found to be robust to alternative model specifications. Given the central role of red meat in heme iron provision and absorption of non-heme iron, we hypothesise that sheep ownership promotes mutton consumption from own-production in a setting where market-sourced provision of nutritious food is a challenge. We then use the 2011/12 National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment household data to understand the Afghan diet from the perspective of dietary iron provision, and to understand interactions between own-production, market sourcing and mutton consumption. Sheep ownership is found to increase the likelihood that a household consumed mutton (odds ratio of 1.27, 95percent CI: 1.15–1.42), the number of days in the week that mutton was consumed (prevalence rate ratio of 1.24. 95percent CI: 1.12–1.37) and the quantity of mutton consumed (7 grams/person/week). In the subsample of mutton consumers, households sourcing mutton mostly from own production consumed mutton 1.5 days more frequently on average than households relying on market purchase, resulting in 100 grams per person per week higher mutton intake. Thus this analysis lends support to the notion that the linkage between sheep ownership and anemia risk is at least partly due to consumption arising from own-production in the presence of market incompleteness.
- J ECON SURVGiacomo Zanello, Xiaolan Fu, Pierre Mohnen, and 1 more authorJournal of Economic Surveys, 2016
In this study, we review the literature on the creation and diffusion of innovation in the private sectors (industry and services) in developing countries. In particular, we collect evidence on what are the barriers to innovation creation and diffusion and the channels of innovation diffusion to and within developing countries. We find that innovation in developing countries is about creation or adoption of new ideas and technologies; but the capacity for innovation is embedded in and constituted by dynamics between geographical, socio-economic, political and legal subsystems. We contextualize the findings from the review in the current theoretical framework of diffusion of innovations, and we emphasize how the institutional context typical of developing countries impacts the diffusion itself.
- J DEV STUDTransaction costs, information technologies, and the choice of marketplace among farmers in Northern GhanaGiacomo Zanello, Chittur S. Srinivasan, and Bhavani ShankarJournal of Development Studies, 2014
Using a transactions costs framework, we examine the impact of information and communication technologies (mobile phones and radios) use on market participation in developing country agricultural markets using a novel transaction-level data set of Ghanaian farmers. Our analysis of the choice of markets by farmers suggests that market information from a broader range of markets may not always induce farmers to sell in more distant markets; instead farmers may use broader market information to enhance their bargaining power in closer markets. Finally, we find weak evidence on the impact of using mobile phones in attracting farm gate buyers.
- EUR J DEV RESGiacomo Zanello, and Chittur S. SrinivasanEuropean Journal of Development Research, 2014
The spread and rapid uptake of mobile telephony in Sub-Saharan Africa has highlighted the potential role of Information Communication Technologies in improving market participation and welfare outcomes for farm producers in agricultural produce markets. This article explores the influence of different sources of information and transmission technologies on the quantum and reliability of market information flowing to farm producers, based on a survey of farm households in northern Ghana. Our results suggest that the principal role of radio broadcasts and mobile telephony is in providing a broader knowledge of markets by enhancing the quantum of market information flowing to farm producers. They do not, however, appear to have a significant impact on the quality/reliability of price information obtained by farmers for making marketing decisions. Information sources appear to be the chief determinant of the reliability of price information, with price information obtained from extension agents being the most credible. Our results provide some useful insights for the design and implementation of Market Information Systems aimed at encouraging market participation by rural farm producers in agricultural markets.
- PUBLIC HEALTH
NUTRSociodemographic determinants of diet quality of the EU elderly: A comparative analysis in four countriesXavier Irz, Laura Fratiglioni, Natalia Kuosmanen, and 7 more authorsPublic Health Nutrition, 2013
Objective: To investigate the sociodemographic determinants of diet quality of the elderly in four EU countries. Design: Cross-sectional study. For each country, a regression was performed of a multidimensional index of dietary quality v. sociodemographic variables. Setting: In Finland, Finnish Household Budget Survey (1998 and 2006); in Sweden, SNAC-K (2001–2004); in the UK, Expenditure & Food Survey (2006–07); in Italy, Multi-purpose Survey of Daily Life (2009). Subjects: One- and two-person households of over-50s (Finland, n 2994; UK, n 4749); over-50 s living alone or in two-person households (Italy, n 7564); over-60 s (Sweden, n 2023). Results: Diet quality among the EU elderly is both low on average and heterogeneous across individuals. The regression models explained a small but significant part of the observed heterogeneity in diet quality. Resource availability was associated with diet quality either negatively (Finland and UK) or in a non-linear or non-statistically significant manner (Italy and Sweden), as was the preference for food parameter. Education, not living alone and female gender were characteristics positively associated with diet quality with consistency across the four countries, unlike socio-professional status, age and seasonality. Regional differences within countries persisted even after controlling for the other sociodemographic variables. Conclusions: Poor dietary choices among the EU elderly were not caused by insufficient resources and informational measures could be successful in promoting healthy eating for healthy ageing. On the other hand, food habits appeared largely set in the latter part of life, with age and retirement having little influence on the healthiness of dietary choices.
- BMC PUBLIC
HEALTHChittur S. Srinivasan, Giacomo Zanello, and Bhavani ShankarBMC Public Health, 2013
The persistence of rural-urban disparities in child nutrition outcomes in developing countries alongside rapid urbanisation and increasing incidence of child malnutrition in urban areas raises an important health policy question - whether fundamentally different nutrition policies and interventions are required in rural and urban areas. Addressing this question requires an enhanced understanding of the main drivers of rural-urban disparities in child nutrition outcomes especially for the vulnerable segments of the population. This study applies recently developed statistical methods to quantify the contribution of different socio-economic determinants to rural-urban differences in child nutrition outcomes in two South Asian countries – Bangladesh and Nepal. Methods: Using DHS data sets for Bangladesh and Nepal, we apply quantile regression-based counterfactual decomposition methods to quantify the contribution of (1) the differences in levels of socio-economic determinants (covariate effects) and (2) the differences in the strength of association between socio-economic determinants and child nutrition outcomes (co-efficient effects) to the observed rural-urban disparities in child HAZ scores. The methodology employed in the study allows the covariate and coefficient effects to vary across entire distribution of child nutrition outcomes. This is particularly useful in providing specific insights into factors influencing rural-urban disparities at the lower tails of child HAZ score distributions. It also helps assess the importance of individual determinants and how they vary across the distribution of HAZ scores. Results: There are no fundamental differences in the characteristics that determine child nutrition outcomes in urban and rural areas. Differences in the levels of a limited number of socio-economic characteristics – maternal education, spouse’s education and the wealth index (incorporating household asset ownership and access to drinking water and sanitation) contribute a major share of rural-urban disparities in the lowest quantiles of child nutrition outcomes. Differences in the strength of association between socio-economic characteristics and child nutrition outcomes account for less than a quarter of rural-urban disparities at the lower end of the HAZ score distribution. Conclusions: Public health interventions aimed at overcoming rural-urban disparities in child nutrition outcomes need to focus principally on bridging gaps in socio-economic endowments of rural and urban households and improving the quality of rural infrastructure. Improving child nutrition outcomes in developing countries does not call for fundamentally different approaches to public health interventions in rural and urban areas.
- J AGR ECONMobile phones and radios: Effects on transactions costs and market participation for households in northern GhanaGiacomo ZanelloJournal of Agricultural Economics, 2012
The literature on agricultural markets suggests that transactions costs are the main obstacles preventing households from participating in agricultural markets. We examine the impact of the recent massive penetration of information communication technologies (ICTs), particularly mobile phones and radios, in developing countries to investigate the role of information in economic transactions and participation in food crop markets. To fully capture market participation behaviours, the current theoretical framework on market participation and transactions costs is extended to include those households that sell and buy in the same time period. We correct for endogeneity and selectivity throughout our models. We used a novel dataset of 393 households in northern Ghana with detailed information on market transactions and ICTs usage. Results show that receiving market information via mobile phones has a positive and significant impact on market participation, with a greater impact for households with a surplus of food crops. We find that radios have a larger impact on the quantity traded. This may reflect the nature of mobile phones in reducing searching costs, whereas radios provide an updated and regular flow of information which affects the pattern of crops consumed and sold. We also emphasise that the most significant factor is how ICTs are used, rather than their ownership.
- PUBLIC MANAG
REVGiacomo Zanello, and Paul MaassenPublic Management Review, 2011
We investigated the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT, namely mobile phones) in support of citizen agency and its potential in calling authorities to account. We focused on Eastern Africa and we used a mixed methodology, which allowed us to explore the current uses of ICT to strengthen accountability and to forecast the growth of mobile phones’ adaption in that region. Evidence from both analyses suggests that there are two main areas where citizen agency and ICT can reinforce each other in bottom–up and horizontal processes: participation and engagement of citizens, and the diffusion of information.