Impact of Credit with Education on Mother's and Their Young Children's Nutrition: CRECER Credit with Education Program in Bolivia
This research paper evaluates the design and impacts of the Credit with Education Programme (CRECER - Credito con Educacion Rural) in Bolivia. The paper tests whether the program impact was positive on:
- Economic capacity and empowerment of the mother;
- Adoption of nutrition practices;
- Nutritional status of the children.
The researchers chose three sample groups out of 15,500 beneficiary women - participants (at least a year old), non participants and controls. They conducted a before and after study. The used the baseline in 1994/1995 and the follow-up in 1997 for the survey and anthropometric data collection.
Some of the main findings of this paper are:
- Economic capacity of women:
- 67% felt an increased income,
- Used diversified loan-use strategies to cope,
- Increased savings,
- More money spent on medicines, clothes and food.
- Health nutrition knowledge and practice among women:
- More attention to infant care- nutrition, vaccination etc.,
- Increased consumption of nutrients.
- Empowerment of women:
- Increased in household matters,
- Discussed family planning with spouses,
- Acted as community resource persons and became more vocal.
The authors list the ultimate impact as:
- There was an increase in the ability of households to deal with food stress;
- Only 0.5 percent of women surveyed showed malnutrition;
- The effect on participants children was minimal. This was because health programs were long term, enterprises were not women-owned and variable quality of aid was provided.
The authors conclude that credit and education services can be delivered together with more impact.