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We study whether community based interventions improve risk sharing in rural Malawi. We focus on improvements in risk sharing arising as a result of design features of these interventions. We use a 2 year panel dataset collected within a cluster randomised trial to investigate whether two community based interventions - a participatory women’s group intervention and a home-based infant feeding intervention - targeted at improving reproductive and infant health, improve risk sharing amongst households following crop losses. We find strong evidence that such interventions help protect household consumption against a crop loss. Investigation of underlying channels rules out direct health effects and income smoothing, and suggests that increased social interactions due to the interventions may be the main driver.


Suggested Citation
Fitzsimons, E., Malde, B., & Vera-Hernández. (2011). Do community-based interventions improve risk sharing? Evidence from Malawi. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs.