REFANI Pakistan Country Study
The REFANI-Pakistan study was a cluster randomised controlled trial (cRCT) of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different cash transfer programmes on child nutrition status (ISRCTN 10761532).
Pakistan is the 36th largest country in the world (in terms of area) and has a population which exceeds 191,000,000, with approximately 34% of the population younger than 14 years of age. According to UNICEF, 32% of children in Pakistan are underweight, with an estimated 35% of child deaths in Pakistan being linked to undernutrition. Persistent and pervasive, undernutrition is found in both urban and rural areas, as well as across multiple income groups. The highest prevalence of undernutrition among children is found in Sindh province, which has a global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate of 17.5% (well above the emergency threshold of 15%).
Since 2013, Action Against Hunger has been implementing the European Union funded Women and children/infants Improved Nutrition in Sindh (WINS) programme, a four year integrated food security and nutrition project aimed at improving the nutritional status of women and children in Sindh province.
Led by ENN, with the support of Action Against Hunger, the REFANI Pakistan study analysed the short and medium-term effectiveness of cash transfer programmes (CTPs) on reducing the risk of undernutrition in women and children. Specifically, the study explored how effective the CTPs were in reducing the prevalence of wasting (measured as weight-for-height) in children under 5 years of age. Secondary research questions included: how did the different cash transfer modes (cash or voucher, or amount of cash) affect nutritional status and what were the factors that determined how households used the cash transfers?
In addition to the nutritional impact study, Action Against Hunger led a cost-effectiveness analysis in Pakistan, which used qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the financial aspects of the programme, using a societal perspective. For more information, please refer to the REFANI Cost-Effectiveness Analysis brief.
For more information on the REFANI Pakistan study please refer to the REFANI Pakistan Brief.
Action Against Hunger is the world’s hunger specialist and leader in a global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good within our lifetimes. For 40 years, the humanitarian and development organization has been on the front lines, treating and preventing hunger across nearly 50 countries. It served more than 21 million people in 2018 alone.