Encasing water sources in concrete is an effective way of improving water quality and reducing the burden of diarrhea.

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Despite rapid and sustained growth of Kenyan agriculture exports to Europe, small farmers have largely failed to cash in on this opportunity. Researchers evaluated whether a package of services, designed to help link smallholder farmers to commercial banks, retail farm suppliers, transportation services, and exporters, could help small farmers in Kenya adopt, finance, and market export crops, and thus make more income.

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Many entrepreneurs in developing countries lack access to even the most basic of financial services. Researchers offered market vendors and bicycle taxi drivers in rural Kenya increased access to formal savings accounts: there was no opening fee, though the account offered no interest and users still had to pay substantial withdrawal fees.

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Heavily subsidizing essential health products like insecticide-treated bed nets has the potential to substantially decrease child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, but there is widespread concern that poor governance and limited accountability among health workers undermines the effectiveness of subsidy programs . Researchers measured the impact of several financial and monitoring incentives on the quality of bed net delivery to pregnant women in Ghana .

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Providing better information to farmers about local agricultural conditions could enable them to make more informed and locally appropriate agricultural decisions, with potentially positive consequences for their income, food production, and the environment. This study in Western Kenya will test for failures in the market for local agricultural information and measure the impact of disseminating local information on farmers’ decisions to invest in agricultural inputs.

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In many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the transition from primary school to high school is costly for students and their parents even when tuition costs are low. In Kenya, researchers partnered with a telecom operator to evaluate the impact of a commitment savings account, called the “High Hopes” Lock-Savings Account, on account usage, savings and loans, and school enrollment.

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It is often argued that free or highly subsidized distribution of preventative health technologies, such as vaccines, insecticide-treated materials, vitamin supplementation, or point-of-use chlorination of drinking water, may generate an “entitlement” effect, whereby beneficiaries anchor around the subsidized price and refuse to pay for the product once the subsidies are lifted. This evaluation tested whether being exposed to a large or full subsidy dampens or enhances willingness to pay for

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Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by a fungus that grows on certain crops, such as maize and groundnuts. Consumption of high levels of aflatoxin can be fatal, and chronic exposure has been linked to liver cancer, suppressed immune response, and child stunting.

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Farmers in western Kenya have limited knowledge of farm inputs suitable for the agro-ecological conditions they face, and use of agricultural inputs in the region is low. This study in western Kenya evaluates how farmer experimentation and learning about different inputs impacts farmers’ subsequent use of high-quality inputs and the productivity of their farms.

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Child stunting has been associated with exposure to aflatoxin, a toxin produced by a fungus that affects crops such as maize, groundnuts, and sorghum. However, the causal relationship between aflatoxin exposure and height-for-age child growth has not been demonstrated.

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Farmers may vary in their suitability as experimenters with new agricultural technologies. For example, farmers likely differ in their beliefs regarding the possible returns of the technology, in their willingness to take risks with an unknown product or process, and in their social skills and willingness to share information with others.

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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are thought to be an important source of innovation and employment in developing countries due to their flexibility in responding to new market opportunities and their potential for growth. However, businesses in developing countries face a number of constraints that may limit their growth and the sector’s contribution to poverty alleviation and long-term economic growth.

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As of 2005, Kenya had one of the largest HIV-infected populations in the world—approximately 7 percent of Kenyans were infected. To test the impact of information on teenagers’ sexual decisions, a “Relative Risk Information Campaign” was conducted in 71 schools to give students information about the distribution of HIV infection rates by age and gender groups and discuss the role of cross-generational sex in the spread of HIV.

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Youth unemployment is a major challenge in many low-income countries, and evidence suggests young women in urban areas are disproportionately affected. This study in Kenya evaluates the Girls Empowered by Microfranchising program, which connects unemployed participants with local business franchisors and provides mentoring and startup capital for participants to launch businesses.

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