This summer I spent time in Dhaka, Bangladesh, working on the assessment of a mixed-age, group-based, caregiving-support intervention that integrates behavioral recommendations on water, sanitation, and hygiene, maternal and child nutrition, lead exposure prevention, child stimulation, and maternal mental health.
The quantitative endline data collection and analysis consumed the majority of the summer, where we closely monitored the data being collected on our tablet apps, communicated with our field enumerators and supervisors about any issues that arose, and adapted our strategies when required (for example, when, just in time, we realized that our data collection system was not set up to assess twins!). With the help of colleagues in Dhaka, we able to present preliminary results to the full study team before I left (just 2 weeks after the endline data collection finished!). Over the next few months I will be working with the data to assess the impact of the 9-month intervention on caregiving behaviors, maternal mental health, and child development.
A qualitative assessment which assessed the feasibility and acceptability of the behavioral recommendations, training of community health promotors, and the use of tablet technology was conducted alongside the quantitative endline. The focus groups, individual interviews, and observations have provided rich information to complement and contextualize the quantitative findings, and provide guidance as the team embarks in the next phase of the study which involves working towards scalability.
My time in Bangladesh was spent with a wonderfully smart and generous study team who have taught me about research and data collection in rural Bangladesh as well as Bangladeshi culture and hospitality. I will miss them! We are all very thankful to all our study participants and field staff, without whom this project would not have been possible. I am very grateful for the support provided by CGPH, and the opportunity that I was provided to further my studies of early child development in Bangladesh!
I’ve included a few photos below, if you’d like to take a look.
Clockwise from top left
1. The area surrounding one of the villages where the study took place
2. A view of Dhaka from above
3. A group session
4. A subset of the study team
PhD Candidate in Epidemiology