Baseline report: understanding the links and interactions between low sanitation and health insurance in India

Orazio Attanasio, Britta Augsburg, Felipe Brugues, Bet Caeyers, Bansi Malde, Borja Perez-Viana

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This document reports on the baseline data collection for the project titled “Understanding the Links and Interactions between Low Sanitation and Health Insurance in India”, funded through the Strategic Impact Evaluation Fund (SIEF). The overall purpose of this project is to shed light on (i) innovative ways of increasing the uptake and usage of safe sanitation practices and (ii) provide evidence on the links and interactions between improved sanitation and health insurance. It does so by studying two distinct but topically-linked projects: The smaller of these two projects is designed to explore the potential of providing primary community health insurance for free to communities that reduced open defecation conditional on sustaining this tendency. This component of the project is still in the development phase and will hence not be covered in this report. The second project, which includes a full randomised controlled trial impact evaluation, analyses two variants of an intervention, which in achieving sustainable improvements in household and community sanitation, aims to improve the health and reduce health expenditures of the poor in rural India - potentially reflected in lower health care claims volumes.

This report discusses the activities and findings of the baseline data collection for this RCT component. The two overarching aims are (1) to provide an interesting snapshot of our study population, serving as a useful tool to understand the context in which the intervention is taking place, and (2) to formally test whether we see any systematic differences between the treatment and control group prior to the intervention starting. We see this document as an important reference for processes followed, decisions made and their rationale, and related outcomes for everything relevant to the Impact Evaluation (IE) design and hope that it will serve as a useful guide for anyone interested in using the project's data or understanding the analysis we will undertake going forward.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherLondon: The Institute for Fiscal Studies
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2015

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