Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Household behavior and vulnerability to acute malnutrition in Kenya


Bhavnani, Ravi; Schlager, Nina; Donnay, Karsten; Reul, Mirko; Schenker, Laura; Stauffer, Maxime; Patel, Tirtha (2023). Household behavior and vulnerability to acute malnutrition in Kenya. Humanities & Social Sciences Communications, 10(1):63.

Abstract

Anticipating those most at-risk of being acutely malnourished significantly shapes decisions that pertain to resource allocation and intervention in times of food crises. Yet, the assumption that household behavior in times of crisis is homogeneous—that households share the same capacity to adapt to external shocks—ostensibly prevails. This assumption fails to explain why, in a given geographical context, some households remain more vulnerable to acute malnutrition relative to others, and why a given risk factor may have a differential effect across households? In an effort to explore how variation in household behavior influences vulnerability to malnutrition, we use a unique household dataset that spans 23 Kenyan counties from 2016 to 2020 to seed, calibrate, and validate an evidence-driven computational model. We use the model to conduct a series of counterfactual experiments on the relationship between household adaptive capacity and vulnerability to acute malnutrition. Our findings suggest that households are differently impacted by given risk factors, with the most vulnerable households typically being the least adaptive. These findings further underscore the salience of household adaptive capacity, in particular, that adaption is less effective for economic vis-à-vis climate shocks. By making explicit the link between patterns of household behavior and vulnerability in the short- to medium-term, we underscore the need for famine early warning to better account for variation in household-level behavior.

Abstract

Anticipating those most at-risk of being acutely malnourished significantly shapes decisions that pertain to resource allocation and intervention in times of food crises. Yet, the assumption that household behavior in times of crisis is homogeneous—that households share the same capacity to adapt to external shocks—ostensibly prevails. This assumption fails to explain why, in a given geographical context, some households remain more vulnerable to acute malnutrition relative to others, and why a given risk factor may have a differential effect across households? In an effort to explore how variation in household behavior influences vulnerability to malnutrition, we use a unique household dataset that spans 23 Kenyan counties from 2016 to 2020 to seed, calibrate, and validate an evidence-driven computational model. We use the model to conduct a series of counterfactual experiments on the relationship between household adaptive capacity and vulnerability to acute malnutrition. Our findings suggest that households are differently impacted by given risk factors, with the most vulnerable households typically being the least adaptive. These findings further underscore the salience of household adaptive capacity, in particular, that adaption is less effective for economic vis-à-vis climate shocks. By making explicit the link between patterns of household behavior and vulnerability in the short- to medium-term, we underscore the need for famine early warning to better account for variation in household-level behavior.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
3 citations in Web of Science®
3 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

6 downloads since deposited on 22 Mar 2023
5 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
08 Research Priority Programs > Digital Society Initiative
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Business, Management and Accounting
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Arts and Humanities
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Social Sciences
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Social Sciences & Humanities > General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Economics, Econometrics and Finance, General Psychology, General Social Sciences, General Arts and Humanities, General Business, Management and Accounting
Language:English
Date:17 February 2023
Deposited On:22 Mar 2023 10:22
Last Modified:30 Mar 2024 02:35
Publisher:SpringerOpen
ISSN:2662-9992
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-023-01547-8
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)