Got Milk? The Impact of Heifer International's Livestock Donation Programs in Rwanda on Nutritional Outcomes
Abstract, Food Policy, 2014
International animal donation programs have become an increasingly popular way for people living in developed countries to transfer resources to families living in developing countries. We evaluate the impact of Heifer International’s dairy cow and meat goat donation programs in Rwanda. We find that the program substantially increases dairy and meat consumption among Rwandan households who were given a dairy cow or a meat goat, respectively. We also find marginally statistically significant increases in weight-for-height z-scores and weight-for-age z-scores of about 0.4 standard deviations among children aged 0-5 years in households that were recipients of meat goats, and increases in height-for-age z-scores of about 0.5 standard deviations among children in households that received dairy cows. Our results suggest that increasing livestock ownership in developing countries may significantly increase consumption of nutrient dense animal-source foods and improve nutrition outcomes.
Keywords: Charitable donations, Child nutrition, Dairy cow, Food consumption, Meat goat