Effect of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on Malnutrition of Infants in Rajasthan, India: A mixed methids study

Effect of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) on Malnutrition of Infants in Rajasthan, India: A mixed methids study

This paper analyses the effect of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), a wage-for-employment policy of the Indian Government, on infant malnutrition and delineate the pathways through which MGNREGA affects infant malnutrition. The hypothesis is that MGNREGA could reduce infant malnutrition through positive effects on household food security and infant feeding.

The authors conclude that participation in MGNREGA was associated with reduced infant malnutrition possibly mediated indirectly via improved birth-weight rather than by improved infant feeding. Addressing factors such as lack of mothers’ knowledge and inappropriate feeding practices, over and above the social and economic policies, is key in efforts to reduce infant malnutrition.