Information Interventions to Reduce Maternal Mortality in Indonesia
Indonesia consistently records higher levels of maternal mortality than other countries in Southeast Asia with its same level of socioeconomic development. I use a quasi-experimental, difference-in-differences approach to understand whether the role of information on the risk of death in childbirth can change women’s reproductive behaviors. In the first two chapters, I use the Maternal Mortality Module from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) in Indonesia to examine fertility and reproductive behavior responses to a sister’s death in childbirth. Fertility desires remain relatively unchanged but women take up behaviors in subsequent births that avert the risk of maternal death. In the last chapter, I combine population-representative data from the DHS with a village-level census (PODES) on service availability to understand how a village-level intervention to improve obstetric service use using a birth preparedness and complications readiness (BPCR) approach may improve obstetric service use. In this study, I find that the Desa Siaga intervention in Indonesia improved knowledge of the danger signs of complications among women but not among men relative to villages that did not get the program while controlling for endogenous program placement. More women got antenatal care due to the program but use of a skilled birth attendant and postpartum care did not change as a result of the intervention. Both genders report discussing a blood donor in preparation for delivery.
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