Matlab, Bangladesh

Our partner in Bangladesh is icddr,b (formerly the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh) which has operated a Health and Demographic Surveillance (HDSS) site in Matlab, Bangladesh since the late 1960s making it one of the longest running such sites in the world.

The area currently covers 142 villages in seven administrative blocks in Matlab thana comprising a population of over 230,000 residents. The area provides high quality data for demographic and health research, allowing researchers to access existing data but also conduct their own research from a known sampling frame.

The study area is well-known for its quasi-experimental maternal and child health and family planning programs which operate in half of the surveillance area while the other half serves as a comparison area for understanding the impacts of interventions on fertility, mortality, and health (see Alam et al. 2017 for further details). Approximately 88% of the local population is Muslim, and the remainder are Hindu; all are ethnic Bengalis. In this fieldsite we will collaborate closely with Dr. Nurul Alam of icddr,b and members of the Matlab community.

The Evolutionary Dynamics of Religion, Family Size, and Child Success

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