Chair of Development Economics / Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS)
Welcome to our website! We are the development economics research group at the Centre for Modern Indian studies under the lead of Prof. Dr. Sebastian Vollmer. We study the linkages between health, education and poverty in low- and middle-income countries, in diverse collaborations with local governments, non-government organizations and other academic institutions. Furthermore, we support research projects as external evaluators and provide decision makers with policy advice based on our research. Our team’s background comprises a diverse range of key competencies and research foci. Find out more about our team, research or teaching.
Medium-run impacts of iron-fortified school lunch on anemia, cognition, and learning outcomes in India
In a follow-up study to a trial previously published in the Review of Economics and Statistics, Liza von Grafenstein, Abhijeet Kumar, Santosh Kumar and Sebastian Vollmer examined the medium-run-effects of iron fortification in school lunch programmes on health and cognitive performance of children in India. The study shows that longer treatment duration (four years) resulted in higher haemoglobin levels and lower likelihood of anemia than shorter treatment duration (one and a half years). There were no significant differences for education or cognition outcomes. The study highlights the potential of fortified foods in school feeding programmes for increasing health outcomes of students and the importance of early treatment initiation. It appeared in the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.
Smartphone-based point-of-care anemia screening in rural Bihar in India
Lisa Bogler, Ann-Charline Weber, Abhijeet Kumar, Sebastian Vollmer and colleagues evaluate the performance of the Sanguina Smartphone App, a non-invasive tool for estimating haemoglobin levels in rural Bihar, India. The app's accuracy was assessed by comparing it to laboratory blood analysis in a sample of 272 patients in a clinic, as well as to the HemoCue Hb 301, a point-of-care device, in a group of 179 preschool children. Initially, the app did not meet the accuracy standards for diagnosis or screening purposes. However, after retraining the app's algorithm using the collected data, an improved version yielded promising results. The app has the potential to be a useful and affordable screening tool for anemia in resource-limited settings. The study was published in Communications Medicine.