Luisa Gabriela Madrigal Marroquin

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Washington U.

Grant number

Gr. 10324

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Madrigal Marroquin, Luisa (Washington U., St. Louis) "Growing children to grow the economy: Corporate philanthropy and the prevention of childhood stunting in Guatemala"

LUISA MADRIGAL MARROQUIN, then a graduate student at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded funding in April 2022 to aid “Growing Children to Grow the Economy: Corporate Philanthropy and the Prevention of Childhood Stunting in Guatemala,” supervised by Dr. Rebecca Lester. Guatemala has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in Latin America. Stunted growth, the visible consequence of chronic malnutrition, is associated with poor health, truncated physical and cognitive development, and poor economic outcomes. Childhood stunting is cited by public and private actors as a main reason for the country’s lack of economic development. Corporate actors have adopted this perspective as well and have taken up childhood stunting as a cause for action. As a result, the country’s largest corporations channel funds through their philanthropies to support behavioral change interventions intended to promote human and economic growth and development. In doing so, corporate actors define childhood stunting as both a biological and social problem that can be solved through knowledge acquisition, and they set themselves as guiding leaders in its prevention. This rationality touches ground in the form of behavioral change interventions that target mothers who interact with new (or reframed) knowledges about chronic malnutrition, growth, development, health, hygiene, and female empowerment. In following some of these behavioral change interventions from inception to implementation, my dissertation investigates how proposed individualized solutions to the structural dimensions of childhood stunting in Guatemala serve to bolster corporate reputations and their influence in mothers’ behaviors.