This project involves the collaborative research of two social scientists, one at Brown and one at Harvard University, in rural Mali, West Africa. The researchers are interested in explaining variations in women's' (and children's) health. The research design is to compare two communities of different ethnicities living in different ecological zones, who face different environmental constraints and have contrasting systems of production (one agricultural, one agro-pastoral). The researchers will examine the effects of these variables on the social networks, both kin and non-kin, that women can draw upon to gain social support and accrue resources for health. The research design will also examine the seasonality of health outcomes. Methods include focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, a sample survey of 1000 women spread across 10 villages, 5 in each ethnic group, wealth rankings of each community, a household census and specific questionnaires relating to social networks and health. Respondents will also be measured and weighed to assess their growth statusThis research is important because the health of children is crucial to their growth and development, and the health of mothers is a critical determinant of their children's health. Advances in our understanding of how ecological and seasonal variations in non-mechanized agricultural and agro-pastoral economies affect health is important for planners to design policies to safeguard and improve the existing situation.