Minimum Resource Threshold Policy Under Partial Interference
When developing policies for prevention of infectious diseases, policymakers often set specific, outcome-oriented targets to achieve. For example, when developing a vaccine allocation policy, policymakers may want to distribute them so that at least a certain fraction of individuals in a census block are disease-free and spillover effects due to interference within blocks are accounted for. The paper proposes methods to estimate a block-level treatment policy that achieves a pre-defined, outcome-oriented target while accounting for spillover effects due to interference. Our policy, the minimum resource threshold policy (MRTP), suggests the minimum fraction of treated units required within a block to meet or exceed the target level of the outcome. We estimate the MRTP from empirical risk minimization using a novel, nonparametric, doubly robust loss function. We then characterize statistical properties of the estimated MRTP in terms of the excess risk bound. We apply our methodology to design a water, sanitation, and hygiene allocation policy for Senegal with the goal of increasing the proportion of households with no children experiencing diarrhea to a level exceeding a specified threshold. Our policy outperforms competing policies and offers new approaches to design allocation policies, especially in international development for communicable diseases.