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World Bank blog lists top social protection papers of 2019

Multiple UNICEF Innocenti studies featured in World Bank’s top picks
08 Jan 2020
Mothers and their children gather at the Kuntaur Major Health Centre in Kuntaur, The Gambia to receive their cash transfer payments. 


(8 January 2020) A World Bank blog has included eight papers by UNICEF’s Office of Research—Innocenti and the cash transfer research collaborative, the Transfer Project, among its top social protection papers of 2019. The papers cover a wide range of topics, highlighting the variety of research being undertaken in this increasingly important area.  

Health, Nutrition and Education:Tia Palermo and Elsa Valli’s study (also published in BMJ ) finds that combining cash transfers and health measures increased enrolment in Ghana’s national health insurance programme by up to 15 percentage points. (Authors: Tia Palermo, Elsa Valli, Gustavo Ángeles-Tagliaferro, Marlous de Milliano, Clement Adamba, Tayllor Renee Spadafora, and Clare Barrington)

Gender: All bar one of the papers included under the gender theme are authored by UNICEF Innocenti researchers, reflecting the office’s renewed commitment to ground-breaking research in this area.

Crises: The recent UNICEF Innocenti-led special issue Journal of Development Studies on social protection in contexts of fragility and forced displacement is included in the blog. Papers by UNICEF Innocenti researchers include:

  • Jacob de Hoop’s study on cash transfers and schooling for displaced Syrian children in Lebanon finds that cash increased school attendance by 20%. (Authors: Jacob de Hoop, Mitchell Morey, and David Seidenfeld)
  • Elsa Valli and Amber Peterman find that economic transfers, including cash transfers, improve social cohesion among Colombian refugees in Ecuador. (Authors: Elsa Valli, Amber Peterman, and Melissa Hidrobo)

Universality and targeting: UNICEF and the International Labour Organisation’s Joint Report on Social Protection for Children makes the World Bank list. The report is authored Dominic Richardson and features work by Amber Peterman and Tia Palermo. (Authors: Ian Orton, Dominic Richardson, and David Stewart)

Economic and long-term effects: Transfer Project colleagues from FAO and University of North Carolina explain the economic effects of cash transfers in seven African countries. (Authors: Silvio Daidone, Benjamin Davis, Sudhanshu Handa, and Paul Winters)

The UNICEF Innocenti works sited in the blog are the product of collaboration across teams and across organisations. Social protection is being increasingly recognised as a sustainable method of poverty reduction, both within UNICEF and in the development sector in general. As its use grows, UNICEF Innocenti will continue to carry out research on this important topic.

Read the blog and discover our research on Social Protection.