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Jacobus De Hoop

Humanitarian Policy Specialist (Research)

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Jacob joined UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti as a social policy specialist in 2015. His research focuses on the effects of public policy in developing countries on child labor, education, youth employment, and family wellbeing and functioning. Before joining UNICEF, Jacob worked as a research economist at the International Labour Organization (ILO). As part of this position, he studied the effects of a variety of programs that aim to support poor and vulnerable households and to increase their economic capacity. Prior to this, Jacob was affiliated with the Paris School of Economics as a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow and worked for the World Bank on the evaluation of a cash transfer program in Malawi. Jacob holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Tinbergen Institute.
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Rigorous research in humanitarian settings is possible when researchers and programmers work together, particularly in the early stages when responses to humanitarian challenges are designed. Six new rigorous research studies from five countries: Ecuador, Mali, Niger, Lebanon and Yemen illustrate this point.

This paper documents the impact of a cash transfer programme – an initiative of the Government of Lebanon, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP), widely known as the No Lost Generation Programme (NLG) and, locally, as Min Ila (‘from to’) – on the school participation of displaced Syrian children in Lebanon. The programme provides cash to children who are enrolled in the afternoon shift of a public primary school. It was designed to cover the cost of commuting to school and to compensate households for income forgone if children attend school instead of working, two critical barriers to child school participation. We rely on a geographical regression discontinuity design comparing children living in two pilot governorates with children in two neighbouring governorates to identify the impact of the programme halfway in the first year of operation (the 2016/17 school year). We find limited programme effects on school enrolment, but substantive impacts on school attendance among enrolled children, which increased by 0.5 days to 0.7 days per week, an improvement of about 20 per cent over the control group. School enrolment among Syrian children rose rapidly across all of Lebanon’s governorates during the period of the evaluation, resulting in supply side capacity constraints that appear to have dampened positive impacts on enrolment.


Jacobus De Hoop; Mitchell Morey; David Seidenfeld



No Lost Generation: Cash transfers for displaced Syrian children in Lebanon (05 Jun 2018)

Imagine you work for UNICEF in Lebanon. Your team has the challenging task of ensuring that half a million displaced Syrian children who fle ...


Humanitarian research

Building knowledge and evidence on how best to meet children’s needs in emergencies is a pressing challenge. Year-on-year more children are caught u ...

Social protection - cash transfers

A multi-country research initiative to provide rigorous evidence on the impact of large-scale national cash transfer programmes.