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Journal Articles

UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of international peer reviewed journals

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41 - 50 of 101
Can unconditional cash transfers raise long-term living standards? Evidence from Zambia

AUTHOR(S)
Sudhanshu Handa, Luisa Natali, David Seidenfeld, Gelson Tembo, Benjamin Davis

Published: 2018
In Africa, state-sponsored cash transfer programs now reach nearly 50 million people. Do these programs raise long-term living standards? We examine this question using experimental data from two unconditional cash transfer programs implemented by the Zambian Government. We find far-reaching effects of the programs both on food security and consumption as well as on a range of productive outcomes. After three years, household spending is on average 67 percent larger than the value of the transfer received, implying a sizeable multiplier effect, which works through increased non-farm activity and agricultural production.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 42-65
Does money buy happiness? Evidence from an unconditional cash transfer in Zambia

AUTHOR(S)
Luisa Natali, Sudhanshu Handa, Amber Peterman, David Seidenfeld, Gelson Tembo

Published: 2018
The relationship between happiness and income has been at the center of a vibrant debate, with both intrinsic and instrumental importance, as emotional states are an important determinant of health and social behavior. We investigate whether a government-run unconditional cash transfer paid directly to women in poor households had an impact on self-reported happiness. The evaluation was designed as a cluster-randomized controlled trial in rural Zambia across 90 communities. The program led to a 7.5 to 10 percentage point impact on women’s happiness after 36- and 48-months, respectively (or 0.19–0.25 standard deviations over the control group mean). In addition, women have higher overall satisfaction regarding their young children’s well-being, including indicators of satisfaction with their children’s health and positive outlook on their children’s future. Complementary analysis suggests that self-assessed relative poverty (as measured by comparison to other households in the community) is a more important mediator of program effects on happiness than absolute poverty (as measured by household consumption expenditures). Although typically not the focus of such evaluations, impacts on psychosocial indicators, including happiness, should not be discounted as important outcomes, as they capture different, non-material, holistic aspects of an individual’s overall level of well-being.
Children, HIV, emergencies and Sustainable Development Goals: roadblocks ahead and possible solutions

AUTHOR(S)
Dick Chamla, Chewe Luo, Priscilla Idele

Published: 2018
Climate change, violent conflicts, and HIV/AIDS are linked to multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through complex pathways (Figure 1) that include food insecurity, population displacements and migration, disruptions of health and HIV services, and increased incidences of sexual based violence. This interlinkage has the potential to result in high newborn and under five mortality rates and increased burden of HIV, directly affecting SDG 3.2 and 3.3 with children and adolescents being primarily affected.
An empirical exploration of female child marriage determinants in Indonesia

AUTHOR(S)
Lauren Rumble, Amber Peterman, Nadira Irdiana, Margaret Triyana, Emilie Minnick

Published: 2018
This research fills a gap in understanding of child marriage determinants in Indonesia. There appears to be little support for child marriage among girls and young women, indicating an entry point for structural interventions that would lead to lasting change. Future research efforts should prioritize rigorous testing of gender-transformative education and economic strengthening interventions, including cost-effectiveness considerations to better understand how interventions and policies can be leveraged to deliver on ending child marriage in Indonesia and globally.
‘Children Heard, Half-Heard?’: A Practitioner’s Look for Children in the Responsibility to Protect and Normative Agendas on Protection in Armed Conflict

AUTHOR(S)
Jeremy Shusterman, Michelle Godwin

Published: 2018
When the United Nations (UN) agreed on a definition of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) at the 2005 World Summit, the two paragraphs it endorsed articulated what R2P stands for, giving the concept a focused but narrow remit around protecting populations specifically from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in armed conflict. In its next paragraph, the UN Membership reiterated concerns on the impact of armed conflict on children echoing the landmark 1612 Resolution by the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) adopted a few weeks before. Though side-by-side in the text, CAAC and R2P were not linked. To this day, for international practitioners in emergency responses, the interaction between both remains unclear. While this simultaneous peak moment for R2P and CAAC may have occurred by chance, this article describes how both concepts (as advocacy tools and instruments for practitioners to ‘respond’) emerged out of similar concern for protecting civilians – including children – in conflict. However, the link between both concepts should not be overstated. While R2P and CAAC fit together for the intentions they share, this happened more coincidentally than purposefully. This article argues, taking an international practitioner’s perspective, that both concepts should not be understood as always operating at the same level. CAAC has grown from an advocacy platform to an umbrella of different programmes, responses, tools and frameworks, including the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) on Children and Armed Conflict. Even if applied with variable success, these tools and approaches under the CAAC agenda chart some ways practitioners can hope to do more towards protecting children in conflict. But for those same practitioners, delivering on a Responsibility to Protect is a different question – one where their ‘responsibility’ is at best secondary and implicit, because R2P sits squarely as a primary and explicit responsibility of states – who are also the ultimate duty bearers for children’s rights. While the echoes of a child rights agenda can be heard in the conversation around R2P, and while R2P can help frame and drive efforts by child protection practitioners to respond to some of the worst situations children face, R2P is, for the protection agency field officer, an aspirational goal, necessarily out of reach.
Examination of performance of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Short Form 10 among African youth in poor, rural households

AUTHOR(S)
Kelly Kilburn, Leah Prencipe, Lisa Hjelm, Amber Peterman, Sudhanshu Handa, Tia Palermo

Published: 2018

Background

Youth mental health has emerged as a pressing global issue. However, to advance research gaps in low-income settings, we need valid measures of common mental health disorders. Using primary data collected in five countries (Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), this study aims to assess the psychometric properties of the commonly used 10-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D 10) scale among poor, disadvantaged youth populations in sub-Saharan African (SSA).

Methods

Youth samples from each country (sample sizes ranging from 651 to 2098) come from large household surveys with youth modules, collected for impact evaluations of cash transfer programs targeted to poor families. For each sample, we assessed internal consistency (alpha), conducted factor analysis, and then examined construct validity and measurement invariance. We performed both exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to examine and confirm the structure of the CES-D 10 for each country and then used multigroup CFA to assess measurement invariance across gender and age. Multivariate analyses were conducted to assess construct validity via test of the relationship between CES-D 10 and background characteristics.

Results

Results show the CES-D 10 had strong psychometric properties and was a reliable measure of depressive symptoms among disadvantaged youth in SSA. Across countries, there was high internal consistency (Cronbach alphas = 0.70–0.76) and the traditional two-factor solution showed good model fit. Full measurement invariance of the CES-D 10 was supported across gender. Consistent with previous literature on risk factors for depressive symptoms, the CES-D 10 was associated with increasing age, and female gender and being out of school in some locations.

Conclusions

Results from this study support broad use of the CES-D 10 among poor youth populations in SSA. Between one-third and two-thirds of our samples demonstrated depressive symptoms as classified by recommended cut-offs for the CES-D 10, indicating a high burden of mental illness in disadvantaged youth populations. This tool can be used in future efforts to study prevalence and dynamics of depressive symptoms in this population, as well as effectiveness of policies and interventions to improve the mental health of youth in SSA.

The Role of Productive Activities in the Lives of Adolescents: Photovoice Evidence from Malawi

AUTHOR(S)
Susannah Zietz, Jacobus de Hoop, Sudhanshu Handa

Published: 2018
Adolescence is an important transitional period, separate from both childhood and adulthood. Critical physical and mental development occurs during adolescence, including emotional skills, physical, and mental abilities. Behaviors adopted during this lifecourse period have critical implications for adolescents' future health and well-being. The main research question of the present study is: what is the role of productive activities in the lives and development of adolescents in rural Malawi? As part of this study, selected adolescents from poor rural households were asked to take photographs of their daily (productive) activities. These photographs served as a starting point for focus group discussions. In addition to including adolescents, we conducted qualitative interviews with caregivers and teachers to triangulate and obtain a more holistic understanding of adolescent engagement in productive activities. The main themes that emerged were that 1) the work that is conducted by adolescent boys and girls inside and outside the household is not only perceived by adolescents as a product of poverty, but as a point of pride, as well as a potential means of providing for one's future, 2) there is a tension between the needs of the family and schooling, and 3) adolescent productive activities are associated with minor although not negligible hazards and injuries. We discuss that these qualitative findings help to better understand how social protection interventions, such as Malawi's Social Cash Transfer Program, may affect adolescent engagement in work and adolescent wellbeing more generally.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 246-255 | Tags: child labour, child well-being
Effects of Public Policy on Child Labor: Current Knowledge, Gaps, and Implications for Program Design

AUTHOR(S)
Ana C. Dammert, Jacobus de Hoop, Eric Mvukiyehe, Furio Camillo Rosati

Published: 2018
Household decisions about child labor are influenced by income, uncertainty, and relative returns to work and education. The complexity of the phenomenon implies that a large set of policy instruments can be used to address child labor or can affect child labor. This review of 33 impact evaluations provides a comprehensive look at pathways through which social protection (credit and microfinance, cash transfers, vouchers, food programs), and labor programs affect child labor. Despite the complexity of integrating findings across different child labor definitions, implementation contexts, and policy instruments, some patterns emerge. For example, programs that address child labor by reducing the vulnerability of the household produce the desired effect. Transfers reduced child labor in most cases. Similarly, programs that help the household cope with exposure to risk, for example, health insurance, reduce household reliance on child labor. On the other hand, policies aimed at increasing adult household members’ participation in the labor market or entrepreneurial activities, can generate demand for adolescent and child work. Of course, such programs are an important component of anti-poverty strategies, but they could be modified and integrated with additional interventions to ensure that they do not produce adverse effects on child labor. While progress has been made over the past decade, there is still much to learn about the effects of public policy on the labor participation of many children in developing countries
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 104-123 | Tags: child labour, household income
Children’s Roles in Social Reproduction: reexamining the discourse on care through a child lens

AUTHOR(S)
Elena Camilletti, Prerna Banati, Sarah Cook

Published: 2018
Care and domestic work have gained attention in the global policy discourse, particularly following feminist research and activism showing its burden for women. However, these debates and political demands have generally overlooked children’s contribution to social reproduction within and beyond the household. Empirical evidence shows that many children assume care and domestic responsibilities from an early age, with an increasingly gendered pattern as they grow. While such work can provide a learning opportunity, the time, energy and emotional labour put into it can be detrimental to their wellbeing. In this article, we review the empirical evidence on children’s care and domestic work in developing countries, and argue that understanding children’s roles in these tasks can complement the existing social reproduction scholarship, uncovering the intra-household and intergenerational distribution of care and domestic responsibilities, its determinants and effects on child wellbeing. We conclude by noting key conceptual and evidence gaps, and suggesting future research directions. 
Still a leap of faith: Microfinance for prevention of violence against women and girls in low- and middle-income settings

AUTHOR(S)
Amber Peterman, Tia Palermo, Giulia Ferrari

Published: 2018
Economic strengthening interventions, including microfinance initiatives have been proposed as promising strategies to reduce interpersonal violence in low-income and middle-income settings. Despite these recommendations, there is little rigorous empirical evidence that microfinance alone or synergistically with gender norms or equity training can reduce violence against children or intimate partner violence.
  • We call for further investments in evidence generation around economic strengthening before scaling-up potentially ineffective interventions

  • 41 - 50 of 101