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Journal Articles

UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of international peer reviewed journals

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81 - 90 of 107
Unemployment, social protection spending and child poverty in the European Union during the Great Recession

AUTHOR(S)
Yekaterina Chzhen

Published: 2016
The 2008 financial crisis triggered the first contraction of the world economy in the post-war era. This article investigates the effect of the Great Recession on child poverty across the EU-27 plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland and studies the extent to which social protection spending may have softened the negative impact of the economic crisis on children. While the risks of child poverty are substantially higher in countries with higher rates of working-age unemployment, suggesting a significant impact of the Great Recession on household incomes via the labour market, the study finds evidence for social protection spending cushioning the blow of the crisis at least to some extent. Children were significantly less likely to be poor in countries with higher levels of social protection spending in 2008–2013, even after controlling for the socio-demographic structure of the population, per capita gross domestic product (GDP) and the working-age unemployment rate. The poverty-dampening contextual effect of social spending was greater for the poverty risks of children in very low work intensity families and large families. The study uses two complementary thresholds of income poverty, both based on 60 percent of the national median: a relative poverty line and a threshold anchored in 2008. Although the choice of a poverty line makes a difference to aggregate child poverty rates, individual-level risks of a child being poor associated with a range of household-level characteristics are similar for the two poverty lines.
Gender Justice and (In)security in Pakistan and Afghanistan

AUTHOR(S)
Bina D'Costa

Published: 2016
This article argues that gender justice becomes a politicised issue in counterproductive ways in conflict zones. Despite claims of following democratic principles, cultural norms have often taken precedence over ensuring gender-sensitive security practices on the ground. The rightness of the ‘war on terror’ justified by evoking fear and enforced through colonial methods of surveillance, torture, and repression in counter-terrorism measures, reproduces colonial strategies of governance. In the current context, the postcolonial sovereign state with its colonial memories and structures of violence attempts to control women’s identities. This article analyses some of these debates within the context of Pakistan’s and Afghanistan’s security dynamics. It begins with the premise that a deliberate focus on the exclusion and limitation of women in Muslim and traditional societies sustains and reinforces the stereotypes of women as silent and silenced actors only. However, while the control of women within and beyond the nexus of patriarchal family'society'state is central to extremist ideologies and institutionalisation practices, women’s vulnerabilities and insecurities increase in times of conflict not only because of the action of religious forces, but also because of ‘progressive’, ‘secular’, ‘humanitarian’ interventions.
Impact of cash transfer programs on food security and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Smriti Tiwaria, Silvio Daidone, Maria Angelita Ruvalcaba, Ervin Prifti, Sudhanshu Handa, Benjamin Davis, Ousmane Niang, Luca Pellerano, Paul Quarles van Ufford, David Seidenfeld

Published: 2016
This paper explores the extent to which government-run cash transfer programs in four sub-Saharan countries affect food security and nutritional outcomes. These programs include Ghana's Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty, Kenya's Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Lesotho's Child Grants Program and Zambia's Child Grant model of the Social Cash Transfer program. Our cross-country analysis highlights the importance of robust program design and implementation to achieve the intended results. We find that a relatively generous and regular and predictable transfer increases the quantity and quality of food and reduces the prevalence of food insecurity. On the other hand, a smaller, lumpy and irregular transfer does not lead to impacts on food expenditures. We complement binary treatment analysis with continuous treatment analysis to understand not only the impact of being in the program but also the variability in impacts by the extent of treatment.
Social networks, social participation, and health among youth living in extreme poverty in rural Malawi

AUTHOR(S)
Amelia Rock, Clare Barrington, Sara Abdoulayi, Maxton Tsoka, Peter Mvula, Sudhanshu Handa

Published: 2016
Extensive research documents that social network characteristics affect health, but knowledge of peer networks of youth in Malawi and sub-Saharan Africa is limited. We examine the networks and social participation of youth living in extreme poverty in rural Malawi, using in-depth interviews with 32 youth and caregivers. We describe youth's peer networks and assess how gender and the context of extreme poverty influence their networks and participation, and how their networks influence health. In-school youth had larger, more interactive, and more supportive networks than out-of-school youth, and girls described less social participation and more isolation than boys. Youth exchanged social support and influence within their networks that helped cope with poverty-induced stress and sadness, and encouraged protective sexual health practices. However, poverty hampered their involvement in school, religious schools, and community organizations, directly by denying them required material means, and indirectly by reducing time and emotional resources and creating shame and stigma. Poverty alleviation policy holds promise for improving youth's social wellbeing and mental and physical health by increasing their opportunities to form networks, receive social support, and experience positive influence.
Physical, Emotional and Sexual Adolescent Abuse Victimisation in South Africa: Prevalence, incidence, perpetrators and locations

AUTHOR(S)
F. Meinck, F. Cluver, M. Boyes, Heidi Loening-Voysey

Published: 2016

Background Physical, emotional and sexual abuse of children is a major problem in South Africa, with severe negative outcomes for survivors. To date, no known studies have used data directly obtained from community-based samples of children to investigate prevalence, incidence, locations and perpetrators of child abuse victimisation. This study aims to investigate prevalence and incidence, perpetrators, and locations of child abuse victimisation in South Africa using a multicommunity sample.

Methods 3515 children aged 10–17 years (56.6% female) were interviewed from all households in randomly selected census enumeration areas in two South African provinces. Child self-report questionnaires were completed at baseline and at 1-year follow-up (96.7% retention).

Results Prevalence was 56.3% for lifetime physical abuse (18.2% past-year incidence), 35.5% for lifetime emotional abuse (12.1% incidence) and 9% for lifetime sexual abuse (5.3% incidence). 68.9% of children reported any type of lifetime victimisation and 27.1% reported lifetime multiple abuse victimisation. Main perpetrators of abuse were reported: for physical abuse, primary caregivers and teachers; for emotional abuse, primary caregivers and relatives; and for sexual abuse, girlfriend/boyfriends or other peers.

Conclusions This is the first study assessing current self-reported child abuse through a large, community-based sample in South Africa. Findings of high rates of physical, emotional and sexual abuse demonstrate the need for targeted and effective interventions to prevent incidence and re-victimisation.

Unconditional government social cash transfer in Africa does not increase fertility

AUTHOR(S)
Tia Palermo, Sudhanshu Handa, Amber Peterman, Leah Prencipe, David Seidenfeld

Published: 2016
Among policymakers, a common perception surrounding the effects of cash transfer programmes, particularly unconditional programmes targeted to families with children, is that they induce increased fertility. We evaluate the Zambian Child Grant Programme, a government unconditional cash transfer targeted to families with a child under the age of 5 and examine impacts on fertility and household composition. The evaluation was a cluster randomized control trial, with data collected over 4 years from 2010 to 2014. Our results indicate that there are no programme impacts on overall fertility. Our results contribute to a small evidence base demonstrating that there are no unintended incentives related to fertility due to cash transfers.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 1083-1111 | Tags: cash transfers, fertility
Navigating Support, Resilience, and Care: Exploring the impact of informal social networks on the rehabilitation and care of young female survivors of sexual violence in northern Uganda

AUTHOR(S)
L. Stark, D. Landis, B. Thomson, Alina Potts

Published: 2016
Sexual violence is an issue of significant concern in conflict-affected societies, with girls often among those most affected. While formal support services such as medical care, psychosocial support, and legal assistance for survivors are undeniably important, informal actors also play a key but poorly understood role in assisting survivors. This study examines the experiences of young female survivors of sexual violence in northern Uganda in order to explore the variety of roles (both positive and negative) that informal support networks played in contributing to survivors’ healing and recovery. In-depth interviews were conducted with 12 female survivors of sexual violence between the ages of 13–17 who were living in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Lira, northern Uganda. Each girl participated in a series of 4 interviews over a 1-year period. Girls participating in this study identified social stigma to be the primary source of psychosocial distress following an incident of sexual violence, as well as the most significant barrier to their recovery and reintegration. Findings also suggest that the relationship between a girl and her perpetrator had a significant impact on the type of follow-up support she received—particularly with regard to her ability to access justice. Survivor accounts also indicate that family members played a complex role in girls’ lives following an incident of abuse—in some cases providing significant support, while in others exposing girls to additional stigma or marginalization. Findings offer important insights to inform the development of response initiatives that build upon community-based networks, while also strengthening linkages between formal and informal forms of support in the lives of survivors.
The Effect of Cash, Vouchers and Food Transfers on Intimate Partner Violence: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Northern Ecuador

AUTHOR(S)
M. Hidrobo, Amber Peterman, L. Heise

Published: 2016
Using a randomized experiment in Ecuador, this study provides evidence on whether cash, vouchers, and food transfers targeted to women and intended to reduce poverty and food insecurity also affected intimate partner violence. Results indicate that transfers reduce controlling behaviors and physical and/or sexual violence by 6 to 7 percentage points. Impacts do not vary by transfer modality, which provides evidence that transfers not only have the potential to decrease violence in the short-term, but also that cash is just as effective as in-kind transfers.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 284–303 | Tags: cash transfers, gender based violence
The impact of Zambia’s unconditional child grant on schooling and work: results from a large-scale social experiment

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

Published: 2016
This article reports on the impact on child schooling and work of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Program (CGP), an unconditional cash transfer programme targeted to households with children under age 3 years in three districts of the country. Although the CGP’s focus is on very young children, we look to see if the programme has impacts on older children who are not the explicit target group. We use data from a large-scale social experiment involving 2519 households, half of whom were randomised out to a delayed-entry control group, that was implemented to assess the impact of the programme. We find that the CGP has no discernible impact on school enrolment of children age 7–14. However, when we break the sample by older (11–14) and younger (7–10) children – based on the grade structure of the Zambian schooling system – we find a significant impact among children age 11–14, which coincides with the exact age range where a sharp drop-out begins to occur in Zambia with point estimates in the range of 7–8 percentage points. Finally, we provide evidence on the potential pathways through which the unconditional cash transfer impacts on enrolment. Households in the CGP spend more on education, and in particular on uniforms and shoes, two items cited as key barriers to school enrolment in study areas.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 346-367 | Tags: cash transfers, schooling, child labour
Child Poverty in the European Union: the Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis Approach (EU-MODA)

AUTHOR(S)
Yekaterina Chzhen, Chris De Neubourg, Ilze Plavgo, Marlous de Milliano

Published: 2016
Poverty has serious consequences for children’s well-being as well as for their achievements in adult life. The Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis for the European Union (EU-MODA) compares the living conditions of children across the EU member states. Rooted in the established multidimensional poverty measurement tradition, EU-MODA contributes to it by using the international framework of child rights to inform the construction of indicators and dimensions essential to children’s material well-being, taking into account the needs of children at various stages of their life cycle. The study adds to the literature on monetary child poverty and material deprivation in the EU by analysing several age-specific and rights-based dimensions of child deprivation individually and simultaneously, constructing multidimensional deprivation indices, and studying the overlaps between monetary poverty and multidimensional deprivation. The paper demonstrates the application of the EU-MODA methodology to three diverse countries: Finland, Romania and the United Kingdom. The analysis uses data from the ad hoc material deprivation module of the EU-SILC 2009 because it provides comparable micro-data for EU member states and contains child-specific deprivation indicators.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 335-356 | Tags: child poverty, europe
81 - 90 of 107