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Jennifer Waidler

Consultant

Jennifer joined the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti in July 2018. She holds a PhD in Economics and Governance from Maastricht University and a Master’s in Public Policy with a specialization in Social Policy Design from the same university. Jennifer has worked on a variety of migration and social protection related projects for several institutions including UNU-MERIT and its Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (based in Maastricht, The Netherlands), The World Bank, The European Commission, and the Centre of Excellence in Food Security in South Africa. She has rich experience in designing, evaluating and analyzing large scale household surveys and her main areas of interest/ expertise include multidimensional poverty measurement, effects of migration and remittances, and impacts of cash transfer programs on outcomes such as food security, subjective well-being, and expenditure behavior.

Publications

Family-friendly policies in South Asia
Publication Publication

Family-friendly policies in South Asia

Bringing up children requires care, time and resources. Yet, too often, all over the world, parents and other primary caregivers are left to struggle with this fundamental task without enough support. The burden of responsibility tends to fall disproportionately on women. Often parents have to make impossible choices between earning enough money for their family and giving children the care that they need. The concept of ‘family-friendly policies’ has emerged as a way of thinking about and addressing these issues. There is no agreed definition of the concept, but it is generally conceived as a set of policies that help parents/caregivers to reconcile various aspects of work and family life. Such policies may differ from one region and location to another depending on, amongst other things: demographics, including the definition of what a family is, and its function; the characteristics of the labour market and the workplace; the social and cultural context, including attitudes, expectations and norms; and the economic context. This paper addresses the issue of what family-friendly policies could look like in the South Asian context, where female labor force participation is very low and more than 90 per cent of workers are in the informal sector or under informal employment. It considers how these policies can be responsive to the particular characteristics and circumstances of countries in the region – including multi-generation families, family units built around adolescent mothers (and sometimes fathers), and migration for work both within and outside countries. It also tackles the question of how family-friendly policies might need to evolve in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. By taking an equity approach to family friendly policies, we provide recommendations on how to reach families in different situations and facing different degrees of vulnerabilities, including those not working or working under very difficult circumstances.

Articles

New research looks at how to improve family-friendly policies in South Asia
Article Article

New research looks at how to improve family-friendly policies in South Asia

7 September 2021 - New research out today addresses what family-friendly policies look like in the South Asian context, where female labor force participation is very low and more than 90 per cent of workers are in the informal sector or under informal employment. Done in support and collaboration with UNICEF’s regional office in South Asia, UNICEF Innocenti’s new working paper considers how family-friendly policies can be responsive to the particular characteristics and circumstances of countries in the region – including multi-generation families, family units built around adolescent mothers (and sometimes fathers), and migration for work both within and outside countries. The research also tackles the question of how family-friendly policies might need to evolve in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. The associated advocacy brief: Reaching more families, benefiting more children and package of country reports identifies gaps and opportunities for family friendly policies in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Blogs

From Crisis Comes Opportunity: Spain’s Basic Income Response to COVID-19
Blog Blog

From Crisis Comes Opportunity: Spain’s Basic Income Response to COVID-19

Spain has been hard hit by Covid-19, both in terms of high death toll and worsening economic conditions. Government lockdowns to contain the spread of the virus left millions of households without earnings or temporary unemployed. A recent report anticipates a 13% decline in GDP in the worst-case scenario. This is a worrying prediction for a country characterised by high unemployment and high levels of extreme poverty, even before the crisis. But from this adversity comes an opportunity.

Journal articles

Uptake of HIV testing among adolescents and associated adolescent-friendly services
Journal Article Journal Article

Uptake of HIV testing among adolescents and associated adolescent-friendly services