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Profiles

Alessandro Carraro

Consultant

Alessandro Carraro is conducting quantitative and qualitative research on child poverty. In his role at UNICEF Office of Research, he is managing the MAPS (Monitoring and Analyzing child Poverty across Space) project. His work involves developing new methodologies for child poverty research, developing tools for qualitative and quantitative data collection, leading trainings and the data collection, government engagement and research uptake as well as data analysis and dissemination of results. Alessandro supports worldwide UNICEF offices with research expertise, training and capacity building initiatives. Prior to joining UNICEF, he has worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Universities of Florence and Tor Vergata where he focused on rural poverty and agricultural development. Alessandro holds a PhD in Development Economics from the University of Florence, a MSc in Agricultural Sciences from the same University and a MSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Reading in UK.

Publications

Causal impacts of government social expenditure on infant mortality in Latin America and the Caribbean: New evidence from 1990–2017 data
Publication

Causal impacts of government social expenditure on infant mortality in Latin America and the Caribbean: New evidence from 1990–2017 data

Does governments’ social spending reduce infant mortality? If so, what are the causal mechanisms behind this effect? Using evidence from 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (1990 to 2017), this paper examines various influences – including decreased income inequality and dependence on natural resources – to determine if and how increased public expenditure in the social sector is causally linked with reduced infant mortality.
Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries
Publication

Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries

COVID-19 constitutes the greatest crisis that high-income countries have seen in many generations. While many high-income countries experienced the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, or have had national recessions, the COVID-19 pandemic is much more than that. COVID-19 is a social and economic crisis, sparked by a protracted health crisis. High-income countries have very limited experience of dealing with health crises, having their health and human services stretched beyond capacity, restricting the travel of their populations or having to close workplaces and schools – let alone experience of all of these things combined. These unique conditions create new and serious challenges for the economies and societies of all high-income countries. As these challenges evolve, children – as dependants – are among those at greatest risk of seeing their living standards fall and their personal well-being decline. This new UNICEF Innocenti report explores how the social and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to affect children; the initial government responses to the crisis; and how future public policies could be optimized to better support children.
How Effective are Cash Transfers in Mitigating Shocks for Vulnerable Children? Evidence on the impact of the Lesotho Child Grant Programme on multidimensional deprivation
Publication

How Effective are Cash Transfers in Mitigating Shocks for Vulnerable Children? Evidence on the impact of the Lesotho Child Grant Programme on multidimensional deprivation

Shocks can pressure families into negative coping strategies with significant drawbacks for children’s lives and development, particularly for children living in disadvantaged households who are at greater risk of falling into a poverty trap. This paper investigates if unconditional cash transfers can be effective in protecting children against unexpected negative life events. Using two waves of data, we found that the Lesotho Child Grant Programme reduced the incidence and intensity of multidimensional deprivation for children living in labour-constrained female-headed households that experienced negative economic or demographic shocks. Programme design in shock-prone contexts should seek to reinforce and widen the protective effect of the cash transfer for the most vulnerable.
Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Publication

Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Acknowledging that health, economic, and social crises can rapidly become a crisis for children, this paper seeks to contribute evidence to understanding what the crisis means for children and for families with children in the countries of Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In particular, what governments and stakeholders should be looking for when seeking to protect children from the worst outcomes of the crisis. In doing so, this paper asks: Through which mechanisms can COVID-19 affect children in the region? What can we learn from previous crises about the potential effects on children and those who care for children? How is vulnerability to poverty and child well-being likely to be affected? Are initial government responses to the crisis likely to worsen or mitigate risks to children’s well-being? And how might future public policies be optimized in the short and medium term to protect child outcomes?

Journal articles

Measurement of Multidimensional Child Poverty
Journal Article

Measurement of Multidimensional Child Poverty