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Richard de Groot

Consultant (Former title)

Richard started at UNICEF's Office of Research – Innocenti in February 2015. He holds a Master’s degree in International Economics Studies and is currently a PhD fellow at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance. He has experience implementing evaluations and quantitative research in collaboration with organizations such as Plan International, UNICEF Cambodia, and the World Bank on topics related to poverty alleviation, human development, and children’s nutritional status. He has experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods. His research interests focus on the impacts of social programmes on children’s health and nutrition, household economic wellbeing and the pathways of impact. He is currently involved in the impact evaluation of the Ghana LEAP 1000 programme.
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The rise of social protection into the limelight of social policy has opened up space for understanding how it can act as a key interface between states and citizens. This paper rethinks social protection through the lens of citizenship. It considers how the design and implementation of social protection can be shifted away from discretionary and technocratic forms, to forms which stimulate vulnerable citizens to make justice-based claims for their rights and demand accountability for the realization of those rights. It puts forward a conceptual framework for social protection with three modalities through which citizens can be engaged: as shapers and makers; as users and choosers; and as passive consumers.


Rachel Sabates-Wheeler; Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai; Nikhil Wilmink; Richard de Groot; Tayllor Spadafora

Childhood malnutrition remains a significant global health concern. In order to implement effective policies to address the issue, it is crucial to first understand the mechanisms underlying malnutrition. This paper uses a unique dataset from Northern Ghana to explain the underlying causes of childhood malnutrition. It adopts an empirical framework to model inputs in the production of health and nutrition, as a function of child, household and community characteristics. The findings suggest that child characteristics are important in explaining inputs and nutritional outcomes, and that maternal agency and health contribute to improved health status. Household resources in the form of consumption are positively associated with food intake and nutritional outcomes. Simulations show that income growth, improving maternal care and avoiding sudden price shocks have a positive but rather limited effect on the reduction of malnutrition. Effects are greater in children under two. Hence, policies that address underlying determinants simultaneously, and target the youngest population of children, could have the largest effect on reducing malnutrition in this population.


Richard de Groot; Sudhanshu Handa; Luigi Peter Ragno; Tayllor Spadafora


Linking Social Rights to Active Citizenship for the Most Vulnerable: the Role of Rights and Accountability in the ‘Making’ and ‘Shaping’ of Social Protection (2019)

Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Nikhil Wilmink, Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai, Richard de Groot, Tayllor Spadafora
The Euroepan Journal of Development Research, 2019-7

Cash Transfers and Child Nutrition: Pathways and Impacts (2017)

Richard de Groot, Tia Palermo, Sudhanshu Handa, Luigi Peter Ragno, Amber Peterman
Development Policy Review, 2017-4


Cash Plus

Integrating cash transfers with other services, like health insurance, can generate substantial benefits for individuals as well as their households. ...