Based on an evidence-focused literature review, the first part of this paper examines existing knowledge on how the time children spend using digital technology impacts their well-being across three dimensions; mental/psychological, social and physical. The evidence reviewed here is largely inconclusive with respect to impact on children’s physical activity, but indicates that digital technology seems to be beneficial for children’s social relationships. In terms of impact on children’s mental well-being, the most robust studies suggest that the relationship is U-shaped, where no use and excessive use can have a small negative impact on mental well-being, while moderate use can have a small positive impact. In the second part of the paper, the hypothetical idea of addiction to technology is introduced and scrutinized. This is followed by an overview of the hypothetical idea that digital technology might re-wire or hijack children’s brains; an assumption that is challenged by recent neuroscience evidence. In conclusion, considerable methodological limitations exist across the spectrum of research on the impact of digital technology on child well-being, including the majority of the studies on time use reviewed here, and those studies concerned with clinical or brain impacts. This prompts reconsideration of how research in this area is conducted. Finally, recommendations for strengthening research practices are offered.
The broad-ranging benefits of cash transfers are now widely recognized. However, the evidence base highlights that they often fall short in achieving longer-term and second-order impacts related to nutrition, learning outcomes and morbidity. In recognition of these limitations, several ‘cash plus’ initiatives have been introduced, whereby cash transfers are combined with one or more types of complementary support. This paper aims to identify key factors for successful implementation of these increasingly popular ‘cash plus’ programmes, based on (i) a review of the emerging evidence base of ‘cash plus’ interventions and (ii) an examination of three case studies, namely, Chile Solidario in Chile, IN-SCT in Ethiopia and LEAP in Ghana. The analysis was guided by a conceptual framework proposing a menu of ‘cash plus’ components. The assessment of three case studies indicated that effective implementation of ‘cash plus’ components has indeed contributed to greater impacts of the respective programmes. Such initiatives have thereby addressed some of the non-financial and structural barriers that poor people face and have reinforced the positive effects of cash transfer programmes. In design of such programmes, further attention should be paid to the constraints faced by the most vulnerable and how such constraints can be overcome. We conclude with recommendations regarding the provision of complementary support and cross-sectoral linkages based on lessons learned from the case studies. More research is still needed on the impact of the many variations of ‘cash plus’ programming, including evidence on the comparative roles of individual ‘plus’ components, as well as the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour pathways which influence these impacts.
Keetie Roelen; Stephen Devereux; Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai; Bruno Martorano; Tia Palermo; Luigi Peter Ragno
Enabling and protective systems for adolescents are the family, peers and the education and legal systems. In addition to research that focuses on individual adolescents, it is also important for researchers to consider measuring social determinants when conducting research on adolescent well-being. This brief reviews the key concepts of social and structural determinants of health and the methodological issues related to their measurement in adolescence.
This paper revisits the relationship between income and happiness and estimates the impact of
a social cash transfer programme on individual subjective well-being. Social cash transfer
programmes provide consistent, non-contributory income to targeted, poor households.
In Latin America, they are usually conditioned on measurable behaviours, but in sub-Saharan Africa
they tend to be unconditional.
Kelly Kilburn; Sudhanshu Handa; Gustavo Angeles; Peter Mvula; Maxton Tsoka
The paper uses data from a quasi-experimental evaluation to estimate the impact of the Ghanaian
Government’s unconditional cash transfer programme on schooling outcomes. It analyses the impacts
for children by various subgroups – age, gender, cognitive ability – and finds consistent impacts. There are
differences across gender, especially on secondary schooling, with enrolment significantly higher for boys
13 years or older. For girls, the effect of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme
is to improve current attendance among those who are already enrolled in school (across all age groups).
The authors found a significant effect on the expenditure on schooling items such as uniforms and
stationary for these groups, which helps to explain the pathway of impact because these out-of-pocket costs
are typically important barriers to schooling in rural Ghana and most of Africa.
Richard de Groot; Sudhanshu Handa; Mike Park; Robert D. Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto; Luigi Peter Ragno; Garima Bhalla
Over the past decade, more than a dozen government-run cash transfer programmes have been launched in sub-Saharan Africa, and there is growing evidence of their ability to improve a range of development outcomes. However, setting the size of such transfers is possibly the most important programming decision to be made. This Brief highlights some of the issues to consider.
Tackling poverty and inequalities is now embedded within the mandates of governments and organizations worldwide. UNICEF has been a leader on this, and concern about inequalities has also been picked up in the debates surrounding post 2015 development goals.
The aim of the paper is to understand how short consumption modules fare relative to a longer and more detailed consumption module in terms of the accuracy of the resulting estimates. The objective is particularly challenging as the use of non-equivalent samples makes it difficult to assess the accuracy and reliability of the estimates obtained.
Das Handbuch dient zum besseren Verständnis und effizienteren Durchsetzung des Fakultativprotokolls zum Übereinkommen der Rechte des Kindes mit Bezug auf den Verkauf von Kindern, der Kinderprostitution und Kinderpornographie. Die Ausgabe beschreibt die Entstehung, den Umfang und Inhalt des Protokolls und liefert Beispiele von Maßnahmen der Staaten zur Erfüllung ihrer Pflichten im Rahmen dieses Instrumentes. Dieses wichtige Handbuch richtet sich in erster Linie an öffentliche Bedienstete, UN-Organisationen, Kinderrechtsanwälte sowie andere, die mit und für Kinder tätig sind und deren Aufgaben und Aktivitäten den Schutz von Kindern vor Ausbeutung auf der nationalen oder lokalen Ebene verbessern.
The Handbook aims to promote understanding and effective implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. The publication describes the genesis, scope and content of the Protocol, and provides examples of measures taken by States Parties to fulfil their obligations under this instrument. This essential guide is addressed principally to public officials, UN organizations, child rights advocates and others who work with and for children, and whose duties and activities can enhance the protection of children from exploitation, whether on the national or local level.