The Working Papers are the foundation of the Centre's research output, underpinning many of the Centre's other publications. These high quality research papers are aimed at an academic and well-informed audience, contributing to ongoing discussion on a wide range of child-related issues. More than 100 Working Papers have been published to date, with recent and forthcoming papers covering the full range of the Centre's agenda. The Working Papers series incorporates the earlier series of Innocenti Occasional Papers (with sub-series), also available for download.
Child Malnutrition, Consumption Growth, Maternal Care and Price Shocks: New Evidence from Northern Ghana
de Groot, Richard; Handa, Sudhanshu; Ragno, Luigi Peter (2017). Child Malnutrition, Consumption Growth, Maternal Care and Price Shocks: New Evidence from Northern Ghana, no. 2017-01,
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.
We study the impact of the Zimbabwe Harmonized Social Cash Transfer (HSCT) on household food security after 12 months of implementation. The programme has had a strong impact on a well-known food security scale – the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) – but muted impacts on food consumption expenditure. However aggregate food consumption hides dynamic activity taking place within the household where the cash is used to obtain more food from the market and rely less on food received as gifts.
Garima Bhalla; Sudhanshu Handa; Gustavo Angeles; David Seidenfeld
In sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region in the world, the number of cash transfer programmes has doubled in the last five years and reaches close to 50 million people. What is the impact of these programmes, and do they offer a sustained pathway out of ultra-poverty? In this paper we examine these questions using experimental data from two unconditional cash transfer programmes implemented by the Government of Zambia. We find far-reaching effects of these two programmes, not just on their primary objective, food security and consumption, but also on a range of productive and economic outcomes. After three years, we observe that household spending is 59 per cent larger than the value of the transfer received, implying a sizeable multiplier effect. These multipliers work through increased non-farm business activity and agricultural production.
Sudhanshu Handa; Luisa Natali; David Seidenfeld; Gelson Tembo; Benjamin Davis
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
This working paper identifies and explores the issues that should be considered when undertaking ethical research involving children in humanitarian settings. Both the universal (i.e. relevant to all research involving children) and specific ethical issues that may arise when involving children in research in humanitarian settings are examined.
Seasonality in agricultural production continues to shape intra-annual food availability and prices in low-income countries. Using high-frequency panel data from northern Ethiopia, this study attempts to quantify seasonal fluctuations in children's weights.
The paper aims to reduce the global knowledge gap pertaining to the impact of disability on school attendance, using cross-nationally comparable and nationally representative data from 18 surveys in 15 countries that are selected among 2,500 surveys and censuses. These selected surveys administered the Washington Group Short Set (WGSS) of disability-screening questions, covering five functional domains of seeing, hearing, mobility, self-care, and remembering, and collected information on educational status.
Adolescence is a time of transitions when experimentation, risk taking and active peer interactions can be viewed as a part of the development process. Yet, for some groups of young people with reported poor psychosomatic health, low life satisfaction or unhealthy eating habits these experiences may be different.
Drawing on PISA 2012 data and its earlier rounds, this paper explores alternative approaches to measuring educational inequality at the ‘bottom-end’ of educational distribution within the cross-national context.
While a long-standing literature analyses cross-country variation in the incidence of child poverty in rich countries in a single year, less is known about children’s individual movements into and out of low household income over a period of time. Using longitudinal data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), the present study addresses this gap by analysing both income mobility and child poverty dynamics in the EU during the recent economic crisis.
In the context of increasing child poverty, deprivation rates and the relative child income gap, and with the most economically vulnerable children hit extensively by the crisis, this paper sets out to understand who are the most disadvantaged children.