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.
Among policymakers, a common perception surrounding the effects of cash transfer programmes, particularly unconditional programmes targeted to families with children, is that they will induce increased fertility. Yet results from an evaluation of the Zambian Child Grant Programme indicate there are no programme impacts on overall fertility. In addition, among young women under 25 years and among women who have access to family planning, fertility actually decreased and use of modern contraceptives increased.
An effective global monitoring system for child food insecurity is needed to increase awareness about the nature, extent, and distribution of child food insecurity, both within and across countries and regions, and over time. The effectiveness of a global monitoring system rests on two components: measurement of child food insecurity that reliably and accurately captures the phenomenon, and a vehicle for delivering that measurement to samples that support reliable and accurate inference to the populations of interest.
Maryah S. Fram; Jennifer Bernal; Edward A. Frongillo
This paper aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the impacts of cash transfer programmes on the immediate and underlying determinants of child nutrition, including the most recent evidence from impact evaluations across sub-Saharan Africa. The paper finds that the evidence to date on the immediate determinants of child nutrition is mixed with respect to whether cash transfers can positively impact growth-related outcomes among children, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
Inconsistent and unpredictable flow of cash transfers can impact the results of the LEAP programme and its evaluation. The programme did not lead to an increase in consumption, but household debt was reduced and loans repayment improved. Informal social networks gained in strength and reinforced social cohesion and protection helping to reduce risks at the local level.
Silvio Daidone; Sudhanshu Handa; Benjamin Davis; Mike Park; Robert D. Osei; Isaac Osei-Akoto
Coordination is a significant issue for the study of governance. Policy and practice in even the most specialized area often have implications or involve relationships beyond the sector, let alone relationships between different units or tiers of administration within the policy area itself. This research explores coordination through the lens of civil registration and vital statistics, with particular reference to birth registration.
The ability to correct deficiencies in early childhood malnutrition, what is known as catch-up growth, has widespread consequences for economic and social development. This paper investigates whether nutritional status at early age affects nutritional status a few years later among children using panel data from China, South Africa and Nicaragua.
This paper reports the impact on child schooling and work of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Programme (CGP), an unconditional cash transfer programme targeted to households with children aged under 3 years in three districts of the country. The impacts reported here lead to the conclusion that unconditional cash transfers in Africa have significant positive impacts on children’s human capital.
Sudhanshu Handa; Luisa Natali; David Seidenfeld; Gelson Tembo; Zambia Cash Transfer Evaluation Team
This study provides the first estimates of national multidimensional child deprivation rates in Bosnia and Herzegovina using the National Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) pioneered by UNICEF. Amongst the findings of the analysis, it is seen that a reduction in child poverty and deprivation may be achieved by improving both the spending power of households and the availability of services/infrastructure in local areas.
This paper brings together the results of multidimensional deprivation analyses for thirty countries in sub-Saharan Africa. As these thirty countries represent 78% of the total population in the region, the paper also tries to shed light on the incidence and depth of child poverty across sub-Saharan Africa as a whole.
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.