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Innocenti Research Briefs

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UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of research and reports

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Exploring the potential of cash transfers to delay early marriage and pregnancy among youth in Malawi and Zambia
Exploring the potential of cash transfers to delay early marriage and pregnancy among youth in Malawi and Zambia
Published: 2019 Innocenti Research Briefs
There is increasing interest in the potential of cash transfers to facilitate safe transitions to adulthood among vulnerable youth in low-income settings. However, little evidence exists that analyses these linkages from at-scale government-run programmes. This brief summarizes the impacts of two government-run large-scale unconditional cash transfers on outcomes of early marriage and pregnancy among youth in Malawi and Zambia after approximately three years. Results indicate limited impacts on safe transitions for both males and females. However, the programmes were successful in reducing poverty and improving schooling outcomes—two main pathways for safe transitions as reported in the literature. Research implications include the need to study transitions over longer time periods, including tracking of youth as they transition out of study households. If reducing early marriage and pregnancy is among policy makers’ primary priorities, then dedicated programming via cash plus or services specifically targeted at addressing the needs of adolescents and youth should be considered.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 3 | Thematic area: Social Policies | Tags: cash transfers, early marriage, pregnancy, youth
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 2
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 2
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs
This research brief is one of a series of five briefs which provide an overview of available evidence shown in the Campbell Collaboration-UNICEF Mega-Map on the effectiveness of interventions to improve child welfare in low- and middle-income countries. These briefs summarize evidence as mapped against the five goal areas of UNICEF’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan, although it is anticipated that they will also be useful for others working in the child well-being space. This brief provides an overview of the available evidence related to interventions to ensure every child learns.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 7 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: child welfare
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 1
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 1
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs
This research brief is one of a series of five briefs which provide an overview of available evidence shown in the Campbell Collaboration-UNICEF Mega-Map on the effectiveness of interventions to improve child welfare in low- and middle-income countries. These briefs summarize evidence as mapped against the five goal areas of UNICEF’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan, although it is anticipated that they will also be useful for others working in the child well-being space. This brief provides an overview of the available evidence related to interventions to ensure every child survives and thrives.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 9 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: child welfare
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 3
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 3
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs
This research brief is one of a series of five briefs which provide an overview of available evidence shown in the Campbell Collaboration-UNICEF Mega-Map on the effectiveness of interventions to improve child welfare in low- and middle-income countries. These briefs summarize evidence as mapped against the five goal areas of UNICEF’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan, although it is anticipated that they will also be useful for others working in the child well-being space. This brief provides an overview of the available evidence related to interventions to ensure every child is protected from violence and exploitation.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 5 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: child welfare
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 4
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 4
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs
This research brief is one of a series of five briefs which provide an overview of available evidence shown in the Campbell Collaboration-UNICEF Mega-Map on the effectiveness of interventions to improve child welfare in low- and middle-income countries. These briefs summarize evidence as mapped against the five goal areas of UNICEF’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan, although it is anticipated that they will also be useful for others working in the child well-being space. This brief provides an overview of the available evidence related to interventions to ensure every child lives in a safe and clean environment
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 5 | Thematic area: Knowledge management | Tags: child welfare
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 5
Evidence and Gap Map Research Brief 5
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs
This research brief is one of a series of five briefs which provide an overview of available evidence shown in the Campbell Collaboration-UNICEF Mega-Map on the effectiveness of interventions to improve child welfare in low- and middle-income countries. These briefs summarize evidence as mapped against the five goal areas of UNICEF’s 2018–2021 Strategic Plan, although it is anticipated that they will also be useful for others working in the child well-being space. This brief provides an overview of the available evidence related to interventions to ensure that every child has an equitable chance in life.
Political Connections No Longer Determine Targeting of Social Protection: A successful case study from Ethiopia
Political Connections No Longer Determine Targeting of Social Protection: A successful case study from Ethiopia

AUTHOR(S)
Elsa Valli

Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs
Ethiopia is one of the world’s largest recipients of donor funds for development and emergency interventions. As such, its targeting of social protection has received substantial attention. In particular, concerns have been raised that political connections could play a role in determining the selection of beneficiaries. With the introduction in 2005 of the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP), Ethiopia implemented various policies aimed at increasing transparency in the targeting of social protection. This case study compares targeting before and during the implementation of PSNP, and shows improvements in targeting for both public works and emergency aid in relation to the dimensions of poverty, food security and political connections. Most notably, political connections are no longer found to determine the receipt of benefits during the implementation of PSNP.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 4 | Thematic area: Social Policies | Tags: ethiopia, social protection
Evidence on Social Protection in Contexts of Fragility and Forced Displacement
Evidence on Social Protection in Contexts of Fragility and Forced Displacement
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs
Rigorous research in humanitarian settings is possible when researchers and programmers work together, particularly in the early stages when responses to humanitarian challenges are designed. Six new rigorous research studies from five countries: Ecuador, Mali, Niger, Lebanon and Yemen illustrate this point.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 7 | Thematic area: Social Policies | Tags: social protection
Ethical Considerations When Using Social Media for Evidence Generation
Ethical Considerations When Using Social Media for Evidence Generation
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs
As of January 2017, 2.78 billion people worldwide were classified as active social media users. Of these users, 1.87 billion use Facebook. Thirty-nine per cent of Facebook users are between the ages of 13 and 24 (approximately 729 million young people). Available data also show that in 2014, approximately 31 per cent of users of the top five social media platforms were aged between 16 and 24 years. With the enormity of this coverage as well as over 40 per cent growth in usage from the previous year in countries like India, UNICEF has and continues to look at ways to use these platforms and the data generated to connect with and understand the reality of children today and to ensure more child-centred/user-centred policies and services. This brief provides an overview of the critical ethical considerations when undertaking evidence generation using social media platforms and using third-party data collected and analysed by social media services. It is supplemented by checklists that may be used to support reflection on the ethical use of social media platforms and social media data. This brief is based on a more in-depth Innocenti Discussion Paper which provides further guidance and tools.
Ethical Considerations When Using Geospatial Technologies for Evidence Generation
Ethical Considerations When Using Geospatial Technologies for Evidence Generation
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs
Geospatial technologies have transformed the way we visualize and understand situations. They are used to acquire, manipulate, store and visualize geographical information, including information on where individuals, groups and infrastructure are located in time and space. For development and humanitarian based organizations like UNICEF, the value of these technologies includes the ability to collect and process real-time information from places that are hard to reach or navigate such as dense forest, conflict zones, or where environmental disasters are occurring or have occurred. This brief provides an overview of the critical considerations when undertaking evidence generation using geospatial technologies. It is supplemented by a checklist that may be used to support reflection on the ethical use of geospatial technologies. This brief is based on a more in-depth Innocenti Discussion Paper which provides further guidance and tools.
‘Cash Plus’: Linking Cash Transfers to Services and Sectors
‘Cash Plus’: Linking Cash Transfers to Services and Sectors
Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs

Cash transfers have been successful in reducing food insecurity, increasing consumption, building resiliency against economic shocks, improving productivity and increasing school enrolment. Despite the many successes of cash transfer programmes, they can also fall short of achieving longer-term and second-order impacts related to nutrition, learning and health outcomes. A recent study highlights how so-called ‘Cash Plus’ programmes, which offer additional components or linkages to existing services on top of regular cash payments, may help address such shortcomings.

Zimbabwe's Harmonized Cash Transfer Programme Improves Food Security and Reduces Reliance on Food Gifts
Zimbabwe's Harmonized Cash Transfer Programme Improves Food Security and Reduces Reliance on Food Gifts

AUTHOR(S)
Garima Bhalla

Published: 2018 Innocenti Research Briefs

In 2016, approximately 815 million people were chronically undernourished globally. In recent years, food security has worsened in some parts of the world, including sub-Saharan Africa. In Zimbabwe, latest estimates show that about 45% of the total population are undernourished1. To address the challenge of growing food insecurity, effective social protection programmes must be implemented and scaled-up. Cash transfers are one such programme, the primary objectives of which often include poverty alleviation and food insecurity reduction. This research study utilized longitudinal data collected for the impact evaluation of Zimbabwe’s Harmonized Social Cash Transfer Programme (HSCT), an unconditional cash transfer that targets ultra- poor, labour-constrained households. It accomplishes two things: It provides evidence on the relative merits of using an aggregate consumption expenditure measure versus a food security scale, to assess household vulnerability and food insecurity; and it contributes to a growing literature on the effects of state-sponsored unconditional cash transfers in Africa on household behaviour and food security.

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