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Keetie Roelen; Stephen Devereux; Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai; Bruno Martorano; Tia Palermo; Luigi Peter Ragno
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.
Gabrielle Berman; Kerry Albright
In an era of increasing dependence on data science and big data, the voices of one set of major stakeholders – the world’s children and those who advocate on their behalf – have been largely absent. A recent paper estimates one in three global internet users is a child, yet there has been little rigorous debate or understanding of how to adapt traditional, offline ethical standards for research involving data collection from children, to a big data, online environment (Livingstone et al., 2015). This paper argues that due to the potential for severe, long-lasting and differential impacts on children, child rights need to be firmly integrated onto the agendas of global debates about ethics and data science. The authors outline their rationale for a greater focus on child rights and ethics in data science and suggest steps to move forward, focusing on the various actors within the data chain including data generators, collectors, analysts and end-users. It concludes by calling for a much stronger appreciation of the links between child rights, ethics and data science disciplines and for enhanced discourse between stakeholders in the data chain, and those responsible for upholding the rights of children, globally.
Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; Emilia Toczydlowska
The new universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call for “reducing at least
by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty
in all its dimensions according to national definitions” by 2030. Since few
European Union (EU) countries have an official national multidimensional
poverty measure for monitoring progress towards the SDGs, this paper proposes
and evaluates a child-specific multidimensional poverty measure using data from
ad hoc material deprivation modules of the European Union Statistics on Income
and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) 2009 and 2014. The proposed measure can be used
both for national and EU-wide SDG monitoring without replacing either national
or EU-wide indices of material deprivation. Comparing child multidimensional
poverty rates between 2009 and 2014, the paper ranks EU countries based on the
2014 headcount rates and changes over time.
A revised version of this
working paper has been published in the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice
Audrey Pereira; Sudhanshu Handa; Goran Holmqvist
Target 2.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals
calls for an end to hunger, in all its forms, by 2030. Measuring food security
among children under age 5, who represent a quarter of the world’s population,
remains a challenge that is largely unfeasible for current global monitoring
systems. The SDG framework has agreed to use the Food Insecurity Experience
Scale (FIES) to measure moderate and severe food insecurity. The FIES is an
experience-based metric that reports food-related behaviours on the inability
to access food due to resource constraints. We present the first global
estimates of the share and number of children below age 15, who live with a
respondent who is food insecure.
Zlata Bruckauf; Sarah Cook
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was agreed upon globally through a long political process. By ratifying its Declaration, high-income countries became accountable participants in the development process while retaining their obligations as donors. Although few of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are explicitly child-focused, children are mentioned in many of the 167 targets. Drawing on a well recognized socio-ecological model (SEM) of child development and a life course perspective, this paper proposes an analytical framework to help navigate through the SDG targets based on their relevance to child well-being. The application of this framework in thinking through policy options illustrates the interdependence of SDGs and their targets within a sector (vertically) and across the 17 Goals (horizontally). A five-step process for choosing measurable SDG indicators links the proposed analytical framework with the challenges of SDG monitoring. The paper contributes to debates on the implications of the SDGs for children by facilitating their adaptation to the national context through a ‘child lens’. The proposed analytical approach helps to articulate a context-specific theory of change with a focus on human development outcomes, so that public investments inspired by the SDGs bring tangible results for children.
Dominic Richardson; Zlata Bruckauf; Emilia Toczydlowska; Yekaterina Chzhen
Sudhanshu Handa; Silvio Daidone; Amber Peterman; Benjamin Davis; Audrey Pereira; Tia Palermo; Jennifer Yablonski
In this paper we summarize evidence on six perceptions associated with cash transfer programming, using eight rigorous evaluations conducted on large-scale government unconditional cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa, under the Transfer Project. Specifically, we investigate if transfers: 1) induce higher spending on alcohol or tobacco; 2) are fully consumed (rather than invested); 3) create dependency (reduce participation in productive activities); 4) increase fertility; 5) lead to negative community-level economic impacts (including price distortion and inflation), and 6) are fiscally unsustainable. We present evidence refuting each claim, leading to the conclusion that these perceptions – insofar as they are utilized in policy debates – undercut potential improvements in well-being and livelihood strengthening among the poor, which these programmes can bring about in sub-Saharan Africa, and globally. We conclude by underscoring outstanding research gaps and policy implications for the continued expansion of unconditional cash transfers in the region and beyond.
Richard de Groot; Sudhanshu Handa; Luigi Peter Ragno; 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.
B. Guy Peters; Andrew Mawson
Esta investigación, el segundo de dos estudios de caso, explora la coordinación desde el punto de vista del registro civil y las estadísticas vitales, con especial referencia al registro de los nacimientos en el Perú. Se centra en el papel que puede desempeñar la coordinación para lograr que el registro del nacimiento funcione con eficacia. Aunque la cuestión principal de la que se ocupa este trabajo es la capacidad de las administraciones para prestar el servicio de registro del nacimiento, también se examina la importancia que reside en la comprensión de la coordinación para la mejora de los servicios públicos, especialmente los dirigidos a los niños.
Lisa Hjelm; Lucia Ferrone; Sudhanshu Handa; Yekaterina Chzhen
The Sustainable Development Goal
(SDG) target 1.2 implies that both monetary and non-monetary or
multidimensional (MD) child poverty would be measured and monitored, and that
the associated indicators would be defined nationally. However, very few
countries routinely measure child MD poverty. This paper seeks to provide some
guidance on the topic by presenting and comparing two approaches which are now
some of the most widely used. The first approach is the Multiple Overlapping
Deprivation Analysis (MODA) which was developed by UNICEF. MODA is a child
specific MD poverty measure rooted in the rights-based framework of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The second measure we present and
compare is the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) developed by the Oxford
Poverty and Human Development Initiative which has computed the MPI for over
100 countries using a universal global standard. We compare the global version
of the measures, applying them to four countries: Cambodia, Ghana, Mali,
Mongolia. The two approaches, while sharing many similarities, do not lead to
the same results. In deciding on their individual strategy to measure and track
SDG Target 1.2, countries will need to reflect on both the underlying purpose
of the target, and to evaluate the inevitable trade-offs between the two
Suguru Mizunoya; Sophie Mitra; Izumi Yamasaki
Juan Bonilla; Rosa Castro Zarzur; Sudhanshu Handa; Claire Nowlin; Amber Peterman; Hannah Ring; David Seidenfeld
This paper reports findings
from a mixed-methods evaluation of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant
Programme, a poverty-targeted, unconditional transfer given to mothers or
primary caregivers of young children aged 0 to 5. Qualitatively, we found that
changes in intrahousehold relationships were limited by entrenched gender
norms, which indicate men as heads of household and primary decision-makers.
However, women’s narratives showed the transfer did increase overall household
well-being because they felt increased financial empowerment and were able to
retain control over transfers for household investment and savings for
emergencies. The study found that women in beneficiary households were making
more sole and joint decisions, although impacts translated into relatively