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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
Frank J. Elgar; Candace Currie
and adolescents living in relative poverty – regardless of overall material
conditions – tend to experience more interpersonal violence, family turmoil,
and environmental hazards that increase risk of injury,
engage in more health compromising behaviours (e.g., physical inactivity,
poor nutrition, smoking), report lower subjective well-being, and exhibit more social
skills deficits and emotional and behavioural problems.
Luisa Natali; Sudhanshu Handa; Amber Peterman; David Seidenfeld; Gelson Tembo
Savings play a crucial role in faciliating investment in income-generating activities and the pathway out of poverty for low-income households in developing settings. Yet, there is little evidence of successful programmes that increase savings, particularly those that are simultaneously cost effective, scaleable and address gender inequalities. This paper examines the impact of the Government of Zambia’s Child Grant Programme (CGP), an unconditional cash transfer targeted to women in households with young children, on women’s savings and participation in non-farm enterprises.
Findings show that the CGP enabled poor women to save more cash and that the impact is larger for women who had lower decision-making power at baseline. The results support the proposition that cash transfers have the potential for long-term sustainable improvements in women’s financial position and household well-being by promoting savings and facilitating productive investments among low-income rural households.
Aixa Y. Alemán-Díaz; Emilia Toczydlowska; Joanna Mazur; Diana Frasquilho; Marina Melkumova; Goran Holmqvist
Although child and adolescent inequalities
are still less understood than those of adults, we have made progress in
understanding the pathways that lead to negative outcomes and the limitations
of some ‘adult-specific’ indicators as proxies of young people’s health and
well-being. Nonetheless, the academic literature has been able to establish a clear
negative relationship between a person’s material circumstances and their
health outcomes and behaviours such as being overweight, lack of physical
activity, higher levels of smoking and mental health problems, all of which
persist throughout a person’s life. The personal and societal toll of these
effects is clear, yet policies are still lagging behind, tackling proximal
causes rather than ‘the causes of the causes’ of these health inequalities.
This paper aims to summarise relevant knowledge on the socio-economic
causes of health inequalities in children. It will not only provide a
foundation to the Innocenti Report Card 13 in terms of outlining our knowledge
regarding the drivers of health inequality but it will also help us shed light
on its consequences.
Yekaterina Chzhen; Zlata Bruckauf; Kwok Ng; Daria Pavlova; Torbjorn Torsheim; Margarida Gaspar de Matos
International studies of inequalities in adolescent health tend to focus on the socio-economic gradient in average outcomes rather than their dispersion within countries. Although understanding the extent to which differences in health are related to socio-economic disadvantage is important, focusing exclusively on socio-economic status risks neglecting differences in the distribution of health outcomes within and between countries. To fill this research gap, this study analyses variation in the extent of inequality in the lower half of the distribution in five indicators of adolescent health and well-being – health symptoms, physical activity, healthy eating, unhealthy eating, and life satisfaction – across EU and/or OECD countries that took part in the latest cycle of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study.
Yekaterina Chzhen; Irene Moor; William Pickett; Emilia Toczydlowska; Gonneke Stevens
A large body of literature has
established socio-economic gradients in adolescent health, but few studies have
investigated the extent to which these gradients are associated with very poor
health outcomes. The current analysis examined the extent to which the socio-economic
background of adolescents relates to very poor self-reported health and
well-being (the so-called ’bottom end’). We examined the following as
indicators of adolescent health: psychosomatic
health complaints; physical activity; healthy eating; unhealthy eating; and life
satisfaction. Adolescents who scored below the mean of the lower half of the
distribution of a given indicator fall in the “bottom group” on this indicator. The largest, most persistent and widespread
socio-economic gradients are in life satisfaction, physical activity and
healthy eating, while the findings are mixed for unhealthy eating and
psychosomatic health. Socio-economic inequalities were largely stable, but in
a sizeable minority of the countries, socio-economic inequalities in physical
activity and healthy eating have widened between 2001/02 and 2013/14, while
inequalities in unhealthy eating and life satisfaction have narrowed in several