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Cash transfers improve child nutritional status, but under which conditions?

28. August 2019 - 11:14

A lack of integration of quantitative evidence on the overall effects of cash transfers leaves us largely in the dark about their true effect. One outcome for which this is the case is child nutritional status. In my study, I analyse 27 different studies on the effect of cash transfers on child nutritional status, including 311 estimates on 23 variables. I found no significant differences between conditional and unconditional programmes. However, nutritional supplements increased the effectiveness of programmes. Other variables were too insignificant to draw conclusions from.

Despite scepticism about giving away ‘free money’, cash transfers have become an increasingly popular tool for poverty alleviation. Although cash transfers have been successful in increasing business income and school attendance, and decreasing child labour, their effect on the nutritional status of children is unclear. A large body of literature has examined the link between cash transfers and child nutritional status, but the evidence is mixed. Given that many programmes target child nutritional status, and 162 million children suffer from stunting globally, it is important to ask: Are cash transfers effective in improving child nutritional status? And, if so, what conditions have an influence on this effect?

How do we find out?

Several studies have been undertaken to identify the effect of cash transfers on child nutritional status. However, these are context specific, making it hard to draw conclusions. Using statistical methods, I integrated the findings of 27 of these studies (see Table 1), enabling me to find out what the average effect of this relationship is, and which conditions alter this effect. The studies cover 311 estimates on 23 different variables.

Table 1. Programmes and studies analysed

Apni Beti Ap Dhan, India FFA, Bangladesh FSVGD, Bangladesh Oportunidades, Mexico PRAF, Honduras Red de Protección Social, Nicaragua Atención a Crisis, Nicaragua GiveDirectly CT, Kenya Oportunidades, Mexico Bolsa Alimentação, Brazil Juntos, Peru Oportunidades, Mexico[  Bolsa Alimentação, Brazil[ Juntos, Peru[  Pantawid, Philippines Bono de Desarollo Humano, Ecuador NTCPP, Burkina Faso Primary Education Stipend, Bangladesh Bono Solidario, Ecuador Older Person’s Grant, South Africa RPS, Nicaragua Child Grant Programme, Zambia Oportunidades, Mexico RPS, Nicaragua[ CT-OVC, Kenya Oportunidades, Mexico Samurdhi, Sri Lanka Familias en Acción, Colombia Oportunidades, Mexico[ Save The Children CT, Niger Note: 27 studies of 22 programmes were analysed.

Positive, negative, or no effect?

After analysing quantitative data from these studies, all from programmes in different contexts, I found that, overall, cash transfers had a positive effect on child nutritional status. While some studies had negative effects and others no effect at all, the average effects (weighted by sample size) was positive. Although this positive effect is small, it is robust, making me more certain that this effect exists. This means that cash transfers are in fact an effective solution for reducing child malnutrition.

But under which conditions?

It might seem obvious that an increase in money leads to better fed children. However, it might not be so simple. Different conditions may lead to very different outcomes. In my research, I quantified which categories might make a difference and found two notable cases to discuss.

First, the most discussed difference is that between conditional cash transfers and unconditional cash transfers. Exactly one half of all the estimates considered conditional cash transfers, and the other half considered unconditional ones. Within programmes, there were also differences in conditionality, with programmes including both conditional and unconditional transfers. I found no difference in effectiveness between the two. This is an important finding, given that the majority of cash transfers targeting child nutritional status are conditional cash transfers. However, conditional cash transfers programmes are more expensive to implement, as the conditions need to be monitored. Therefore, if the desired outcome is improved child nutritional status (or reduced child malnutrition), parties looking for a more cost-effective solution might consider using an unconditional cash transfer programme instead.

Within conditional programmes, differences also exist regarding the types of conditions. In my analysis, programmes either contained educational (sending children to school), medical (vaccinating children or sending them for regular medical check-ups), or financial (saving a percentage of the cash transfer) conditions. I analysed these different types and found no significant differences regarding their effect on child nutritional status.

The second notable variable is a more obvious factor that benefits programme effectiveness: providing a nutritional supplement with the cash transfer. These supplements differed per programme, and the precise supplement was often not specified. Nevertheless, a supplement might be the extra boost children need in order to benefit from the programme. Programme designers might, therefore, consider adding nutritional supplements to cash transfer programmes.

Besides these variables, I also analysed others. In total, I ran four statistical models. The variables included the difference in effectiveness between female and male recipients of the transfer, the age of the child, the gender of the child, the region of the programme, if conditions were enforced, and several methodological variables. The results for these variables were inconsistent, making it difficult to draw conclusions.

Towards more effective cash transfer programmes

Cash transfer programmes exist in many different forms. Their effect is not, however, unequivocal. As my analysis illustrates, what works in one programme, might not work in another. Governments and NGOs should focus on tailoring cash transfers to local circumstances, and the focus should be on understanding the causal mechanisms that underlie the differences in effects.

The post Cash transfers improve child nutritional status, but under which conditions? appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Cash transfers improve child nutritional status, but under which conditions?

28. August 2019 - 9:58

A lack of integration of quantitative evidence on the overall effects of cash transfers leaves us largely in the dark about their true effect. One outcome for which this is the case is child nutritional status. In my study, I analyse 27 different studies on the effect of cash transfers on child nutritional status, including 311 estimates on 23 variables. I found no significant differences between conditional and unconditional programmes. However, nutritional supplements increased the effectiveness of programmes. Other variables were too insignificant to draw conclusions from.

Despite scepticism about giving away ‘free money’, cash transfers have become an increasingly popular tool for poverty alleviation. Although cash transfers have been successful in increasing business income and school attendance, and decreasing child labour, their effect on the nutritional status of children is unclear. A large body of literature has examined the link between cash transfers and child nutritional status, but the evidence is mixed. Given that many programmes target child nutritional status, and 162 million children suffer from stunting globally, it is important to ask: Are cash transfers effective in improving child nutritional status? And, if so, what conditions have an influence on this effect?

How do we find out?

Several studies have been undertaken to identify the effect of cash transfers on child nutritional status. However, these are context specific, making it hard to draw conclusions. Using statistical methods, I integrated the findings of 27 of these studies (see Table 1), enabling me to find out what the average effect of this relationship is, and which conditions alter this effect. The studies cover 311 estimates on 23 different variables.

Positive, negative, or no effect?

After analysing quantitative data from these studies, all from programmes in different contexts, I found that, overall, cash transfers had a positive effect on child nutritional status. While some studies had negative effects and others no effect at all, the average effects (weighted by sample size) was positive. Although this positive effect is small, it is robust, making me more certain that this effect exists. This means that cash transfers are in fact an effective solution for reducing child malnutrition.

But under which conditions?

It might seem obvious that an increase in money leads to better fed children. However, it might not be so simple. Different conditions may lead to very different outcomes. In my research, I quantified which categories might make a difference and found two notable cases to discuss.

First, the most discussed difference is that between conditional cash transfers and unconditional cash transfers. Exactly one half of all the estimates considered conditional cash transfers, and the other half considered unconditional ones. Within programmes, there were also differences in conditionality, with programmes including both conditional and unconditional transfers. I found no difference in effectiveness between the two. This is an important finding, given that the majority of cash transfers targeting child nutritional status are conditional cash transfers. However, conditional cash transfers programmes are more expensive to implement, as the conditions need to be monitored. Therefore, if the desired outcome is improved child nutritional status (or reduced child malnutrition), parties looking for a more cost-effective solution might consider using an unconditional cash transfer programme instead.

Within conditional programmes, differences also exist regarding the types of conditions. In my analysis, programmes either contained educational (sending children to school), medical (vaccinating children or sending them for regular medical check-ups), or financial (saving a percentage of the cash transfer) conditions. I analysed these different types and found no significant differences regarding their effect on child nutritional status.

The second notable variable is a more obvious factor that benefits programme effectiveness: providing a nutritional supplement with the cash transfer. These supplements differed per programme, and the precise supplement was often not specified. Nevertheless, a supplement might be the extra boost children need in order to benefit from the programme. Programme designers might, therefore, consider adding nutritional supplements to cash transfer programmes.

Besides these variables, I also analysed others. In total, I ran four statistical models. The variables included the difference in effectiveness between female and male recipients of the transfer, the age of the child, the gender of the child, the region of the programme, if conditions were enforced, and several methodological variables. The results for these variables were inconsistent, making it difficult to draw conclusions.

Towards more effective cash transfer programmes

Cash transfer programmes exist in many different forms. Their effect is not, however, unequivocal. As my analysis illustrates, what works in one programme, might not work in another. Governments and NGOs should focus on tailoring cash transfers to local circumstances, and the focus should be on understanding the causal mechanisms that underlie the differences in effects.

Table 1. Programmes and studies analysed

Apni Beti Ap Dhan, India FFA, Bangladesh FSVGD, Bangladesh Oportunidades, Mexico PRAF, Honduras Red de Protección Social, Nicaragua Atención a Crisis, Nicaragua GiveDirectly CT, Kenya Oportunidades, Mexico Bolsa Alimentação, Brazil Juntos, Peru Oportunidades, Mexico[ Bolsa Alimentação, Brazil[ Juntos, Peru[ Pantawid, Philippines Bono de Desarollo Humano, Ecuador NTCPP, Burkina Faso Primary Education Stipend, Bangladesh Bono Solidario, Ecuador Older Person’s Grant, South Africa RPS, Nicaragua Child Grant Programme, Zambia Oportunidades, Mexico RPS, Nicaragua[ CT-OVC, Kenya Oportunidades, Mexico Samurdhi, Sri Lanka Familias en Acción, Colombia Oportunidades, Mexico[ Save The Children CT, Niger Note: 27 studies of 22 programmes were analysed.

Het bericht Cash transfers improve child nutritional status, but under which conditions? verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Preliminary programme: Closing conference ‘New roles of CSOs for inclusive development’

27. August 2019 - 17:12

Download this document for the preliminary programme of the October 8 closing conference ‘New roles of CSOs for inclusive development’: Co-creating knowledge on advocacy with civil society.

The post Preliminary programme: Closing conference ‘New roles of CSOs for inclusive development’ appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Taxing mobile phone transactions in Africa: Lessons from Kenya

19. August 2019 - 12:11

Taxation on mobile phone-based transactions and on airtime has  been introduced in Kenya and is spreading to other African countries. Some countries in sub-Saharan Africa view mobile phones as a booming subsector easy to tax due to the increasing turnover of transactions and the formal nature of such transactions by both formal and informal enterprises. The increasing tax burden on the subsector and the consumers, though, has raised concerns that the massive gains made in financial inclusion in developing countries made possible by retail electronic payments platform via mobile phone transactions may be reversed—resulting in a return to cash transactions.

In addition to a 2003 excise tax on airtime, since 2013, Kenya has introduced and reworked taxes on goods such as mobile phones, computer hardware, software, and, more recently, retail financial transactions. The most recent adjustments in taxation in the Finance Act 2018 increased the excise tax on money transfer services by banks from 10 percent to 20 percent, on telephone services (airtime) from 10 percent to 15 percent, on mobile phone-based financial transactions from 10 percent to 12 percent, and introduced a 15 percent excise tax on internet data services and fixed-line telephone services.

This paper shows that taxation on mobile phone airtime and financial transactions may not expand the tax base significantly but, rather, may reverse the gains on retail electronic payments and financial inclusion. A higher tax rate on low-level retail electronic transactions mostly levied on low-income earners that are sensitive to transaction costs may discourage the use of mobile phone-based transactions, incentivizing them to revert to cash transactions to evade taxes and so less tax revenue. This trend will deal a big blow to the financial inclusion success witnessed so far.

Poorly designed tax policy will have poor outcomes on tax revenue and market distortions will drive consumption behavior on an undesired path, so any future review of excise tax rates on airtime and financial services should be preceded with a thorough analysis of optimal taxation excise taxes, the likely change in behavior around financial services, and, above all, the marginal contribution to the tax effort that policy aims to raise. The data so far available shows that the contribution of mobile money-related taxes is less than 1 percent of total tax revenue, a negligible contribution to Kenya’s total tax income, at high economic costs. These lessons are not just relevant for Kenya but also for other countries in Africa with such tax propositions. Introducing and increasing taxes on mobile phone transactions may risk stalling progress on digitization and fiscal policy design as well as revenue administration.

This article and policy brief is a republication of a Brookings Institution news article; find the original post here or download the policy brief.

The post Taxing mobile phone transactions in Africa: Lessons from Kenya appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

How can we tackle youth employment challenges? Revisiting the evidence base for soft skills in Africa

14. August 2019 - 14:54

This two-pager on youth employment summarizes some of the evidence on the impact soft skills interventions and highlights priority areas for policies and programmes.

The post How can we tackle youth employment challenges? Revisiting the evidence base for soft skills in Africa appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

How do NGO and company partnerships for inclusive business work?

8. August 2019 - 12:13

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) builds a lot on engaging the private sector. But how to move from philanthropy-driven collaboration, which is an add-on for a company, to strategic and equal partnerships? How to make such partnerships really effective and realize social impact with a business case? Together with pioneering NGOs and Partos/The SpindleEndeva developed a guide on NGO and company partnerships for inclusive business.

Inclusive business ‘A commercially-viable business model that integrates low-income people into value chains as consumers, producers, suppliers, employees, or entrepreneurs with the aim of creating mutual benefit’. (Inclusive Business guide, p. 18)

Why this guide? The reason is that the synergy that combines the best of both worlds – between the civic and private spaces, between ‘development and business’ – does not come automatically.  Challenges for NGO partnering with companies

The interest in partnerships that are more strategic or even systemic in nature (see graph), is immense. “A clear trend”, says Katja Freiwald, Director of Global Partnerships of Unilever, is “co-created partnerships based on complementary assets and skills. True value-added is one of our guiding principles when selecting NGOs for our inclusive business partnerships”.

Inclusive Business Guide, pg. 19

However, both NGOs and companies alike struggle with the how. “Often, NGOs feel very weak in a partnership with large corporations”, says Gitte Dyrhagen Husager, Head of Private Sector Engagement, DanChurchAid. And Alexandra Burroughs, CEO of the social enterprise Live Well, which emerged from a partnership between CARE, GlaxoSmithKline and Barclays, stresses that “it is challenging for an NGO to step out of its traditional mindset and adopt a business approach”.

NGOs do have valid questions like: ‘What would our target group and my NGO gain from partnering with a company?’ ‘Are we not compromising our rights-based focus when we adopt a market-based approach?’ They may also face dilemmas, such as: ‘Should we be a paid service provider and receive funding or an equal partner with a company and invest as well?’ Or, they may find it hard to make the case for inclusion – the way they understand it – among their business partners.

These challenges have two root causes: The two objectives underlying inclusive business partnerships, combining social impact with a business case, are not easy to combine. Partly because NGOs and companies are, in fact, very different from one another. Often NGOs and businesses speak a different language and operate under different performance indicators and timeframes. Making a well-balanced collaboration work requires that all participants understand and respect each another’s motivation, organizational culture, and structure – and find ways to nurture the value of their differences. They need to effectively manage the risks involved, rather than have them stand in the way.

Five key building blocks of inclusive business partnerships

Based on a peer learning event with 10 international NGOs, Endeva, a Berlin-based international thought leader and ecosystem facilitator in inclusive business, took the initiative to develop a guide on this topic. They partnered with Partos/The Spindle and others, collected partnership examples from pioneering NGOs and their company partners, and interviewed academic experts to complement extensive research.

The guide is built around five chapters that represent and show the key building blocks of inclusive business partnerships. In addition it offers deep-dives into four specific cases, an overview of practical tools (from self-assessments to partnership MoUs) and documents for further reading. Here I present insights from the chapters.

Inclusive Business guide, pg. 25 
  1. When to choose an inclusive business partnerships: Inclusive business partnerships have great potential to combine social impact with a business case. Yet, because of this duality, they are not suitable in every context or for every organization. Because of the wide variety of inclusive business partnerships, in scope (see figure) and form, parties should explore what suits them best.
  2. Finding the right partner: Who should an NGO choose as a partner? Which companies should they rule out? NGOs tend to look for perfect partners, but in fact there are just good matches. It all starts with knowing yourself as an organization – what you can really offer and what you need – in order to find a partner that is complementary and fits your values. Building a trust-based relationship with a company requires moving out of your comfort zone and respecting other realities and values.
  3. Creating opportunities and managing risks: To realize the full potential of inclusive business partnerships, partners need to successfully build on each other’s strengths and be aligned. It is important they do not jump into implementing ‘yet another project’ and remain critical about whether or not they can play all the roles required. The guide also breaks through the myth that either the NGO or the company has easy money at its disposal. NGOs are called upon to use innovative methods to ensure that social impact and the related key performance indicators (KPIs) are an integral part of the business model.
  4. Changing internally: What are the implications of partnering for inclusive business for your own organization? Inclusive business partnerships diverge from ‘business as usual’ – from managing your development projects or from doing regular business. Hence, both NGOs and companies have to deal with internal critics, develop other competencies and performance criteria, and adapt existing structures. The NGO’s ‘theory of change’, for example, has to incorporate market-based approaches and private sector actors. In short, going for inclusive business partnerships has organizational implications and both partners need to be willing to change internally.
  5. Moving on or scaling up: Successful partnerships can increase their impact through replication or scaling up. Ideally, the NGO partner moves out after a couple of years, the partnership ends, and the inclusive business model sustains itself. Depending on the scope of the partnership, this can be a long-term process, although there are hard realities on both sides

Relevance for different stakeholders

The guide primarily offers practical guidance to NGOs, but is also relevant to companies. Firstly, because it helps them understand their NGO partner better and, secondly, because if can offer inspiration for the inclusive business agenda of their own company. Interestingly, companies and NGOs often have similar questions and challenges, especially those that refer to internal processes. Their issues and realities tend to mirror each other.

For other key stakeholders such as donors, the guide offers insights into the dilemmas and challenges that NGOs – and for that matter, companies – face, e.g. related to the promise of inclusiveness, NGO-company relations and funding. Despite their immense potential, inclusive business partnerships are not the new ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to achieve the SDGs; other approaches remain essential. They are also a practice that cannot emerge without internal changes in and investments by NGOs. NGOs would, thus, also benefit from adequate support to realize the promise of inclusive business partnerships.

Het bericht How do NGO and company partnerships for inclusive business work? verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

How do NGO and company partnerships for inclusive business work?

8. August 2019 - 11:31

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) builds a lot on engaging the private sector. But how to move from philanthropy-driven collaboration, which is an add-on for a company, to strategic and equal partnerships? How to make such partnerships really effective and realize social impact with a business case? Together with pioneering NGOs and Partos/The Spindle, Endeva developed a guide on NGO and company partnerships for inclusive business.

Inclusive business: ‘A commercially-viable business model that integrates low-income people into value chains as consumers, producers, suppliers, employees, or entrepreneurs with the aim of creating mutual benefit’. (Inclusive Business guide, p. 18)

Challenges for NGO partnering with companies

Why this guide? The reason is that the synergy that combines the best of both worlds – between the civic and private spaces, between ‘development and business’ – does not come automatically.  

The interest in partnerships that are more strategic or even systemic in nature (see graph), is immense. “A clear trend”, says Katja Freiwald, Director of Global Partnerships of Unilever, is “co-created partnerships based on complementary assets and skills. True value-added is one of our guiding principles when selecting NGOs for our inclusive business partnerships”.

Inclusive Business Guide, pg. 19

However, both NGOs and companies alike struggle with the how. “Often, NGOs feel very weak in a partnership with large corporations”, says Gitte Dyrhagen Husager, Head of Private Sector Engagement, DanChurchAid. And Alexandra Burroughs, CEO of the social enterprise Live Well, which emerged from a partnership between CARE, GlaxoSmithKline and Barclays, stresses that “it is challenging for an NGO to step out of its traditional mindset and adopt a business approach”.

NGOs do have valid questions like: ‘What would our target group and my NGO gain from partnering with a company?’ ‘Are we not compromising our rights-based focus when we adopt a market-based approach?’ They may also face dilemmas, such as: ‘Should we be a paid service provider and receive funding or an equal partner with a company and invest as well?’ Or, they may find it hard to make the case for inclusion – the way they understand it – among their business partners.

These challenges have two root causes: The two objectives underlying inclusive business partnerships, combining social impact with a business case, are not easy to combine. Partly because NGOs and companies are, in fact, very different from one another. Often NGOs and businesses speak a different language and operate under different performance indicators and timeframes. Making a well-balanced collaboration work requires that all participants understand and respect each another’s motivation, organizational culture, and structure – and find ways to nurture the value of their differences. They need to effectively manage the risks involved, rather than have them stand in the way.

Five key building blocks of inclusive business partnerships

Based on a peer learning event with 10 international NGOs, Endeva, a Berlin-based international thought leader and ecosystem facilitator in inclusive business, took the initiative to develop a guide on this topic. They partnered with Partos/The Spindle and others, collected partnership examples from pioneering NGOs and their company partners, and interviewed academic experts to complement extensive research.

The guide is built around five chapters that represent and show the key building blocks of inclusive business partnerships. In addition it offers deep-dives into four specific cases, an overview of practical tools (from self-assessments to partnership MoUs) and documents for further reading. Here I present insights from the chapters.

Inclusive Business guide, pg. 25
  1. When to choose an inclusive business partnerships: Inclusive business partnerships have great potential to combine social impact with a business case. Yet, because of this duality, they are not suitable in every context or for every organization. Because of the wide variety of inclusive business partnerships, in scope (see figure) and form, parties should explore what suits them best.
  2. Finding the right partner: Who should an NGO choose as a partner? Which companies should they rule out? NGOs tend to look for perfect partners, but in fact there are just good matches. It all starts with knowing yourself as an organization – what you can really offer and what you need – in order to find a partner that is complementary and fits your values. Building a trust-based relationship with a company requires moving out of your comfort zone and respecting other realities and values.
  3. Creating opportunities and managing risks: To realize the full potential of inclusive business partnerships, partners need to successfully build on each other’s strengths and be aligned. It is important they do not jump into implementing ‘yet another project’ and remain critical about whether or not they can play all the roles required. The guide also breaks through the myth that either the NGO or the company has easy money at its disposal. NGOs are called upon to use innovative methods to ensure that social impact and the related key performance indicators (KPIs) are an integral part of the business model.
  4. Changing internally: What are the implications of partnering for inclusive business for your own organization? Inclusive business partnerships diverge from ‘business as usual’ – from managing your development projects or from doing regular business. Hence, both NGOs and companies have to deal with internal critics, develop other competencies and performance criteria, and adapt existing structures. The NGO’s ‘theory of change’, for example, has to incorporate market-based approaches and private sector actors. In short, going for inclusive business partnerships has organizational implications and both partners need to be willing to change internally.
  5. Moving on or scaling up: Successful partnerships can increase their impact through replication or scaling up. Ideally, the NGO partner moves out after a couple of years, the partnership ends, and the inclusive business model sustains itself. Depending on the scope of the partnership, this can be a long-term process, although there are hard realities on both sides

Relevance for different stakeholders

The guide primarily offers practical guidance to NGOs, but is also relevant to companies. Firstly, because it helps them understand their NGO partner better and, secondly, because if can offer inspiration for the inclusive business agenda of their own company. Interestingly, companies and NGOs often have similar questions and challenges, especially those that refer to internal processes. Their issues and realities tend to mirror each other.

For other key stakeholders such as donors, the guide offers insights into the dilemmas and challenges that NGOs – and for that matter, companies – face, e.g. related to the promise of inclusiveness, NGO-company relations and funding. Despite their immense potential, inclusive business partnerships are not the new ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to achieve the SDGs; other approaches remain essential. They are also a practice that cannot emerge without internal changes in and investments by NGOs. NGOs would, thus, also benefit from adequate support to realize the promise of inclusive business partnerships.


 

The post How do NGO and company partnerships for inclusive business work? appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Note conceptuelle 2019–2022 (Fr.)

5. August 2019 - 12:21

Plateforme de connaissances sur les politiques dedéveloppement inclusif (INCLUDE) note conceptuelle pour la phase II (2019–2022).

The post Note conceptuelle 2019–2022 (Fr.) appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Concept note 2019-2022 (Eng)

5. August 2019 - 12:16

Building on our cumulative learning and a consultative process with our platform members and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, platform members Nicholas Awortwi and Ton Dietz developed a new concept note that is available in both English and French. This concept note refines our knowledge agenda and will form the cornerstone of INCLUDE’s work in the next four years (2019–2022).

 

 

The post Concept note 2019-2022 (Eng) appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Moving forward in debates on inclusive development policies: INCLUDE’s renewed knowledge agenda

5. August 2019 - 10:34

2018 was a stocktaking year for INCLUDE. With our members and network and at the Secretariat, we reflected on five years of knowledge brokering on inclusive development. This included 14 flagship international meetings, support to 17 projects in the Research on Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa Programme (RIDSSA)7 African Policy Dialogues and more. What have we learnt? Are we closer to understanding what is needed to make development in Africa more inclusive? How can we best promote policy relevant research and knowledge brokering to better inform policy makers and practitioners? And what does that mean for our knowledge and activity agenda moving forward?

The INCLUDE Knowledge Platform was established by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012 to promote better research-policy linkages on development processes in Africa. The core of this work focuses on inclusive development – which is development that goes beyond economic growth and is not just concerned with poverty reduction, but also aims to reduce inequality. In 2014, INCLUDE defined its knowledge agenda, with six key policy domains that were commonly perceived as drivers of inequality, but that could, through strategic action, be transformed into triggers of inclusive development. These six policy areas are: economic growth with structural transformation, productive employment, social protection, access to basic services, territorial development, and inclusive governance.

The focus on inequality has proven to be essential and is gaining more and more attention in national and international policy debates. This is supported by increasing evidence on the detrimental effects of inequality – not only in terms of threatening social cohesion and political stability, but also in reducing prospects for future economic growth. INCLUDE is, thus, staying true to the vision advanced in 2012 and emphasizing even more than before the need for development, and not just economic growth, to be more inclusive. This makes the question ‘what works in promoting more inclusive development’ even more pertinent.

Here, our 2012–2018 findings provide important insights. At the risk of losing important nuances, we summarize our insights into inclusive development in one key principle: Development is not automatically inclusive and inclusive development requires additional and different investments. This principle emphasizes the importance of going beyond the assumption that all good things will automatically trickle down and echoes an important observation from the 2016 World Bank Shared Prosperity report: “a road in itself does not reduce inequality”. We know by now that wealth does not automatically trickle down and that more inclusive development requires an inclusive development lens. What this lens entails is further explained in the Inclusive Development synthesis.

A new knowledge agenda

These advances, as well as ongoing developments in the national and international policy environment, required us to take a fresh look at our original knowledge agenda. Building on our cumulative learning and a consultative process with our platform members and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, platform members Nicholas Awortwi and Ton Dietz developed a new concept note that is available in both English and French. This concept note refines our knowledge agenda and will form the cornerstone of INCLUDE’s work in the next four years (2019–2022). The six policy domains have been sharped into four themes and four lenses. The four themes are: economic growth with transformation, work and income for women and youth, access to and use of basic services (especially education and cash transfers), and political empowerment. The four lenses are: social equity, spatial equity, inclusive governance, and political economy. These themes and lenses will guide us in further shaping our research and dialogue activities. The image below outlines the shift from the old to the new knowledge agenda.

In doing so, we also build on the lessons learnt on ‘how’ to promote evidence-informed policy making. From 2016, INCLUDE launched the African Policy Dialogues (APDs), which are initiated by its platform members. The aim of the APDs is to encourage the use of existing knowledge in policy making in selected African countries. With their alignment to national development processes and policy questions and their visible policy impact, these dialogue activities have developed into a flagship knowledge brokering activity for INCLUDE that will become more prominent in the coming year.

These cumulative lessons are also visible in the development of two new research programmes:

  • First, the INCLUDE Secretariat played a crucial role in the establishment of the NWO/WOTRO Assumptions Programme, which tests the assumptions underlying the Dialogue & Dissent policy framework, with an explicit policy goal (informing the new policy framework). Importantly, this programme emphasized short-term deliverables to kick start the dialogue between researchers and policy stakeholders (including a review of the relevant existing literature) and promoted the strong participation of both policymakers and researchers in these exchanges.
  • Second, the importance of such a committed cohort of researchers, including to short-term deliverables and dialogues with national and international stakeholders, is also central to our international collaboration with IDRC and ILO on youth employment in Africa. This programme combines detailed case studies on clustered youth employment interventions with evidence reviews that link the individual projects to the broader youth employment debate and learning.

We will keep you up to date on these new initiatives, findings and results!

Het bericht Moving forward in debates on inclusive development policies: INCLUDE’s renewed knowledge agenda verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Seven principles for inclusive development policy-making

5. August 2019 - 10:11
‘Development is not automatically inclusive, but requires additional and different investments’

At risk of losing important nuances, we summarize INCLUDE’s insights into inclusive development over 2012-2018 in this one key principle. This principle emphasizes the importance of going beyond the assumption that all good things will automatically trickle down, and overarches the 7 principles for inclusive policy-making presented in this factsheet.

Read more about INCLUDE’s insights and knowledge agenda over 2012-2018 and 2019-2022 in this blog post by Marleen Dekker.

The post Seven principles for inclusive development policy-making appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Moving forward in debates on inclusive development policies: INCLUDE’s renewed knowledge agenda

5. August 2019 - 9:36

2018 was a stocktaking year for INCLUDE. With our members and network and at the Secretariat, we reflected on five years of knowledge brokering on inclusive development. This included 14 flagship international meetings, support to 17 projects in the Research on Inclusive Development in Sub-Saharan Africa Programme (RIDSSA), 7 African Policy Dialogues and more. What have we learnt? Are we closer to understanding what is needed to make development in Africa more inclusive? How can we best promote policy relevant research and knowledge brokering to better inform policy makers and practitioners? And what does that mean for our knowledge and activity agenda moving forward?

The INCLUDE Knowledge Platform was established by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012 to promote better research-policy linkages on development processes in Africa. The core of this work focuses on inclusive development – which is development that goes beyond economic growth and is not just concerned with poverty reduction, but also aims to reduce inequality. In 2014, INCLUDE defined its knowledge agenda, with six key policy domains that were commonly perceived as drivers of inequality, but that could, through strategic action, be transformed into triggers of inclusive development. These six policy areas are: economic growth with structural transformation, productive employment, social protection, access to basic services, territorial development, and inclusive governance.

The focus on inequality has proven to be essential and is gaining more and more attention in national and international policy debates. This is supported by increasing evidence on the detrimental effects of inequality – not only in terms of threatening social cohesion and political stability, but also in reducing prospects for future economic growth. INCLUDE is, thus, staying true to the vision advanced in 2012 and emphasizing even more than before the need for development, and not just economic growth, to be more inclusive. This makes the question ‘what works in promoting more inclusive development’ even more pertinent.

Here, our 2012–2018 findings provide important insights. At the risk of losing important nuances, we summarize our insights into inclusive development in one key principle: Development is not automatically inclusive and inclusive development requires additional and different investments. This principle emphasizes the importance of going beyond the assumption that all good things will automatically trickle down and echoes an important observation from the 2016 World Bank Shared Prosperity report: “a road in itself does not reduce inequality”. We know by now that wealth does not automatically trickle down and that more inclusive development requires an inclusive development lens. What this lens entails is further explained in the Inclusive Development synthesis.

A new knowledge agenda

These advances, as well as ongoing developments in the national and international policy environment, required us to take a fresh look at our original knowledge agenda. Building on our cumulative learning and a consultative process with our platform members and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, platform members Nicholas Awortwi and Ton Dietz developed a new concept note that is available in both English and French. This concept note refines our knowledge agenda and will form the cornerstone of INCLUDE’s work in the next four years (2019–2022). The six policy domains have been sharped into four themes and four lenses. The four themes are: economic growth with transformation, work and income for women and youth, access to and use of basic services (especially education and cash transfers), and political empowerment. The four lenses are: social equity, spatial equity, inclusive governance, and political economy. These themes and lenses will guide us in further shaping our research and dialogue activities. The image below outlines the shift from the old to the new knowledge agenda.

In doing so, we also build on the lessons learnt on ‘how’ to promote evidence-informed policy making. From 2016, INCLUDE launched the African Policy Dialogues (APDs), which are initiated by its platform members. The aim of the APDs is to encourage the use of existing knowledge in policy making in selected African countries. With their alignment to national development processes and policy questions and their visible policy impact, these dialogue activities have developed into a flagship knowledge brokering activity for INCLUDE that will become more prominent in the coming year.

These cumulative lessons are also visible in the development of two new research programmes:

  • First, the INCLUDE Secretariat played a crucial role in the establishment of the NWO/WOTRO Assumptions Programme, which tests the assumptions underlying the Dialogue & Dissent policy framework, with an explicit policy goal (informing the new policy framework). Importantly, this programme emphasized short-term deliverables to kick start the dialogue between researchers and policy stakeholders (including a review of the relevant existing literature) and promoted the strong participation of both policymakers and researchers in these exchanges.
  • Second, the importance of such a committed cohort of researchers, including to short-term deliverables and dialogues with national and international stakeholders, is also central to our international collaboration with IDRC and ILO on youth employment in Africa. This programme combines detailed case studies on clustered youth employment interventions with evidence reviews that link the individual projects to the broader youth employment debate and learning.

We will keep you up to date on these new initiatives, findings and results!

The post Moving forward in debates on inclusive development policies: INCLUDE’s renewed knowledge agenda appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Mind the gender gap: how can a gender-norm lens improve social protection outcomes for adolescents?

24. Juli 2019 - 11:03

Social protection has been one of the main policy areas within INCLUDE’s knowledge agenda, resulting in a large body of knowledge and evidence on social protection for inclusive development. Youth represent an important group to focus on within social protection, as they are in a significant and vulnerable period of their lives regarding their development.

Our INCLUDE Secretariat took notice of a blog post by researchers Maja Gavrilovic and Tia Palermo from the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti working on the Transfer Project, where they perform research and generate evidence on the impact of social protection in the lives of youth. Their blog post ‘Mind the gender gap: How can a gender-norm lens improve social protection outcomes for adolescents?‘ looks at gender as a structural barrier for systematic exclusion from services or opportunities and how social protectionare allowing to change gender norms.

The authors of this blog post present the following pathways in which they found social protection to be able to transform gender norms and relations:

  1. decreasing gender inequalities in schooling attainment;
  2. promoting positive attitudes around how girls are valued by their families and communities;
  3. promoting women’s financial inclusion (that is, registering a bank account in women’s name to enable her to accumulate savings and grow a business);
  4. expanding women’s social support, economic networks, and participation in the community;
  5. reducing violence in the home, which generates a cycle of violence as children are exposed and replicate that behavior in adulthood;
  6. promoting more equitable distribution of domestic work between women and men.

Read more about their findings on how social protection can improve outcomes for youth in their original blog post through this link.

Het bericht Mind the gender gap: how can a gender-norm lens improve social protection outcomes for adolescents? verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

New funding to boost decent employment for Africa’s youth

24. Juli 2019 - 10:56

Harnessing the potential of Africa’s youth is a priority for governments and donors, but progress has been fragmented and slow. In response to that challenge, a multi-donor research initiative aims to generate new and rigorous evidence on how soft skills development and work-based learning may boost economic opportunities for youth.

Boosting Decent Employment for Africa’s Youth is a three-year partnership between INCLUDE, International Development Research Center (IDRC), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) under the guidance of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth.

As the lead for in-depth research under this partnership, IDRC announced the selection of the following eight research projects in nine sub-Saharan African countries, chosen from among 375 applications. These projects will study the impact of various innovative approaches to inform decisions on youth policies and programs at the national, regional, and global levels.

The projects below must meet IDRC’s administrative and grant-reporting requirements before receiving final approval.

Research on soft and digital skills for youth
  • Soft skills for sub-Saharan Africa youth: the Ghanaian context, led by the University of Ghana
  • Empowering adolescent girls with improved life skills in Tanzania, led by BRAC, in collaboration with the Gender Innovation Lab
  • Soft vs. hard skills: two long-term evaluations of youth entrepreneurship training programs in Uganda, led by Innovations for Poverty Action-Uganda in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, and Educate!
  • Addressing youth unemployment in Africa through skills for industries without smokestacks, led by Brookings Institution, in collaboration with the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, University of Cape Town, Laboratoire d’Analyse des Politiques de Développement and the Economic Policy Research Centre
Research to foster work-based learning programs and mentorship
  • Mentoring young agricultural graduates for decent jobs in the Benin labour markets, led by Université d’Abomey-Calavi in collaboration with DagriVest
  • The impact of a national apprenticeship-based entrepreneurship strategy in Nigeria, led by the National Centre for Technology Management
  • Connecting young, vulnerable women in Mozambique with paid work, led by Associação Académica de Nutrição e Segurança Alimentar in collaboration with Oxford Policy Management
  • Tackling youth unemployment through work-based learning: experimental evidence from South Africa, led by the University of Cape Town, J-PAL Africa

Evidence synthesis will accompany this in-depth research. Led by INCLUDE, these studies will identify practices and strategies from ongoing or completed initiatives on sustainable job creation and gender constraints in the labour market, among other themes.

A key component of the initiative is knowledge sharing to foster cross-country learning and dialogue. The ILO, with IDRC and INCLUDE, will lead knowledge exchange activities and will use the partners’ experiences to connect, capture, and share best practices, highlight innovative approaches, and create opportunities to learn how to boost decent employment for Africa’s youth.

This post was originally published on the website of the IDRC, which you can find through this link.

Het bericht New funding to boost decent employment for Africa’s youth verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

New funding to boost decent employment for Africa’s youth

24. Juli 2019 - 9:00

Harnessing the potential of Africa’s youth is a priority for governments and donors, but progress has been fragmented and slow. In response to that challenge, a multi-donor research initiative aims to generate new and rigorous evidence on how soft skills development and work-based learning may boost economic opportunities for youth.

Boosting Decent Employment for Africa’s Youth is a three-year partnership between INCLUDE, International Development Research Center (IDRC), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) under the guidance of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth.

As the lead for in-depth research under this partnership, IDRC announced the selection of the following eight research projects in nine sub-Saharan African countries, chosen from among 375 applications. These projects will study the impact of various innovative approaches to inform decisions on youth policies and programs at the national, regional, and global levels.

The projects below must meet IDRC’s administrative and grant-reporting requirements before receiving final approval.

Research on soft and digital skills for youth
  • Soft skills for sub-Saharan Africa youth: the Ghanaian context, led by the University of Ghana
  • Empowering adolescent girls with improved life skills in Tanzania, led by BRAC, in collaboration with the Gender Innovation Lab
  • Soft vs. hard skills: two long-term evaluations of youth entrepreneurship training programs in Uganda, led by Innovations for Poverty Action-Uganda in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, and Educate!
  • Addressing youth unemployment in Africa through skills for industries without smokestacks, led by Brookings Institution, in collaboration with the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, University of Cape Town, Laboratoire d’Analyse des Politiques de Développement and the Economic Policy Research Centre


Research to foster work-based learning programs and mentorship
  • Mentoring young agricultural graduates for decent jobs in the Benin labour markets, led by Université d’Abomey-Calavi in collaboration with DagriVest
  • The impact of a national apprenticeship-based entrepreneurship strategy in Nigeria, led by the National Centre for Technology Management
  • Connecting young, vulnerable women in Mozambique with paid work, led by Associação Académica de Nutrição e Segurança Alimentar in collaboration with Oxford Policy Management
  • Tackling youth unemployment through work-based learning: experimental evidence from South Africa, led by the University of Cape Town, J-PAL Africa

Evidence synthesis will accompany this in-depth research. Led by INCLUDE, these studies will identify practices and strategies from ongoing or completed initiatives on sustainable job creation and gender constraints in the labour market, among other themes.

A key component of the initiative is knowledge sharing to foster cross-country learning and dialogue. The ILO, with IDRC and INCLUDE, will lead knowledge exchange activities and will use the partners’ experiences to connect, capture, and share best practices, highlight innovative approaches, and create opportunities to learn how to boost decent employment for Africa’s youth.

This post was originally published on the website of the IDRC, which you can find through this link.

The post New funding to boost decent employment for Africa’s youth appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Your summer reading list on social protection

9. Juli 2019 - 13:49

During the first half of 2019, the topic of social protection has been firing on all cylinders. So what better time than now to offer a compilation of summer readings, organized around 10 thematic questions, all drawing from about 480 materials.

1. Is social protection a productive investment? 
A great report by the OECD unbundles the effects of social protection on inclusive economic growthvia micro, meso and macro channels. Daidone et al. have an article on the economic effects of cash transfers in 7 African countries: they examine issues around labor reallocation of beneficiaries (e.g., in Zambia they transitioned from wage to self-employment) and explain how design can affect performance, including in terms of targeting, transfer value and predictability, and messaging (see also 29 microsummaries co-produced with Peterman on national cash transfers in Africa).

2. What are the long-term effects of cash transfers?
Baird et al. explore the effects of unconditional cash transfers on adolescent girls after 5 years from conclusion: they find that the program’s effects in delaying marriage and pregnancy rapidly vanished in a matter of months. Similarly, Blattman et al. show that a $300 grant to spur self-employment in Ethiopia has significant impacts in the first year, but effects fade after the fifth year. In terms of conditional cash transfers (CCTs), a 10-country review by Millan et al. shows strong evidence on education-related outcomes, but is more mixed on learning. Evidence is thinner on employment: only in Nicaragua are long-term effects on labor force participation and income positive.

3. Do people always prefer cash instead of services?
A Brookings piece by Khemani et al asked whether people prefer cash or other services in Bihar. Only 13% of the sample chose cash if it came at the expense of spending on public health and nutrition; in contrast, if cash came in lieu of improving nearby roads, the share respondents choosing cash rose to 35%. A subsequent blog expanded on notion that cash transfers’ politics is messy and complex. Bonus on political economy: an article by Zucco et al. shows that in Turkey and Brazil, conditional transfers are only marginally more popular than similar unconditional transfers, but the difference is larger among better-off households.

4. Can cash transfers reduce intimate partner violence?
A summary of evidence on social assistance and intimate partner violence by Hidrobo and Roy shows that in Ecuador, transfers (in food, cash, and voucher) led to significant reductions of 25-35% in physical violence. In Bangladesh, cash and food transfers combined with accompanying measures (behavioral change) led to a 26% reduction in physical violence, but there were no impacts from transfers alone. In Mali, cash transfers led to a 41% reduction in physical violence in polygamous households, but they had no effects on monogamous families. Bonus: see the excellent FAO guidance on gender-sensitive safety nets design and implementation.

5. Do cash transfers improve girls’ access to education?
working paper by Evans and Yuan shows that the top development programs for such a goal include CCTs – in South Africa, Malawi, and Nicaragua. However, the bottom of the ranking also features an unconditional cash program (South Africa) and a CCT (Uruguay) (see table 3-4, p.26-27). More broadly, girl-targeted interventions and more general measures seem to deliver similar gains (but may differ in costs).

6. Not only cash: can school feeding reduce chronic malnutrition?
A new article by Gelli et al. on school meals in Ghana found these had no effects on stunting and body mass index among children aged 5–15 years. However, subgroup analysis shows the intervention improved stunting among children of 5-8 years (effect size: 0.12 standard deviations), among the same cohort of children living in poverty (0.22 SD), and among girls (0.12 SDs).

7. Whether cash or in-kind, what happens when programs are connected?
A JDE paper by Tohari et al. estimates that the Unified Database in Indonesia substantially improved eligibility and participation in multiple programs– i.e., the chance of participating in 3 core programs (BLT, Raskin and Jamkesmas) rose by 117%, and expenditures among those participants increased by 30%.

8. How long does it take to scale-up social protection in crises? And how to do so?
Examining the performance of nine countries affected by natural disasters, Barca and Beazley show that response time ranges from 2 weeks to 14 months (see table 4 p.41, as well as figure 3 p.22). Cherrier et al. produced an excellent compendium on humanitarian-social protection linkages (e.g., see contrast in objectives and programs on p.12-13), backed by plenty of examples and resources (I especially liked this UNHCR note to align assistance for refugees).

9. What’s new in public works?
An article by Mani et al. shows that in India, parents’ participation in the NREGA scheme enhanced children’s grade progression and learning, including in terms of reading, writing, math and vocabulary scores. Niehaus provides some thoughtful reflections on the program’s achievements by incorporating biometric cards in delivery (e.g., leakages down by 41%) as well as on the program’s effects on employment (+13%) and poverty (-17%). And a paper by Ravallion estimates that the share of Indian households that want to work but aren’t provided an NREGA job ranges from 10% to around one-third.

10. What’s the state of jobs globally, and how can social protection help? 
Merotto et al. have a spectacular quantitative analysis for low and middle-income countries. Here are three nuggets: across jobs, women consistently earn less than men; a staggering 1/3 of the workforce is inactive; and wonder why people migrate? Check out figure 3.4 showing differences in wages across countries for the same economic activities. A fascinating volume by Abramo et al. looks at social protection and  ‘labor inclusion’ in Latin America. And in terms of high-income settings, a fantastic report by the OECD outlines experiences and approaches for covering non-standard, platform, and temporary workers.

This is World Bank original content, reposted by the INCLUDE Secretariat. Please find the original publication by Ugo Gentilini through this link. The boxed entries are highlighted by the INCLUDE Secretariat as the reading material is in line with INCLUDE’s knowledge agenda.

Het bericht Your summer reading list on social protection verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Your summer reading list on social protection

9. Juli 2019 - 8:01

During the first half of 2019, the topic of social protection has been firing on all cylinders. So what better time than now to offer a compilation of summer readings, organized around 10 thematic questions, all drawing from about 480 materials.

1. Is social protection a productive investment? 

A great report by the OECD unbundles the effects of social protection on inclusive economic growthvia micro, meso and macro channels. Daidone et al. have an article on the economic effects of cash transfers in 7 African countries: they examine issues around labor reallocation of beneficiaries (e.g., in Zambia they transitioned from wage to self-employment) and explain how design can affect performance, including in terms of targeting, transfer value and predictability, and messaging (see also 29 microsummaries co-produced with Peterman on national cash transfers in Africa).

2. What are the long-term effects of cash transfers?
Baird et al. explore the effects of unconditional cash transfers on adolescent girls after 5 years from conclusion: they find that the program’s effects in delaying marriage and pregnancy rapidly vanished in a matter of months. Similarly, Blattman et al. show that a $300 grant to spur self-employment in Ethiopia has significant impacts in the first year, but effects fade after the fifth year. In terms of conditional cash transfers (CCTs), a 10-country review by Millan et al. shows strong evidence on education-related outcomes, but is more mixed on learning. Evidence is thinner on employment: only in Nicaragua are long-term effects on labor force participation and income positive.

3. Do people always prefer cash instead of services?
A Brookings piece by Khemani et al asked whether people prefer cash or other services in Bihar. Only 13% of the sample chose cash if it came at the expense of spending on public health and nutrition; in contrast, if cash came in lieu of improving nearby roads, the share respondents choosing cash rose to 35%. A subsequent blog expanded on notion that cash transfers’ politics is messy and complex. Bonus on political economy: an article by Zucco et al. shows that in Turkey and Brazil, conditional transfers are only marginally more popular than similar unconditional transfers, but the difference is larger among better-off households.

4. Can cash transfers reduce intimate partner violence?
A summary of evidence on social assistance and intimate partner violence by Hidrobo and Roy shows that in Ecuador, transfers (in food, cash, and voucher) led to significant reductions of 25-35% in physical violence. In Bangladesh, cash and food transfers combined with accompanying measures (behavioral change) led to a 26% reduction in physical violence, but there were no impacts from transfers alone. In Mali, cash transfers led to a 41% reduction in physical violence in polygamous households, but they had no effects on monogamous families. Bonus: see the excellent FAO guidance on gender-sensitive safety nets design and implementation.

5. Do cash transfers improve girls’ access to education?

A working paper by Evans and Yuan shows that the top development programs for such a goal include CCTs – in South Africa, Malawi, and Nicaragua. However, the bottom of the ranking also features an unconditional cash program (South Africa) and a CCT (Uruguay) (see table 3-4, p.26-27). More broadly, girl-targeted interventions and more general measures seem to deliver similar gains (but may differ in costs).

6. Not only cash: can school feeding reduce chronic malnutrition?
A new article by Gelli et al. on school meals in Ghana found these had no effects on stunting and body mass index among children aged 5–15 years. However, subgroup analysis shows the intervention improved stunting among children of 5-8 years (effect size: 0.12 standard deviations), among the same cohort of children living in poverty (0.22 SD), and among girls (0.12 SDs).

7. Whether cash or in-kind, what happens when programs are connected?
A JDE paper by Tohari et al. estimates that the Unified Database in Indonesia substantially improved eligibility and participation in multiple programs– i.e., the chance of participating in 3 core programs (BLT, Raskin and Jamkesmas) rose by 117%, and expenditures among those participants increased by 30%.

8. How long does it take to scale-up social protection in crises? And how to do so?
Examining the performance of nine countries affected by natural disasters, Barca and Beazley show that response time ranges from 2 weeks to 14 months (see table 4 p.41, as well as figure 3 p.22). Cherrier et al. produced an excellent compendium on humanitarian-social protection linkages (e.g., see contrast in objectives and programs on p.12-13), backed by plenty of examples and resources (I especially liked this UNHCR note to align assistance for refugees).

9. What’s new in public works?
An article by Mani et al. shows that in India, parents’ participation in the NREGA scheme enhanced children’s grade progression and learning, including in terms of reading, writing, math and vocabulary scores. Niehaus provides some thoughtful reflections on the program’s achievements by incorporating biometric cards in delivery (e.g., leakages down by 41%) as well as on the program’s effects on employment (+13%) and poverty (-17%). And a paper by Ravallion estimates that the share of Indian households that want to work but aren’t provided an NREGA job ranges from 10% to around one-third.

10. What’s the state of jobs globally, and how can social protection help? 
Merotto et al. have a spectacular quantitative analysis for low and middle-income countries. Here are three nuggets: across jobs, women consistently earn less than men; a staggering 1/3 of the workforce is inactive; and wonder why people migrate? Check out figure 3.4 showing differences in wages across countries for the same economic activities. A fascinating volume by Abramo et al. looks at social protection and  ‘labor inclusion’ in Latin America. And in terms of high-income settings, a fantastic report by the OECD outlines experiences and approaches for covering non-standard, platform, and temporary workers.
 


This is World Bank original content, reposted by the INCLUDE Secretariat. Please find the original publication by Ugo Gentilini through this link. The boxed entries are highlighted by the INCLUDE Secretariat as the reading material is in line with INCLUDE’s knowledge agenda.

The post Your summer reading list on social protection appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Dealing with shrinking civic space: it is not just the state we have to worry about!

27. Juni 2019 - 14:11

Two INCLUDE research projects focus on non-state actors (NSAs) to explain the shrinking space for civil society organizations (CSOs) in some countries. These actors, such as businesses, ‘independent’ media and traditional authorities, clot with formal state institutions to intimidate and prevent CSOs from advocating for inclusive development. Acknowledging the plurality of repressive forces is important in two ways: 1) it shows that we have to look beyond the formal institutions of the state to identify the various, and fluid, forms of repression, and 2) it recognizes the need for an even more flexible and tailor-made approach to support CSOs operating within such contexts. 

In 2017, INCLUDE, NWO-WOTRO and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) kicked off the research programme ‘New roles of CSOs for inclusive development’ to scrutinize the assumptions underlying the MFA’s policies to support CSOs. Part of the dismantling of these assumptions is to look at how CSOs can be supported within the context of shrinking civic space. Often, this context is explained as states reducing the operating space for CSOs through laws and in practice, ranging from limiting foreign funding to outright violence.

The importance of laws to protect the operating space of CSOs cannot be overestimated, as is argued by Dina Townsend (Tilburg University) in relation to Ethiopia’s new civil society law. However, on 25 June 2019, in a seminar organized at the MFA, researchers Luc Fransen (University of Amsterdam) and Dominic Perera (CIVICUS) pointed out that there are other actors than state actors to look out for when protecting civic space. Sharing his team’s interim findings on NSAs in Palestine, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, Perera expressed deep concern about the alignment of states with unusual suspects, such as youth wings of political parties, government-oriented NGOs, state-owned media and private security companies. Fransen’s team added to this list by investigating the roles of businesses, religious groups and ‘independent’ media. According to Fransen and Perera, a major driver of their research was the lack of a systematic view on how these NSAs operate to limit civic space.

Methods

Extending the imposition of restrictions on CSOs is described by Perera as “clean hands, but dirty gloves”. States ‘outsource’ the task of restricting civil society to parties such as those mentioned above. The methods that NSAs use vary, according to national and sub-national contexts, but also depend on the type of actor involved. Some methods limit CSOS at the level of the organization, while others are geared directly towards individuals within, or affiliated with, the organization. Roughly, three ways of limited CSOs can be identified:

  • Damaging the reputations of CSOs by making accusations of terrorism, resulting in a decrease in funding by international donors, international travel bans and sometimes even violence
  • Influencing public opinion through partisan media, war veterans and youth wings of political parties; this can lead to the disruption of meetings, attacks on activists and even torture, disappearance and murder, the threat of which can affect the mental health of activist and CSO staff
  • The organization of business-friendly (or state-friendly) NGOs countering the narratives of critical CSOs

Some of these strategies target CSOs directly, while others are used to turn public opinion against them. Perera indicated that resistance by CSOs can increase public support for their work and become a ‘badge of honour’. The extent to which this takes place also depends heavily on public opinion towards states, businesses and other NSAs.

Responding strategically: adjust, resist or disband?

The most strategic response to the threats imposed by NSAs depends heavily on the context within which the CSO operates, including the extent of support for CSOs by the public, by other CSOs and by international donors.

Looking at the role of public support, Perera finds very limited support for the tactic of ‘naming and shaming’. Respondents to the research argue that this is futile and possibly dangerous. He opts for a different strategy: to ‘resolve’ the issue through the more direct representation of constituents. The potential of this strategy is one of the focuses of his research, which now enters its final phase.

Fransen categorizes the responses by CSOs into three categories: they can either adjust, resist or disband. Some organizations have disappeared as a result of increasing pressure, while others have chosen to find a balanced mix between adjustment and resistance. Some organizations, for instance, have decided to drop advocacy activities, and focus on service delivery, as such activities are welcomed by the state and less likely to invoke repression.

Perhaps most interesting are the CSOs that are able to continue advocacy by manoeuvring strategically within the little room there is left. Fransen outlined a list of tactics that CSOs employ. Yet, given the sensitivity of the matter, this list cannot be shared here.

What does this mean for donor support?

International donors already have enough of a diplomatic challenge to push states towards more supportive civil society laws (and practices). The issues mentioned above place an additional burden on donors that support CSOs. Hence, the question is: what can donors, Northern NGOs and other partners such as Dutch businesses and citizens do to address the situation?

  • First, the survivalist tactics by CSOs to adjust and resist require the support of international donors and partners. This means flexible assistance beyond financial support. In additional, legal assistance, mental health support and practical training are of equal importance.
  • Second, political bodies are advised to acknowledge the issue of non-state repression and influence policies. This applies to all levels, ranging from Dutch embassies to the European Commission.
  • Third, Fransen argues to broaden the scope in assessing corporate responsibility; within firms supplying to Dutch businesses, we need to look beyond their circumstances in terms of social, human and environmental rights only and assess what partnerships they are part of, and if they are possibly involved in business with actors involved in repression.
  • Finally, human rights ambassador Mariette Schuurman (discussant in this seminar, together with Dina Townsend) encouraged us to look at what consumers can do in terms of consuming products developed within these contexts. Given that civil societies can look good on paper, but can be ‘proxies’ of repressive states, she argued that different routes may need to be considered to empower CSOs for inclusive development.

This seminar was attended by an overwhelming number of interested parties, with over 100 representatives from the MFA, civil society and research. This widespread concern could be a first step towards a broader strategy for supporting CSOs under pressure.

This article reflects interim findings of the research projects. The findings and conclusions should therefore be read as preliminary. Final findings will become available at the end of 2019.

The post Dealing with shrinking civic space: it is not just the state we have to worry about! appeared first on INCLUDE Platform.

Kategorien: english

Dealing with shrinking civic space: it is not just the state we have to worry about!

27. Juni 2019 - 13:59

Two INCLUDE research projects focus on non-state actors (NSAs) to explain the shrinking space for civil society organizations (CSOs) in some countries. These actors, such as businesses, ‘independent’ media and traditional authorities, clot with formal state institutions to intimidate and prevent CSOs from advocating for inclusive development. Acknowledging the plurality of repressive forces is important in two ways: 1) it shows that we have to look beyond the formal institutions of the state to identify the various, and fluid, forms of repression, and 2) it recognizes the need for an even more flexible and tailor-made approach to support CSOs operating within such contexts. 

In 2017, INCLUDE, NWO-WOTRO and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) kicked off the research programme ‘New roles of CSOs for inclusive development’ to scrutinize the assumptions underlying the MFA’s policies to support CSOs. Part of the dismantling of these assumptions is to look at how CSOs can be supported within the context of shrinking civic space. Often, this context is explained as states reducing the operating space for CSOs through laws and in practice, ranging from limiting foreign funding to outright violence.

The importance of laws to protect the operating space of CSOs cannot be overestimated, as is argued by Dina Townsend (Tilburg University) in relation to Ethiopia’s new civil society law. However, on 25 June 2019, in a seminar organized at the MFA, researchers Luc Fransen (University of Amsterdam) and Dominic Perera (CIVICUS) pointed out that there are other actors than state actors to look out for when protecting civic space. Sharing his team’s interim findings on NSAs in Palestine, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, Perera expressed deep concern about the alignment of states with unusual suspects, such as youth wings of political parties, government-oriented NGOs, state-owned media and private security companies. Fransen’s team added to this list by investigating the roles of businesses, religious groups and ‘independent’ media. According to Fransen and Perera, a major driver of their research was the lack of a systematic view on how these NSAs operate to limit civic space.

METHODS

Extending the imposition of restrictions on CSOs is described by Perera as “clean hands, but dirty gloves”. States ‘outsource’ the task of restricting civil society to parties such as those mentioned above. The methods that NSAs use vary, according to national and sub-national contexts, but also depend on the type of actor involved. Some methods limit CSOS at the level of the organization, while others are geared directly towards individuals within, or affiliated with, the organization. Roughly, three ways of limited CSOs can be identified:

  • Damaging the reputations of CSOs by making accusations of terrorism, resulting in a decrease in funding by international donors, international travel bans and sometimes even violence
  • Influencing public opinion through partisan media, war veterans and youth wings of political parties; this can lead to the disruption of meetings, attacks on activists and even torture, disappearance and murder, the threat of which can affect the mental health of activist and CSO staff
  • The organization of business-friendly (or state-friendly) NGOs countering the narratives of critical CSOs

Some of these strategies target CSOs directly, while others are used to turn public opinion against them. Perera indicated that resistance by CSOs can increase public support for their work and become a ‘badge of honour’. The extent to which this takes place also depends heavily on public opinion towards states, businesses and other NSAs.

RESPONDING STRATEGICALLY: ADJUST, RESIST OR DISBAND?

The most strategic response to the threats imposed by NSAs depends heavily on the context within which the CSO operates, including the extent of support for CSOs by the public, by other CSOs and by international donors.

Looking at the role of public support, Perera finds very limited support for the tactic of ‘naming and shaming’. Respondents to the research argue that this is futile and possibly dangerous. He opts for a different strategy: to ‘resolve’ the issue through the more direct representation of constituents. The potential of this strategy is one of the focuses of his research, which now enters its final phase.

Fransen categorizes the responses by CSOs into three categories: they can either adjust, resist or disband. Some organizations have disappeared as a result of increasing pressure, while others have chosen to find a balanced mix between adjustment and resistance. Some organizations, for instance, have decided to drop advocacy activities, and focus on service delivery, as such activities are welcomed by the state and less likely to invoke repression.

Perhaps most interesting are the CSOs that are able to continue advocacy by manoeuvring strategically within the little room there is left. Fransen outlined a list of tactics that CSOs employ. Yet, given the sensitivity of the matter, this list cannot be shared here.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR DONOR SUPPORT?

International donors already have enough of a diplomatic challenge to push states towards more supportive civil society laws (and practices). The issues mentioned above place an additional burden on donors that support CSOs. Hence, the question is: what can donors, Northern NGOs and other partners such as Dutch businesses and citizens do to address the situation?

  • First, the survivalist tactics by CSOs to adjust and resist require the support of international donors and partners. This means flexible assistance beyond financial support. In additional, legal assistance, mental health support and practical training are of equal importance.
  • Second, political bodies are advised to acknowledge the issue of non-state repression and influence policies. This applies to all levels, ranging from Dutch embassies to the European Commission.
  • Third, Fransen argues to broaden the scope in assessing corporate responsibility; within firms supplying to Dutch businesses, we need to look beyond their circumstances in terms of social, human and environmental rights only and assess what partnerships they are part of, and if they are possibly involved in business with actors involved in repression.
  • Finally, human rights ambassador Mariette Schuurman (discussant in this seminar, together with Dina Townsend) encouraged us to look at what consumers can do in terms of consuming products developed within these contexts. Given that civil societies can look good on paper, but can be ‘proxies’ of repressive states, she argued that different routes may need to be considered to empower CSOs for inclusive development.

This seminar was attended by an overwhelming number of interested parties, with over 100 representatives from the MFA, civil society and research. This widespread concern could be a first step towards a broader strategy for supporting CSOs under pressure.

This article reflects interim findings of the research projects. The findings and conclusions should therefore be read as preliminary. Final findings will become available at the end of 2019.

Het bericht Dealing with shrinking civic space: it is not just the state we have to worry about! verscheen eerst op INCLUDE Platform.

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