Social protection policies in developing countries are an increasingly widespread method for tackling chronic poverty and vulnerability and helping families manage risk. Schemes often provide cash, paid work or food to poor people. Cash transfers alone are reaching 110 million families in 45 of the world’s poorest countries.
Young Lives research is looking at which children within a community are accessing social protection and which are not, and whether the schemes are helpful. In doing so, we find that social protection programmes have both intended and unintended consequences for children. Some schemes can provide poor households with a buffer against shocks and boost the livelihoods of the poorest families. They can also increase children’s likelihood of attending schools and clinics, and improve their nutritional status. But by taking adult labour away from the household, they can increase the work burden for children. While more children may end up in school, increased pupil numbers mean more pressure on class size and teachers.
Latest research: Social protection
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