Friday, October 16, 2009


Conference location: UNICEF UK, 30a Great Sutton Street, LONDON EC1V 0DU

The closest train station is Farringdon. Come out of the exit for Turnmill Street, turn left and walk up to the main road, Clerkenwell Road. Turn right onto this road and cross over. St Johns Street will be on your left, turn into this road and Great Sutton Street will be to your right. UNICEF House is on the left hand side. If you have any queries, please call the UNICEF reception: 0207 490 2388 for assistance.

Underground Stations near the conference:

Barbican (Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle lines) – 6 minute walk
Farringdon (as above) -7 minute walk
Old Street (Northern line) - 15 minute walk

Railway Stations:

Farringdon Rail – 7 minute walk

For trains to: Brighton, Bedford, Portsmouth, Wimbledon, St Albans, Luton and more, please visit First Capital Connect.

City Thameslink - 15min

Trains to: Brighton, Gatwick, Wimbledon, St Albans, Bedford
Old Street – 15min

Trains to: Welwyn Garden City, Letchworth Garden City, Stevenage & Hertford North etc
Cannon St - 25 min


Clerkenwell Rd
  • No 55 (Oxford Circus to Leyton via Hackney)
  • No 243 (Waterloo to Wood Green via Stoke Newington)

  • No 153 (Liverpool St to Finsbury Pk via Islington)
    Goswell Rd

  • No 4 (Waterloo to Archway via Finsbury Pk)

  • No 56 (St Bart’s Hospital to Whipps Cross via Islington)

Holborn Circus

  • No 521 (Waterloo)


Heathrow Airport

You can take the Heathrow Express to London Paddington and then the Hammersmith and City underground line towards Barking which stops at Farringdon (our nearest station).

See the London underground map for more information.

London Gatwick

You can take the First Capital Connect train from Gatwick airport to Farringdon, it will take about an hour.

Find train times here.

Hotel options for conference attendees

Conference attendees should make arrangements for lodging during the event. The list below includes hotels close to UNICEF UK, where the conference will take place. The address is: 30a Great Sutton Street, London EC1V 0DU.

We have not yet visited any of these hotels, so we can't make recommendations, but online reviews indicate that they are good quality with reasonable prices. This website has a list of hotels which are within 1-2 miles of UNICEF UK’s offices. You can book through this site (prices tend to include taxes and breakfast but double- check) or contact the hotels directly (full hotel details below).

  • Thistle City Barbican – 10 mins from UNICEF UK. Central Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 8DSTel: UK 0871 376 9004, Int +44 870 333 9101, To get the best rates, call the hotel and ask for their government rate.
  • Citadines Barbican Apartments – 8 mins from UNICEF UK7-21 Goswell Road, London EC1M 7AHApartment/hotel with double sofa beds.
  • Holiday Inn Express London City – 20 minutes from UNICEF UK.
  • The Rookery – 8 mins from UNICEF UK; 1 min from Farringdon tube 12 Peters Lane, London, EC1M 6DS tel: 020 73360931‎, 0871 223 5000‎

  • The Zetter – 3 mins from UNICEF UK. 86-88 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5RJ

  • Malmaison – 10-15 mins from UNICEF UK. Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6AH. Expensive but offers ‘Saver Rates’ online.
  • Crowne Plaza – 30-35 mins from UNICEF UK. 100 Shoreditch High Street E1 6QJ
  • Travel Lodge London City – 20-25 mins from UNICEF UK. 7-12 City Road, London EC1Y 1AE.

Other hotel/apartments – a little further afield:

Other hotels which are 30-40 mins away from UNICEF UK’s office (no special rate):


Bedford Hotel
Southampton Row, London WC1B 4HD
Reservations: + 44 (0) 20 7636 7822

Russell Square
London WC1B 5BB
Reservations: +44 (0)20 7837 3655

UNICEF UK has a special rate with Grange Hotels. The hotels below are near Russell Square/Covent Garden area (30-30 minutes’ walk from Clerkenwell). When booking your reservation, use the UNICEF Rates Access ID: 18072 for the special rate.


50-60 Southampton Row
Tel: 020 7242 1800
London WC1B 4AR

2-5 Montague Street
Tel: 020 7580 2224
London, WC1B 5BU

7 Montague Street
Tel: 020 7323 1717
London, WC1B 5BP

Bloomsbury Townhouse Collection

39-40 Bedford Place
Tel: 020 7636 2474
London, WC1B 5JT

31-32 Bedford Place
Tel: 020 7580 7088
London, WC1B 5JH

34-37 Bedford Place
Tel: 020 7307 1575
London, WC1B 5JR

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Opening and presentation of UNICEF/ODI report

Opening and Presentation of ODI/UNICEF Report
Richard Morgan, UNICEF; Diane Elson, Essex University (TBC); Caroline Harper, ODI; Isabel Ortiz, UNICEF.

Abstract: This paper is motivated by a concern about the effects of the 2008/9 financial crisis on children and their care-givers, who are often particularly vulnerable when crises strike. As yet it is too early to appreciate these impacts in full hence we focus here on shocks or crisis episodes in the recent past in four geographical regions alongside an assessment of contemporary crisis impacts from available sources. We explore the transmission mechanisms of shocks from the broader macro economy, through meso-level channels (such as unemployment, reduced public services and credit) to impacts at the household level and specifically on children’s rights. Whilst none of our regional cases are directly comparable with the current crisis we find we can still learn a substantial amount from previous crises, the impacts of which were often as significant in the countries affected as those anticipated to result from today’s crisis, both immediately and in the longer term.

Using a general conceptual framework, nuanced to examine the effects of different types of crises, we uncover significant effects at the meso level, including large increases in unemployment characterised by important gender and age dimensions, public service cuts - themselves varying in effect according to strategic policy choices concerning social sector composition and pre-existing social and economic conditions - and reduced access to credit and declining social capital. Children’s rights are compromised as effects are mediated through households coping with reduced consumption capacity, changed gender relations related to a shifting locus of financial responsibility, increased stress levels and resulting increases in domestic tension and violence and reduced mental health, as well as reduced time and capacity for protection, nurture and care. These effects, compounded by governments’ reduced fiscal capacity can have moderate to severe impacts on children, but policy responses can mitigate these effects, in particular strategic uses of aid, social protection sensitive to age and gender, policy choices which protect investments in basic and social services and a new sharper policy focus on issues of nurture, care and protection.

Richard Morgan is the Director of Policy and Practice at UNICEF. He has published widely on on household food security, social welfare policy, rural development and African development issues, as well as on development strategies, human rights approaches to development, public spending reform, gender and development.

Diane Elson is a Professor at Essex University. Her current research and teaching interests are in global social change and the realisation of human rights with a particular focus on gender inequality and economic and social policy. From 1998 to 2000, she was Special Advisor to the Executive Director at UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, where she completed a global report, Progress of the World's Women, 2000. She was a member of the UN Millennium

Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality. Professor Elson has provided consultancy services to many development agencies including DFID, the Swedish International Development Agency, and the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She has also acted as an advisor to Oxfam and other NGOs. She has published widely on gender, development and human rights.

Caroline Harper
has a PhD in Social Anthropology and is currently associate director of the Chronic Poverty Research Centre and a Research Fellow at ODI. Previously she was director of the Childhood Poverty Policy and Research Centre (CHIP), a collaborative venture between Manchester University and Save the Children and Co-Director of Young Lives, a longitudinal study of childhood poverty. She worked for Save the Children in several roles in the UK and overseas (predominantly in S.E. Asia) focusing on issues of poverty, economic adjustment, participation, research, evaluation and policy processes, and worked for 4 years for the UN in China on anti-poverty programmes.

Isabel Ortiz is Associate Director at UNICEF. She has over 17 years experience working in more than 30 countries in various areas of economic and social development. She was educated in Spain and the UK, where she attained a Master and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. Isabel Ortiz started as a lecturer and a researcher, but soon moved to development work. She has contributed not only to international agencies such as the EC and DFID, but also to civil society organizations, such as Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz's Initiative for Policy Dialogue. In recent years she worked at the Asian Development Bank (1995-2003) and at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (2005-2009).

Panel 1: Lessons learned in past crises and expectations for the current crisis

Panel 1: Lessons learned in past crises and expectations for the current crisis
Chair and opening presentation: Sanjeev Gupta, IMF

Dr. Sanjeev Gupta is Deputy Director in the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He was previously Senior Advisor in the Fiscal Affairs Department, Assistant Director in the African Department; Assistant Director and Chief in the Expenditure Policy Division of the Fiscal Affairs Department; and Economist in the European Department. Mr. Gupta has led IMF missions to over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and represented the IMF in numerous international meetings and seminars. In the fiscal area, the missions have focused on public expenditure policy, pensions, fiscal decentralization, fiscal transparency, public financial management, and public-private partnerships.

Quantifying the impact of past financial crises on the health of children and households. Karen Grépin, NYU, USA.

Abstract: The global economic downturn (GED) of 2008-2009 has driven up the price of food, fuel and other essential commodities, has reduced wages and household incomes, and has threatened to reduce public spending on social programs in developing countries. It is widely believed that the financial crisis will adversely affect child health, potentially eroding some of the progress that has been made at reducing child mortality and delaying the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Previous studies have investigated the impact of aggregate income shocks on aggregate measures of child health across countries, or on changes to health seeking behavior in a number of country-case studies but few studies have investigated how aggregate income shock translate into changes in child mortality in a cross-country setting. Using data from all existing Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), I explore the effect of aggregate income shocks on infant mortality and household health seeking behavior using a cross-country, fixed-effects study design. I find that the utilization of health service is sensitive to aggregate economic shocks, in particular to the use of newer vaccines, antenatal care, and breastfeeding. These represent very preliminary estimates and future releases of this paper are expected in the coming weeks.

Karen Grépin is an Assistant Professor of Global Health Policy at New York University. Karen's research focuses on the economics and politics of health service delivery in developing countries, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Grépin has been a consultant to a number of international health organizations, including the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She also maintains a well-read global health blog: Grépin has published research articles on the organization of neglected tropical diseases control programs, including the future on onchocerciasis control in Africa and the integration of mass drug administration programs. She has forthcoming articles on the impact of a maternal health initiative in Ghana on health service utilization, the role of health development assistance in strengthening health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, and human resources for health.

Impact of economic crisis on the well-being of children. Almudena Fernández, UNDP.

Abstract: Aggregate macroeconomic shocks have a direct impact on the welfare of households. The global crisis of 2008/2009 will be no exception, and the magnitude of these impacts will depend on the length of the crisis, the pace of the recovery and the social protection programs in place at the country level. This paper, based on the results of the project Crisis and MDGs in Latin America and the Caribbean, aims to measure the effects of the global recession on the well-being of children, taking into account the progress achieved in the region in social protection programs over the decades. The paper has two main components. First, it presents empirical analysis to estimate the relation between macroeconomic crises, defined as aggregate negative shocks, and social indicators at the local and household levels. Specifically, it estimates the impact of economic crises on child and maternal health, education and poverty in Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico and Peru.

The empirical analysis will be conducted using data from past crises and various methodologies including a difference-in-difference approach, to capture overall impacts of economic crises on the variables of interest; fixed effects models, to measure the effects of changes in GDP on outcome variables across states or regions within a country; an instrumental variable approach to fix endogeneity problems that might arise; and, where “high frequency” (monthly) data is available, a regression discontinuity design.

The second component of the paper estimates the role that social protection programs, already established in the region, will play as coping mechanisms to mitigate the long-term effects of the economic slowdown. Finally, the paper delivers a set of policy recommendations to help compensate for the likely welfare loss of children.

Almudena Fernández is a researcher on economic issues in the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (RBLAC) from de United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Before, she worked for the Instituto Libertad y Democracia at Lima where she was an economic analyst. She participated in the diagnostic of the economy in countries like Guatemala and Tanzania. She has worked at Washington D.C. as program associate for the project CHANGE from the Academy for Educational Development

The impact of the global economic crises on the socio-economic conditions of vulnerable groups in deprived societies. Dr. Prince Osei-Adjei, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.

Abstract: The world now stands challenged by the most deterrent economic crises with its rippling untold impact on the socio-economic conditions of several economies and vulnerable groups within these economies. Financial slow-down affecting monetary expansion to both private and public enterprises, food shortages and hiking food and fuel prices have been key characteristics of the crises impacting the world economy today. However, this situation is no new experience in the socio-economic history of Africa particularly south of the Sahara. Many African countries gained independence with high expectations for rapid economic growth, poverty reduction and improvement in the living conditions of masses of their citizenry. Not long after independence however, several of these countries were hardly hit and engulfed in a serious socio-economic downturn. In the 1980’s specifically, Africa south of the Sahara experienced a serious economic crisis unprecedented in the history of the region. Signs of deterioration in the region became visible with manifold manifestations in the early 1970’s aggravating in the 1980’s.

The United Nations referred to the decade of the 1980’s as the “Lost Decade” for Africa, which necessitated the introduction and subsequent adoption of the Structural Adjustment Programme from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to help arrest the socio-economic crisis and restore overseas confidence in the region. The paper discusses the nature and dimensions of the 1980’s crises. It examines Ghana’s experience in the implementation of the policy recommendations to contain the crises, and emphasizes the socio-economic impact and cost of the adjustment policies and programmes on the vulnerable and affected groups in the country. Actions taken to mitigate the social cost and lessons from Ghana’s experience relevant to the most recent global economic crises
and its likely implications on the socio-economic conditions of children, youth and care-givers in vulnerable households in deprived communities are highlighted

Prince Osei-Adjei (PhD) is a community development expert, a founding member and the Director of Programmes for the Centre for Rural Research and Poverty Reduction, Ghana. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geography and Rural Development from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana and is a research fellow of the Rural Research and Advocacy Group (RRAG).

Panel 2: From potential threat to current realities: emerging impacts on children of the current crisis

Panel 2: From potential threat to current realities: emerging impacts on children of the current crisis
Chair and opening presentation: Kevin Watkins, UNESCO Education for All (Education for All) Report

Kevin Watkins took up his post with the GMR team in January 2008, having just completed several years as director and lead author of the UNDP Human Development Report. He had previously served on the drafting committee of the Dakar Framework for Action and the six Education for All Goals agreed to in 2000 and was the author of Oxfam’s influential Education Report, published the same year. He holds a BA in Politics and Social Science from Durham University and a doctorate from Oxford University, during which time he spent a year in India and wrote his dissertation on “The economics and politics of Indian nationalism from 1880-1947.” He is currently a Senior Visiting Research Fellow with the Global Economic Governance programme, University College, Oxford University.

The Global Economic Crisis, public budgets and child sensitive social protection in Sub-Saharan Africa. Andy Sumner, IDS, UK.

Andy Sumner is a research fellow and the Head of the Graduate Programmes at IDS, and a council member of the European Association of Development Institutes and the Development Studies Association. His work to date has focused on Ethiopia, IFAD, Save the Children, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank Institutes. He is the author of International Development Studies: Theory and Methods in Research and Practice (Sage, 2008), After 2015: Development Policy at a Crossroads (Palgrave MacMillan, 2009) and Children, Knowledge and Policy (Forthcoming, Policy Press, 2009).

Survival in Mexico: Remittances and access to private healthcare among children and women left behind. Jeronimo Cortina, University of Houston, USA

Abstract: Using Mexico’s 2006 Encuesta Nacional de la Dinámica Demográfica (ENADID), a nationally representative survey of more than 40,000 households, this paper analyzes the impact of remittances on the access to private health care for uninsured remittance-recipient households. Applying multilevel modeling techniques, this paper finds, after controlling for household characteristics, that uninsured remittance-recipient-female-headed households with children under 18 years of age are more likely to seek health care at private institutions (rather than at public institutions) than uninsured male-headed households that receive remittances. This paper shows that remittances are used as an alternative insurance mechanism that allows improving children’s access to healthcare facilities, compensating for initial negative health outcomes of parental migration (i.e., decreased infant survival outcomes) as previous research has found (see Kanaiaupuni & Donato 1999). The results of this paper suggest that a deceleration of remittance flows, as with the current economic and financial crisis, may push female-headed-remittance-receiving-households to cut back on health related expenses, in order to cover basic needs (Lustig 2000). This has the potential to reduce the children’s upward mobility prospects and increase the probability of persistent poverty given the impact that a negative income-shock may have on human capital formation (Jalan and Ravallion 1998, Gaiha and Deolalikar 1993).

Jeronimo Cortina is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. He earned MPhil and PhD in Political Science from Columbia University. Before attending Columbia, he worked at the Finance Ministry and at the Office of the Chief of Government in Mexico City as a Director of Administration. His work has been published in scholarly and policy journals including the American Politics Research Journal, Foreign Affairs in Spanish and the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.

Consequences of the financial crisis with respect to children in Egypt. Dr. Huda Al-Kitkat, Information and Decision Support, Egyptian Cabinet, Egypt.

Abstract: The global financial and economic crisis is presenting significant economic and social development challenges for all countries around the world. The consequences of the crisis have been visible since 2008, especially in the United States where the crisis originated, the crisis continues to spread in the developed countries, notably those where the crisis originated. Not only developed countries but also developing countries, including Egypt, are expected to face the effects of the crisis. Countries on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals could fall behind; the crisis threatens both the resources of families as well as national budgets, creating serious challenges to the fulfillment of children’s rights.

The predicted impact of the crisis might affect certain group especially poor families, in other words poor families will suffer the most, notably children in poor families. Increasing unemployment and poverty will affect the school attendance which will lead to an increasing numbers of working children and children may suffer under nutrition as food becomes scarcer. In addition to the added gender dimension to the situation; when poor families have to make a choice between sending a boy or girl to school, studies have shown that parents often choose to invest in the education of their sons.

This paper examines the consequences of the world financial crises and its impact on children in Egypt. For example changes in health status, school attendance rates, and children's participation in the labour force before and after the financial crisis (mainly compare the status in May 2008 and May 2009).

In order to assess the crisis impact on children and if there is an impact or not, we use data from the Household Survey which conducted periodically (every three months) by the Information and Dissection Support Center, Egyptian Cabinet. Sample size is about 10,000 households in which most of districts in Egypt are represented.

Dr Huda Alkitkat is the leader of the population research team at the Information and Decision Support Center in the Egyptian Cabinet. She has a PhD in demography and biostatistics. She is a designer of the Egyptian National Child Rights Observatory in collaboration with NCCM and UNICEF.

Food price hikes and household food security in agrarian societies: Assessing children’s vulnerability in Bangladesh and Ethiopia. Zenebe Bashaw Uraguchi, Nagoya University, Japan.

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the impacts of recent food price hikes on the level of children’s food security in households in five sub–districts of Bangladesh and Ethiopia. Based on household food security surveys covering 900 households conducted in 2008 and 2009, this study looks into the Aggregate Household Food Security Index (AHFSI) of households to assess their food security levels. The study also relies on a mix of Household Dietary Diversity Score (HDDS), Coping Strategy Index (CSI) as well as the existence of shocks. Logistic regression is employed to understand the degree of the impacts from food price hikes. In addition, the study introduces other variables under the socio–demographic, agricultural inputs, and economic/income models to understand what factors better explain children’s vulnerability to food insecurity in households. The findings suggested that 58.2% of households in Bangladesh and 60.4% of households in Ethiopia were in chronic food insecurity. Stunting and wasting of children were the highest during the peak of the food price hikes. Consumption of food was correlated to the income level of households. This was evidenced by the statistically positive significant Spearman rank correlation coefficient of 0.537 between the impacts of food price hikes and levels of food security. Concentration curves also showed that cumulative distribution of malnutrition was below the forty–five degree diagonal line indicating child malnutrition was highly concentrated among low income households. The dietary diversity score was low, and most households heavily relied on few food items, such as grain and oil/fats. At the height of the food price hikes, households adopted coping strategies that included limiting meal portion size of children. In conjunction with other variables, food price hikes were statistically significant accounting children’s vulnerability to food insecurity in households.

Zenebe Bashaw Uraguchi is a PhD Candidate in Economic Development Policy & Management at the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University.

Recovery with a Human Face

Recovery with a Human Face: Discussion with authors of UNICEF’s ‘Adjustment with a human face’ on what has and hasn’t been learnt from past experiences
Richard Morgan, UNICEF (Chair); Sir Richard Jolly, IDS and Professor Frances Stewart, Oxford.

Richard Morgan is the Director of Policy and Practice at UNICEF. He has published widely on on household food security, social welfare policy, rural development and African development issues, as well as on development strategies, human rights approaches to development, public spending reform, gender and development.

Sir Richard Jolly is Honorary Professor and Research Associate of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. As co-director of the UN Intellectual History Project, he is currently overseeing and working on a 16 volume history of the UN’s contributions to economic and social development since 1945. Before returning to England in 2000, Richard Jolly was an Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations holding senior positions in UNICEF and UNDP for nearly 20 years. He was from 1996 to 2000 Special Adviser to the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and architect of the widely-acclaimed Human Development Report. Before this, he was, for 14 1/2 years, Deputy Executive Director in UNICEF, with responsibilities for UNICEF’s programmes in over 130 countries of the world, including UNICEF’s strategy for support to countries in reducing child mortality and implementing the goals agreed at the 1990 World Summit for Children. In UNICEF, he also led the agency’s efforts to ensure more attention to the needs of children and women in the making of economic adjustment policies, and co-authored the book Adjustment with a Human Face.

Frances Stewart, MA, DPHIL, OXON is a Development economist. She is Director of the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (CRISE) in the University of Oxford and fellow emeritus of Somerville College, and former director of the University’s International Development Centre (1993-2003). Books include Adjustment with a Human Face, with G A Cornia and R Jolly, OUP, 1987, War and Underdevelopment: the Economic and Social Consequences of Conflict, with Valpy Fitzgerald and others, OUP 2000; Group Behaviour and Development (with Judith Heyer and Rosemary Thorp); and Defining Poverty in the Developing World (with Ruhi Saith and Barbara Harriss-White); and Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies (with a team). She was President of the U.K. and Irish Development Studies Association, 1990-1992, and is a former Board member and Vice-Chairman of the International Food Policy Research Institute and an Overseer of the Thomas Watson Institute, Brown University. She is Vice-Chair of the United Nations Committee for Development Policy, and President of the Human Development and Capability Association. She received the UNDP’s Mahbub ul Haq award for outstanding contributions to Human Development in 2009.

Panel 3: Childhood and vulnerability: Compounding risk during crises

Panel 3: Childhood and vulnerability: Compounding risk during crises
Chair and opening presentation: Jody Heymann, McGill University, Canada

Jody Heymann is the Founding Director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy, the WORLD Global Data Centre, and the Project on Global Working Families. An internationally renowned researcher on health and social policy, Dr. Heymann holds a Canada Research Chair in Global Health and Social Policy. She has authored and edited over 150 publications, including Profit at the Bottom of the Ladder (Harvard Business Press, forthcoming), Raising the Global Floor (Stanford University Press, 2009), Trade and Health (McGill Queens University Press, 2007), Forgotten Families (Oxford University Press, 2006), Healthier Societies (Oxford University Press, 2006) and Unfinished Work (New Press, 2005). Heymann has led the development of a unique graduate and undergraduate multidisciplinary training program that bridges research and policy development with students gaining experience in 18 countries.

Impact of the economic crises on early childhood: An examination of mediating pathways with implications for national policy. Pia Rebello Britto, Yale University, USA.

Abstract: Never before has the issue of child poverty been more vital and important for public policy, then during this present time of the global economic downturn. Currently it is estimated that over 1 billion children, worldwide, live in poverty. This rate is predicted to rise due to the financial crises. During the early years, young children bear the greatest burden of poverty as evidenced in the noted perverted health, development, and education outcomes. Yet, early childhood is the most sensitive period for development, health and education, most particularly if the potential for later catch-up in limited. Research has cogently demonstrated that poverty effects on young children are mediated through several proximal contextual pathways, such as household structure, home environment, caregiving practices and the primary caregiver. The proximal environments of low-income children contain a confluence of psychosocial and physical risk factors with known adverse developmental outcomes. It is these very pathways that are affected by financial, food and fuel shortages, with ramifications for young children’s development. At the same time, research on program interventions has also produced a formidable body of literature on how these pathways can be bolstered and sustained to improve early childhood outcomes.

The focus of the paper is on an examination of these proximal pathways with implications for policy directives. In particular the paper will present an analysis of the links between the macro level aspects of global economic crises and micro level aspects of psychosocial interactions and the physical proximal environment of the household. Also presented will be a range of proven program interventions known to address these pathways effectively. The aim of presenting these programs is to provide recommendations for national policy directives and potential governmental response.

Pia Rebello Britto’s area of expertise is early child development and education programming and policy. Dr. Rebello Britto is currently working, with Sharon Lynn Kagan and a UNICEF team, in over 15 countries on the development of national standards and indicators for monitoring child development outcomes. She is also working with national governments to formulate their early childhood policies and on evaluating early intervention programs in several countries. Domestically, Dr. Rebello Britto is conducting research to understand the experience of growing up Muslim in the United States and the influence of the present socio-political context on young Muslim children’s identity development.

Global economic crisis: The challenges of girl-child education and alternative jobs in Nigeria. Femi Tinuola, Kogi State University, Nigeria.

Abstract: UNICEF reported in 2006 that Nigerian children dropped-out-of-school work in public places i.e., the streets and markets with 64percent as street vendors and 13 percent as beggars. Real life experiences indicate that the current global economic crisis may have worsened the state of the Nigerian-girl- child in accessing education and finding alternative jobs risky to their health and well being. The Education Minister reported on April 25, 2008 that 62 percent of over 11 million children-of-school age who roamed the street are females. The UN, AU and Nigeria charters on the child rights guarantee access to education at all levels and eradication of all forms of child abuse. This study examines the effects of the GEC on the education of the girl-child and engagement in alternative jobs. This study was conducted among six ethnic groups in three States in Nigeria. Data were obtained from 1200 female children between 6 – 14 years selected on purposive random sampling technique in markets, motor parks, toll gates and streets, engaged in hawking. About 50 selected parents went through sessions on in-depth interview. They responded to a semi- structured questionnaire which contains items on demographic characteristics, educational history, parents’ economic conditions, hawking and paid housework.

Findings show that 45 percent recently dropped out of school and engaged hawking to enhance self and family economy, make an average of USD1 gains daily. Hawking takes place in crowded markets, hotels and busy road junctions. There are reported cases of child-sexual abuse for fee. Four percent of the children in paid housework were impregnated resulting in clandestine abortion and adolescence mothers. The need to improve the socio-economic conditions of parents and policy frame implementation that offer socio-economic protection for girl child will reduce the trend.

Femi Tinuola holds MSc Medical Sociology and Ph. D Degree in Population Health from University of Ado Ekiti, Nigeria with additional training under the WHO, Tropical Disease (TDR) in Ethics and Codes in research in Public Health. He is currently, Senior Lecturer, Population Health, Department of Sociology, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria where he teaches and research in Health Sociology, Demography, Social Statistics and Research Methods. He specializes in Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, Social Epidemiology and Population Health. He has been involved in the study of social, cultural and economic factors influencing sexual health and reproductive rights, health care utilization among young women in a Democratic Nigeria for about a decade. Dr Femi Tinuola, a scholarship recipient of the International Association for the Study of Sexuality and Culture, Peru,
Latin America and Population Council, Kenya, is a member of many International Academic Associations.

Children’s perspectives on risk and vulnerability in contexts of poverty and change. Uma Vennam, Oxford, Young Lives, UK.

Abstract: This exploratory paper is based on research carried out by Young Lives, a long-term study (2000-2015) of childhood poverty in Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam. The paper presents emerging analysis of research carried out in 2008 with a group of young people, aged 12 to 14, growing up in Andhra Pradesh. One aspect of the study was to elicit children’s views on changes over a one-year period (2007-2008) affecting their households and communities, including in relation to broader economic crisis. While a positive economic ‘turnaround’ has been noted for Andhra Pradesh in recent years, there is still a considerable degree of poverty and regional disparities. In our study, children identified both negative and positive changes in their households and communities, including the notable increase in food prices, which they viewed as a risk to child well-being. They described how financial crisis impacts on their time-use, for example, balancing school and work, as well as how they experience the various programmes aimed to protect them (Midday Meal Scheme, NREGS, child sponsorship, etc). They not only provide critical commentary on how economic and political changes impact on children, they also discuss how children and their families cope with change (for example by eating less or working more) and what communities and governments could do to better protect different groups of children in these contexts. Children’s views on risk and vulnerability reflected the differing circumstances of their livelihoods and of their local environments. They were knowledgeable and at times critical of the various services and programmes in their communities. Overall, their participation in the research was active and engaged and their insights into community change were indicative of their awareness and involvement in their household economies and wider societies. Their experiences demonstrated that children are not only ‘impacted’ by crisis, but that they are also active in managing the risks associated with poverty.

Uma Vennam has a MA in social work specialising in Urban and Rural Community Develompent from Tata Institute of Social Sciences Bombay, and holds a PhD form the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. She is currently a professor of social work at Sri Padmavathi Mahila Visvavidyalayam. She has been involved in various projects dealing with poverty alleviation, rural livelihoods, SLMF, poverty and HIV/AIDS, trafficking in women and children, child labour and AIDS prevention

Crisis impacts on children vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Ken Legins, UNICEF.

Abstract: This paper focuses on the Triple F crisis and its potential effects on children living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Children are often relatively invisible in global HIV/AIDS policy debates but given that globally they make up 6% of the infected population but 14% of total deaths, child-specific vulnerabilities deserve urgent attention. The paper begins by drawing on a modified version of a conceptual framework developed by Harper et al. (2009) to understand the impact pathways through which macro-level shocks are translated into meso- and micro-level impacts on children living with or vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and their care-givers. It then turns to a discussion of the effects of the crisis on children already infected by HIV as well as children likely to be rendered more vulnerable to infection, drawing on existing grey and published literature as well as interviews with select national and international governmental, international agency and non-governmental stakeholders. While this evidence is still very fragmented, it does highlight that significant worrying trends are already emerging. The next section of the paper then focuses on the policy choices national governments and international health financing donors are making in the context of the crisis. It considers both pre-existing HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention services, HIV/AIDS-specific and broader social protection programmes and crisis-specific responses. Section 5 then seeks to illustrate findings from Sections 3 and 4 through a select number of country snapshots from hyper-epidemic countries in Southern Africa; Thailand, as an example of a country where the pandemic has largely affected the commercial sex trade; and Russia, an example of a country where the pandemic tends to be concentrated among intravenous drug users, although is spilling over to the broader population as well. Section 6 concludes with key policy recommendations. These include the necessity of developing more child-sensitive crisis monitoring systems in order to better understand real time impacts on children, as well as the importance of maintaining and indeed scaling up investments in basic treatment and prevention services and social protection measures which treat the broader context in which HIV/AIDS infected populations live.

Ken Legins is currently the Senior Advisor, HIV Policy and Evidence, at UNICEF New York. Previously, Ken worked in Beijing as the UNICEF Chief of HIV/AIDS from 2004 to late 2008, working on such initiatives as the launch of the Chinese Campaign for Children and AIDS and a draft policy for the first child welfare system in China. Previous to China, Ken held positions in the UNICEF New York and the World Health Organization’s Regional Office in Europe, at which time he was stationed in Tirana, Albania during the Kosovo War. In the early 90’s Ken worked at the New York City Department of Public Health as a tuberculosis public health epidemiologist and as an HIV counselor at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Ken received his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College in ‘92, and Masters in Public Health from Yale University in ‘95. He received the Common Good Award from Bowdoin in 2006. Ken has served on the board of the Global Business Coalition on AIDS, TB and Malaria in China, and New York City WNYC Radio Community Board from 2002-2004. Ken currently lives in New York City.

Panel 4: Including children in policy responses: Past lessons and future scenarios

Panel 4: Including children in policy responses: Past lessons and future scenarios
Chair and opening presentation: Richard Blewitt, HelpAge International, UK

Richard Blewitt is CEO of HelpAge International. Prior to working at HelpAge, Richard was at the British Red Cross, where he became Director of Strategy, Planning and Coordination. Between 1991 and 1996 Richard worked with Save the Children on emergency and food security issues in East Africa, and in their Ethiopia and Sudan programmes. Richard has also worked for ActionAid as Emergency Operations Manager and has been on secondment with the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Richard began his career as a teacher in Sudan.

Social protection responses to economic crises and their impacts on children: Learning from past lessons. Rica Garde, Save the Children, UK.

Abstract: The global economic crisis is expected to push millions of people into poverty in developing countries. As previous economic crises have shown, children tend to be among the hard-hit when households experience economic shocks. As households are forced to make difficult choices, more children are pulled out of school or fall into malnutrition for example —both of which were seen in during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis in countries such as Indonesia. While these are temporary events, they have also been proven to have long-term negative consequences for children including reductions in lifetime educational achievement and wages.

In response the current crisis, there has been increased attention to social protection as part of the response. Past experience indicates that social protection programmes can play a significant role in helping households cope during crises, and in mitigating or preventing negative consequences for children. Learning lessons from these experiences may bring important insights to the current crisis. This paper will therefore analyse the development and evolution of social protection programmes in previous crises and the consequent impacts for households and children. Given that the impacts of the current crisis in developing countries are in fact the result of multiple economic phenomena (food and fuel prices, financial system disruptions, global economic slow down), this paper will look at two very different case studies – the introduction of the National Safety Net programme in Indonesia during the Asian crisis and the evolution of the Productive Safety Net Programme in Ethiopia as a response to repeated food crises. Based on these case studies, it examines the characteristics of these programmes, how they were adopted and implemented, their mitigating effects for children and their potential to turn into long-term anti-poverty schemes. The paper will close with lessons for the current crisis that can be drawn from the case studies.

Rica Garde is an economic policy officer at Save the Children UK. She has contributed to a number of Save the Children UK flagship reports including “The Next Revolution: Giving Every Child a Chance to Survive” and the upcoming “Hungry for Change: An Eight-step, Costed Plan of Action to Tackle Global Child Hunger”. She has worked on a research project on remittances for the Poverty and Economic Policy Network while based in the Philippines. Previously she was a research officer for trade and economics at the Australian Embassy in Manila working on issues concerning agriculture trade, the mining sector, and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation among others. She has also worked as a consultant for the ASEAN+3 Research Group Studies in 2005 and 2006. Miss Garde obtained an MSc Development Administration and Planning from the University College London and an MA Economics from the University of the Philippines.

Towards understanding the impact of the international financial crisis on child poverty in South Africa: A micro-macro simulation perspective. Servaas van der Berg, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa and Dr. Ramos Magubu, South Africa Fiscal and Financial Commission, South Africa.

Abstract: The financial crisis in the world’s major economies and the subsequent world recession has also now deeply affected South Africa. Some of the impacts are felt in investor and consumer confidence, as well through strongly declining prices of South African export commodities. Consequently, most of the economy has slid into recession, with resultant impacts for unemployment and prices. In this context, it is likely that poverty is on the increase and that this increased poverty will affect children. Almost 40 percent of South Africa’s total population is children(IES 2005), of which two-thirds live in poverty. This can be compared to the adult poverty headcount of 45 percent.

This study will provide insights into the magnitude of the shocks associated with the crisis in macroeconomic terms in South Africa, the country’s capacity to withstand or cushion these shocks, and the extent of fragility in terms of poverty levels and key indicators of child wellbeing (both money metric and non-money metric). Analysis will combine macro and microeconomic tools to assess the extent of the crisis’ impact on the country. Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modeling will be employed to assess the impact of the crisis on key macro variables. Results of the macro model will then be used to assess the individual and household level effects of the crisis using household survey data and suitable microeconometric techniques that investigate the impact of the crisis on poverty through employment, earnings and household demand behaviour. Of particular importance to this study is the consideration of how the crisis’ effect is mediated through the child support grant, which has been expanded greatly in recent years, and is particularly aimed at children in poor families. This may offer a potential source of protection against poverty for poor children, if the care-givers regard such grants as firstly for the benefit of the children concerned.

Servaas van der Berg is a Professor of Economics and National Research Foundation Research Chair in the Economics of Social Policy, University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He is a member of the SACMEQ Research Committee, Umalusi Research Forum, Ministerial Committee on School Retention and National Education Policy Thing Tank.

Ramos Mabugu was born in Zimbabwe and obtained B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in economics from the University of Zimbabwe before receiving his Ph.D. from Gothenburg University. He has taught and supervised at postgraduate level at the University of Zimbabwe (1996-2002) and University of Pretoria in South Africa (2003-2006). In 2006 Ramos joined the Financial and Fiscal Commission of South Africa. He has published in international and domestic journals as well as contributing chapters to peer reviewed books and conference proceedings. Ramos is currently an Associate Editor, Journal of Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University.

Simulating the impact of the global food, fuel and financial crises on children and policy responses in Burkina Faso. John Cockburn, University of Laval, Poverty and Economic Policy Network, Canada.

Abstract: Burkina Faso, like the rest of the world, is beginning to see the hard-won economic gains of recent years wear away as a consequence of the impact of the global financial crisis. Growth, which is essential for much-needed poverty alleviation, is expected to fall from 5% in 2008 to 3.5% in 2009. A slowdown in export growth from 6.9% in 2007 to 3.5% in 2008, partly due to a drop of 11% in the cotton price, risks worsening even though the financial system in Burkina Faso is so far resilient to the global financial crisis. This paper aims to track the impact of these changes on individual households, their members and, in particular, children by combining two types of analysis: one at the macro level and the other at the micro level.

The macroeconomic assessment of the global economic crisis requires the use of a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to incorporate the structural aspects of the economy and capture the many and varied direct and indirect interactions between factor markets, goods markets, households, government, and private and foreign partners. In order to distinguish the impacts on individual households and their members, by evaluating the monetary poverty, nutritional, educational and health impacts on children, a micro-economic analysis will also be undertaken. It will focus on the distributional and child welfare impacts of the external shocks and eventual policy responses.

Finally, the macro-micro model will be used to simulate the effects of various policy options to assess their potential to mitigate the impact of the crisis on poor households. These findings will be used to inform government policy-making.

John Cockburn is co-director of the Poverty and Economic Policy research network and professor at Laval University in Québec. He completed a PhD at Oxford University in September 2001 on child labour and schooling in rural Ethiopia and CGE-based micro simulation analysis of trade liberalization in Nepal. His areas of specialization include child poverty, macro-micro poverty modelling, trade policy analysis and manufacturing competitiveness. He has been active in providing training and technical support to developing country researchers throughout the developing world since 1990.

Appraising the impacts of the 2008/9 global economic crisis and of policy responses on children in Cameroon. Christian Arnualt Emini, University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon.

Abstract: This study aims at assessing the impacts of the 2008/9 global financial and economic crisis on children in Cameroon. Especially, it focuses on the analysis of the multidimensional poverty of children and also appraises the potential effects of consecutive policy responses.
Four primary transmission channels through which the crisis has most likely shocked Cameroon economy are considered: trade (fall in international demand and/or prices of coffee, banana, cotton, wood, aluminium and other mining products, rubber, etc.), foreign direct investments, remittances, and foreign aid.

The methodological approach used is a top-down/bottom-up framework, which encompasses a dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model on the one hand, and a micro simulation module on the other hand. The CGE model is used to simulate the various scenarios of external shocks or policy responses, considering the production sectors and agents interacting within the economy, as well as the labour market structure. Simulation results generated by the CGE model (mainly the changes in prices, consumptions and incomes) are then used within the micro simulation module in order to assess the poverty impacts of scenarios on households and children. Monetary poverty and caloric poverty impacts on children are measured using a Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System, while impacts on school participation of children, child labour, and on children access to health care are appraised through bi-variate Probit econometric regression within the same micro simulation module.

Child-sensitive policy responses explored include, inter alia, the subsidizing the sales prices of food products, paying cash transfers to poor families; government budget being balanced through an increase of foreign grants in both cases.

The simulation results show that, considering the monetary poverty criterion, the crisis engenders one percent increase of the number of poor children in 2008, and 3 percent increase in 2009, 2010 and 2011, compared to the Business-as-Usual (BaU) scenario. The number of poor children, as regarding the calorific poverty, increases by one percent in 2009 and 2010, and by 2 percent compared to the BaU scenario.

Foreign aid transferred in cash to poor families is revealed here to be the most efficient of the child-sensitive policy responses. The supplementary number of poor children generated by the crisis is completely annihilated thanks to this policy.

Christian Arnault Emini is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economic Analysis and Policies of the Faculty of Economics and Management, University of Yaounde 2 in Cameroon. He received his Doctorate from the same University in 1998. His PhD thesis assessed the welfare impacts of replacing several cascade-type taxes by an imperfect Value Added Tax (VAT), following the tax reform implemented in Cameroon and other country-members of the Central Africa Customs and Economic Union in 1994. He is a member of the “Poverty and Economic Policies” network based in Laval University where he officiates both as a researcher and speaker. Since September 2005, Dr Emini has served as an adviser of the Prime Minister of Cameroon for Economic Analysis and Prospects’ Affairs.

Panel 5: Snapshots of responses in progress

Panel 5: Snapshots of responses in progress
Chair and opening presentation: Bella Bird, DFID, UK

Bella Bird joined DFID in 1996 as an adviser on poverty and social issues in DFID East Africa. She worked in DFID’s Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania programmes across a range of sectoral projects and policy agendas. Since then she spent several years leading DFID’s programme in Vietnam, and following that was head of DFID’s programme in Nepal. In her current role as Head of the Governance and Social Department she provides leadership to DFID’s policy work on governance issues, with a particular focus on fragile states. She leads policy work on social protection and the poverty impact of the global economic downturn, as well as gender equality, migration, equity and human rights.

Child-sensitive social protection at times of crisis: Addressing the social impacts of the global economic crisis in CEE/CIS. Gordon Alexander and Petra Hoelscher, UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS.

Abstract: The CEE/CIS region is an epicentre of the financial crisis, putting an end to a decade of rapid economic growth and reversing significant achievements of poverty reduction. The crisis is affecting higher and middle income countries- especially those most integrated into the global economy- more than the poorest. Volatile commodity prices, fragile banking systems and downside risks of further economic contraction in major regional economies such as Russia make the prospect of recovery likely to be lengthy and slow. Many countries have turned to the IMF along with the EU for assistance. Conditionalities attached to these loans, though in principle seeking to protect social expenditures, have led to across-the-board cuts in public expenditure. And while being tied to public administration reform they are leading to sharp reductions in social sector staffing in schools and health services, and considering paring back of social entitlements (including maternity and child benefits). Poorer countries are affected by reduced demand for their exports but also by a fall in remittances and the prospect of migrants returning to labour markets that are unable to provide jobs or absorb their skills.

Wage arrears, rising unemployment and return migration threaten the livelihoods of families and are leading to rising poverty. Many countries in the region are trying to maintain spending on employment and social assistance measures and some have temporarily adjusted social protection measures in response to the crisis (e.g. increases in benefit levels, extension of unemployment benefits). However, these do little to mitigate income losses and make a substantial difference in the lives of both the ‘old’ and new poor. In the meantime budgetary pressure on governments is rising so that further cuts in public expenditure, including social spending, may become inevitable.

On-going social protection reforms now have to be continued in a situation of often severe budget constraints, which could either lead to acceleration or slow-down of the reform process. Cash transfer systems are under renewed scrutiny as so far in many countries of the region they have been ineffective in reducing poverty while at the same time not being flexible enough to respond to rising poverty. Currently cash transfers tend to be too low, too narrowly targeted, too little coordinated and require too much administrative capacity. Countries across the CEE/CIS have not managed to effectively reform social protection systems during times of economic growth; the challenges are now even greater to become ready for the economic recovery and to put systems in place that will be effective in reducing child poverty and strengthening social cohesion.

The UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS in collaboration with the University of York is currently mapping and assessing social protection systems across the region as well as government responses to mitigate the social impacts of the economic crisis. The paper will present the state of social protection in CEE/CIS and their effectiveness in reducing child poverty. It will discuss strategies to make cash transfers more sensitive to the needs of poor children and their families and more effective in reducing child poverty.

Gordon Alexander is currently Senior Policy Advisor in UNICEF’s Regional Office for the CEE/CIS and is responsible for UNICEF’s work on economic and social policy in the region. Prior to this assignment, he worked as head of UNAIDS in India (1998-2000), and before that as UNICEF’s Deputy Director for Programmes in India (1993-1998). In the mid1980s, Mr Alexander served as UNICEF Representative in the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY), following assignments in Vietnam and Afghanistan. He began his career with UNICEF in India as a UN Volunteer in 1973.

Petra Hoelscher is Social Policy Specialist in the UNICEF Regional Office for CEE/CIS. Before joining UNICEF in 2006 she was working as a Research Fellow at the University of Stirling (2004-2006) and the University of Dortmund in Germany (1997-2003). Main areas of work include child poverty (conceptualisation and measurement of child poverty, child poverty reduction), reform of social protection systems, monitoring of child well-being and the situation of particularly vulnerable groups of the population such as Roma children.

Adolescents, crisis and risk: Are CCTs adequate policy answers? Valeria Llobet, New School University, USA.

Abstract: The current crisis is expected to affect children and adolescents directly, through less quantity and quality of food, resources available to their families, and opportunities for independence and autonomy. It may affect indirectly through impacting funding of basic social services, reduction of job opportunities for their parents, increasing the stress of raising children in a crisis context. Many adolescents are out of the educational system and confronting serious difficulties to enter to the labour market. The economic crisis adds an additional serious factor to the adversity that poverty in general implies for them.

Nevertheless, the experience of those risk factors may vary showing specific articulations from a meso-social point of view. Adolescents, boys and girls, are in a transitional moment of their life cycle. Many of them, especially among the poor sectors, are entering on their productive and/ or reproductive life. Life-cycle transitions draw upon ideas of adulthood as a point of arrival, but there is the need of consider also the inherent importance of adolescence as a moment and a complex set of experiences that, for instance, start full sexual life and autonomous social groups inclusion. Both processes can trace future life trajectories, closing some opportunities and determining some paths.

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) is one of the policy strategies that have been adopted in most of the countries in Latin America to reduce poverty. Are CCTs useful tools for promoting rights and citizenship among adolescents? Can CCTs help adolescents to overcome the difficult situations that they are facing in Latin America? This is the main question that poses this paper. The discussion will be based on the comparative analysis of characteristics of three CCTs target to adolescents: “Proyecto Adolescente” in Argentinean province of Buenos Aires, “ProJovem” in Brazil, and “Opportunity NYC” in New York City, USA. The analysis will include ethnographic research conducted with adolescent clients of Proyecto Adolescente and assistants to Centros de Actividades Juveniles (CAJ). This analysis will help to expand the knowledge on how they understand citizenship and inclusion in everyday life.

Valeria Llobet is a researcher at the National Council of Scientific Research (CONICET) and professor at the National University of San Martín and the Latin American Social Sciences Faculty (FLACSO), in Argentina. She recently completed a short-term research residency at the New School in New York City, focusing on Conditional Cash Transfers for adolescents: Perspectives on Human Rights. Her most recent publications include Social Policies for adolescents and processes of expanding citizenship, in Granda, Jorge (Editor) Pobreza, Exclusión y Derechos Humanos, FLACSO Ecuador, 2008, and Human Rights perspectives and social policies for children and adolescents in Argentina, in Políticas Sociales Latinoamericanas. Perspectivas comparadas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México y Editorial Porrúa (in Press). She also has participated as a field coordinator for the Argentine National Evaluation of Programa Familias.

The impact of the financial and economic crisis on the family and child in the Republic of Moldova and suggested responses. Sergiu Buruiana, UNICEF Moldova.

Abstract: UNICEF Moldova report will contain specific policy recommendations to Moldovan central and local authorities for actions to be taken in order to mitigate the impact of the crisis, particularly on the most vulnerable population and strengthening the social safety nets during and after the crisis.

The policy recommendations will be based on the data from the Household Budget Survey (HBS), before and after the start of the crisis and the social inclusion model, curried out in I quarter of 2009. The paper will also focus on the situation of the families with children, where one or both parents work abroad, the families where the parents returned back and how the economic situation affected these numerous categories of Moldovan population.

The coping mechanism of the families during the crisis will also be analyzed. The preliminary findings from the HBS revealed that the structure of overall consumption expenses of families with children indicates the reduction of the expenses for food, clothing, footwear, equipment, entertainment. On the other hand, the families with 3 or more children spent more then 50% of total consumption expenses for food. In rural areas, there is a transfer of the houses from the most reach quintile to poorer ones. The causes of this trend will be analyzed with specific focus on how “new poor” cope with poverty. The data from the HBS will be complemented with the surveys from the monitoring system of the crisis at the community level, planned to be launched in August 2009. This will provide further data on impact, and allow for a deeper understanding of coping mechanisms.

This data will form the ground for the recommendations on possible government responses. The government instituted a 20% cut in the state budget from April 2009 in response to declining revenues, thus making even more crucial steps to address the issue of efficiency and effectiveness of public resources, particularly in social sector. The paper will analyze the necessity to roll out the newly-introduced means-tested social aid program. It will document the benefits for both the state budget and for the most deprived families of consolidation, elimination or merger the existing social assistance programmes into the new targeted scheme. Other possible responses will also be explored to strengthen access to appropriate social services, both at national and local level, to respond to the needs of children and families in the face of the economic crisis.

The impact of the child related social protection programmes (i.e. monthly care allowances, nominal compensations from families with many children or with children with disabilities etc) in the context of the crisis will be shown in the light of the governmental activities to protect the poor during the crisis and optimise the state allocations.

Sergiu Buruiana is Chief of Social Policy Unit, UNICEF Moldova. Prior to his current position, he was a National Programme Officer in charge of social sector, cooperation with NGOs at Swiss Cooperation Office (SDC) in Moldova. From 1994 to 2003, he was deputy head of external cooperation division, Ministry of Economy of Moldova. Previously, he worked as First Secretary in the Asia, Africa and Latin America division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova. He has also been an interpreter at the Consulate of URSS, Russia in Pointe Noire, Congo.

The impact of the global food, fuel and financial crises and policy responses: A child-sensitive approach. Suwanee Khamman, National Economic and Social Development Board, Thailand.

Abstract: The global economic crisis is having a significant impact on Thailand. The Thai economy is heavily dependent on external trade and tourism both of which have fallen dramatically (exports by 23.5% in the first half of 2009, and arrivals by 22%). Firms are reacting by reducing working hours, cutting pay and laying-off workers. The country’s notable progress in reducing income poverty has been disrupted. This severe blow to Thailand from the global economic downturn echoes the shock to the national economy created by the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

In the aftermath of the 1997 crisis, Thailand began a number of long-term policy reforms aimed at expanding social security by establishing unemployment benefit, protecting mother and child health, building human capital and mitigating the risk of families falling into poverty. Among the key reforms were the setting up of a low-cost health insurance programme (the “30 baht” scheme) and increasing the period of free compulsory education. At that time, Thailand was hailed as a regional model in showing how a lower-middle country could begin to build a social protection system even in the face of severe economic challenge.

Thailand’s response to the current crisis draws on experience from 1997. Two phases of a government stimulus package aim to protect poor and vulnerable groups, enhance food and energy security, improve infrastructure in the education and public health care systems, as well as create jobs and generate incomes through public investment initiatives.

The paper for the ODI-UNICEF conference will examine how the policy responses to the 1997 and current economic crises are laying foundations for a social protection system in Thailand that is child-sensitive. It will show how free basic health care and education systems strengthen the resilience of families and their capacity to protect children from the impact of the global crisis. The paper will highlight some of the threats the global economic crisis presents to the protection systems already in place. It will also identify gaps that remain towards a comprehensive child-friendly social security system. Finally, the paper will suggest that Thailand can once again be in the forefront of social development by exploring innovative child-focussed social protection interventions.

Suwanee Khamman is Deputy Secretary General at the National Economic and Social Development Board in Bangkok. She serves as an advisor in policy and planning initiatives, drafting government policy and coordinating the MDG report. She has contributed to a number of papers, including The Assessment of Basic Social Service Financing in Thailand: 20/20 Initiative (1998), Social Sector Reform for Protecting the Poor (1999), The Youth Unemployment in Thailand (2000), A Study on the Socio-Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS on Children and Youth Policy Response (2001), A Study in Child Well-Being and Equity in Thailand (2008).