Saturday, October 3, 2009

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.

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