Livelihoods and Economic Strengthening Task Force: Convened by the Women’s Refugee Commission
The protection and well-being of children is directly connected to issues of livelihood, especially in emergency contexts. Families who have lost their means of making a living in a crisis may pull their children, especially girls, out of school to contribute to household incomes, do chores or care for siblings. Children who have lost their parents may turn to harmful livelihood strategies to meet their basic needs.
Governments and international agencies increasingly turn to economic strengthening programs (skills training, savings groups, microcredit, cash transfers, etc.) to help communities recover from crisis and build wealth. The impacts of these programs on children have been poorly documented. Economic strengthening (ES) programs can have many positive effects for children including in mental and nutritional health, access to healthcare, and school enrolment. But they can also introduce risk of harm, undermining the benefits. Introducing new economic incentives may cause children to change their routines in dangerous ways. In programs engaging caregivers, even when they bring more money into the house, programs may be ineffective in reaching the youngest, and can even put children at greater risk of school-leaving, exploitation or harmful labor.
Related LinksWomen's Refugee Commission
Livelihoods, Economic Strengthening, Child Protection and Well-Being in Western Uganda
This study in Western Uganda tried to determine the links between household income/assets and the protection and well-being of children. We also tried to determine if and how economic interventions for caregivers could improve the lives of the children in their care, without doing inadvertent harm. Armed with answers to these questions, governments, NGOs and donors should be able to make better funding and programming decisions.
The Impacts of Economic Strengthening Programs on Children: A Review of the Evidence
This review sought to methodically capture the known impacts of economic strengthening (ES) programs (microcredit, skills training, agricultural interventions, etc.) on the well-being of children (0-18 years) in crisis contexts in low-income countries. The review looked at effects on children both from interventions engaging caregivers as beneficiaries, and those targeting children themselves. The goals were to understand the types of approaches taken to economic strengthening that focus on improving children’s welfare, catalog the interventions that have been rigorously evaluated for their impacts on children, and synthesize the evidence to identify the gaps in knowledge.
Task Force on Livelihoods and Economic Strengthening: Three-Year Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan catalogs what the Task Force has achieved to date, and what we will do in the next 3 years, through the twin priorities of documenting the impact of livelihoods/economic strengthening interventions on child protection and well-being, and improving the understanding of effective means of implementation.
Impact Evaluations of Child Protection/Well-being Outcomes from Economic Strengthening Programs
A matrix of 48 completed and 12 ongoing studies, with summaries and links to all published evaluation reports. This document forms the basis of "The Impacts of Economic Strengthening Programs on Children: A review of the evidence"
Child Safeguarding in Cash Transfer Programming Tool
Provides personnel using Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) with advice on the child protection issues to consider during preparation, planning, implementation and monitoring of their programmes. Produced in collaboration between Save the Children, the Women's Refugee Commission, the Child Protection in Crisis Network, and the Cash Learning Project (CaLP).
What Cash Transfer Programming can do to Protect Children - Discussion Paper
Examines the links between cash transfers and the positive and negative outcomes for children, in particular the role cash transfers have played in protecting children from harm, exploitation, abuse and violence. Produced in collaboration between Save the Children, the Women's Refugee Commission, the Child Protection in Crisis Network, and the Cash Learning Project (CaLP).