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Including Children in Policy Responses to Economic Crisis :

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Unpacking some of the factors that make a difference in whether and how ... over 50% to 12%, from best in central Asia or the Caucasus to among the worst ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Including Children in Policy Responses to Economic Crisis :


1
Including Children in Policy Responses to
Economic Crisis Lessons from Past Policies for
a Sustainable Future
2
Intent of paper
  • Unpacking some of the factors that make a
    difference in whether and how resumption of
    social progress is achievable
  • Identifying whether children can meanwhile be
    protected.
  • Proposing that we can do more about it than is
    currently being done through conventional child
    oriented policy
  • Suggesting that we are obliged to tackle this
    problem by engaging with the debates on economic
    crisis and recommending how.

3
  • in the majority of policy contexts child
    wellbeing is for the most part treated as a
    benign issue, with children remaining largely
    politically invisible and discussion of their
    interests on the whole confined to
    sector-specific and welfare-oriented debates.

4
Progress on child wellbeing, is not inevitable,
even with economic growth
  • In many developed countries, child poverty rates
    remain worryingly high, especially considering
    their levels of economic prosperity.
  • Take the USA.
  • In 1979 child poverty stood at 16.2,
  • reached a peak of 22 in 1993
  • and was still 18 in 2007 (NCCP)
  • Child poverty is
  • multi-dimensional, dynamic over the life-course,
    dependent on relationships and subject to a
    particular depth of voicelessness

5
Retrospective Studies
  • Asian Financial Crisis of 19971998 (the impacts
    of which on household poverty have been
    extensively studied)
  • The experience of transition in former Soviet
    Republics in the early 1990s
  • Currency crises in Mexico (1995) and Argentina
    (2002)
  • African experiences with agricultural and oil
    price fluctuations.

6
Predictions for current crisisapproximately
30,00050,000 excess infant deaths in Africa in
2009 and especially girls.FAO (2009) projects
that undernourishment will grow by 8 in LACIn
Asia if unaddressed (UNICEF) increases in rates
of maternal anaemia by 1020 and prevalence of
low birth weight by 510, while rates of
childhood stunting could increase by 37 and
wasting by 816.
7
Trends in undernourishment and projections for
2009
8
Effect on undernourishment
9
Primary school completion and child mortality
10
Mexico infant mortality increased from 5-7
1995-6 (fell again after 1997) Ethiopia
increase in cereal prices of 25 - increases
child malnutrition by 3-4 Demographic health
surveys in 59 countries highlight negative
association between changes in GDP and infant
mortality Poorer CIS countries - basic school
enrolment rates declined 10 to 15 in early
1990s - Seven countries still at risk of not
meeting MDG 1 in Kazakhstan, pre-school
enrollment fell from over 50 to 12, from best
in central Asia or the Caucasus to among the
worst Increases in proportion of young children
left home alone across regions Increased
participation in work force in Mexico In East
Asia numbers of children living on the streets
increased in Indonesia and Thailand at risk re
sex work, drug use and crime (ADB, 2006 Knowles
et al., 1999 Suharto, 2007). Increase in child
abandonment and numbers of children taken into
care in all four countries (ADB, 2000 Kim, 2004).
11
But Some Children Protected In East Asia child
mortality rates protected and downward trends in
child malnutrition continued Impacts on education
in Latin America - minimal. Mexico - school
attendance rates for children of both sexes were
unchanged and increased for some age groups.
Both male and female children aged 1518 had
higher school attendance rates in 1996 than in
1994. People protected education consumption and
State did to an extent.
12
Financial Crisis - General
General regional and international macro-economic
health
General regional and international macro-economic
health
Dimensions of the macro-economic environment
Remittances
Financial flows
Trade and prices (commodities and services)
Aid
Exchange Rates
Fiscal space
Rising unemployment, under-employment,
declining working conditions
Declining investment in public services
(education, health, nutrition, water and
sanitation, housing, protection, care)
Meso-level effects of the financial crisis
Reduced access to credit
Declining social capital rising social violence
Civil society policy advocacy service provision
  • Policy responses
  • (Fiscal stimulus, trade policy, monetary policy,
    aid policy
  • pre-existing and crisis-response investment in
    basic services,
  • pre-existing social protection infrastructure
    and crisis-specific measures,
  • labour policy)

Political economy dynamics
Policy responses
Household consumption (food and services, both
quantity and quality)
Protection (physical and emotional) promotion
of well-being
Household management of assets and investments
Household labour allocation
Reproduction, nurture, and care
Contribution to community life
Functions of the household
Intra-household dynamics household composition
Child-specific vulnerabilities Deprivations of
rights to survival, development, protection,
participation
13
Trade level by sector
Source World Bank (2009)
14
Remittance flows - LA
15
Financial Crisis - General
General regional and international macro-economic
health
General regional and international macro-economic
health
Dimensions of the macro-economic environment
Remittances
Financial flows
Trade and prices (commodities and services)
Aid
Exchange Rates
Fiscal space
Rising unemployment, under-employment,
declining working conditions
Declining investment in public services
(education, health, nutrition, water and
sanitation, housing, protection, care)
Meso-level effects of the financial crisis
Reduced access to credit
Declining social capital rising social violence
Civil society policy advocacy service provision
  • Policy responses
  • (Fiscal stimulus, trade policy, monetary policy,
    aid policy
  • pre-existing and crisis-response investment in
    basic services,
  • pre-existing social protection infrastructure
    and crisis-specific measures,
  • labour policy)

Political economy dynamics
Policy responses
Household consumption (food and services, both
quantity and quality)
Protection (physical and emotional) promotion
of well-being
Household management of assets and investments
Household labour allocation
Reproduction, nurture, and care
Contribution to community life
Functions of the household
Intra-household dynamics household composition
Child-specific vulnerabilities Deprivations of
rights to survival, development, protection,
participation
16
  • Unemployment Current Crisis
  • ILO predicts unemployment could rise to 8.5 in
    2009 with an additional 28 million more
    vulnerable jobs in Africa alone.
  • Effects on export industries in the first
    instance Bangladesh, China, Vietnam to name a
    few.

17
Characteristics of unemployment
  • In all regions, unemployment rose, often
    significantly and patterned by age, gender,
    ethnicity and location
  • Indonesia from 1.5 in 1996 5.6 in 1998
  • Argentina 12.5 rise in unemployment in 2000
  • womens greater employment in flexible and casual
    labour, specific affected sectors and their
    reproductive work made them more vulnerable
  • in Korea there were particularly high levels of
    job losses in clerical work (-18.4)
  • In Kyrgyzstan, the unemployment rate among women
    in the mid 2000s was one and a half times that of
    men

18
Unemployment Characteristics
  • Young people very much affected In Thailand -
    persons aged below 30 (one-third of the labour
    force) accounted for 60 of the increase in
    unemployment, whereas those over 50 experienced
    little increase in unemployment
  • In 2003, urban young people aged under 30 made up
    13 of Kyrgyzstans total labor force, but
    one-quarter of all unemployed people
  • Youth unemployment rates in CIS region are (2006)
    31, and a relaxed definition, including
    discouraged youth, 41
  • Mean age of first birth is 2223 years in Russia
    implications for childrens early years in
    poverty
  • Other specific characteristics rise in informal
    sector employment spatial effects, labour
    migration
  • Much of this in a context where there was a drop
    in value of real wages, inflation and steep food
    or other commodity price hikes

19
Unemployment forecasts for select MENA countries
20
Financial Crisis - General
General regional and international macro-economic
health
General regional and international macro-economic
health
Dimensions of the macro-economic environment
Remittances
Financial flows
Trade and prices (commodities and services)
Aid
Exchange Rates
Fiscal space
Rising unemployment, under-employment,
declining working conditions
Declining investment in public services
(education, health, nutrition, water and
sanitation, housing, protection, care)
Meso-level effects of the financial crisis
Reduced access to credit
Declining social capital rising social violence
Civil society policy advocacy service provision
  • Policy responses
  • (Fiscal stimulus, trade policy, monetary policy,
    aid policy
  • pre-existing and crisis-response investment in
    basic services,
  • pre-existing social protection infrastructure
    and crisis-specific measures,
  • labour policy)

Political economy dynamics
Policy responses
Household consumption (food and services, both
quantity and quality)
Protection (physical and emotional) promotion
of well-being
Household management of assets and investments
Household labour allocation
Reproduction, nurture, and care
Contribution to community life
Functions of the household
Intra-household dynamics household composition
Child-specific vulnerabilities Deprivations of
rights to survival, development, protection,
participation
21
Political Economy Dynamics
  • These shaped the reform process both how deep
    the crisis was felt and how quickly and
    effectively governments were able to respond.
  • Malaysia rejected austerity programme and
    continued to invest in social services with
    positive effects.
  • Mexico creative leadership made links between
    equity and growth and garnered support to
    introduce new strategies with crisis as
    motivation - Progresa/Oportunidades
  • Argentina - progressive social forces included a
    range of society-based actors. New measures
    significantly influenced by participatory
    government-sponsored consultations Mesa de
    Diálogo
  • Civil society activity in Korea, Indonesia,
    Thailand and Argentina helped shape policy
    responses

22
Turning crisis to opportunity
  • Civil society and social movements clearly had an
    important role
  • Even in less conducive environments
  • In transition countries near universal child
    benefits decimated but pension benefits rose in
    many countries during the same period
  • Attributed to the relative political weakness of
    child rights advocates as compared with pensioner
    groups

23
Social Protection and Aid
  • International bailout loan packages important
    to immediate crisis response
  • Aid policies played a key role in facilitating
    targeted social protection programmes
  • Development programme for the poorest - Malaysia
    World Bank
  • Social impact mitigation programme in Thailand
    World Bank, ADB, Miyazawa plan
  • Indonesia social protection development
    programme -ADB
  • Mexico Aid grew from 96.55 million in 1989
    424 million in 1994 including support to social
    safety nets
  • Kyrgyzstan a model for comprehensive dev
    framework, PRSPs and rewarded with significant
    aid flows
  • Less attention paid to child specific social
    protection measures

24
Basic services and/or social protection
  • A clear cleavage in crisis response debates is
    investment in basic services pro or counter
    cyclical?
  • Also significant tensions in between cutting
    social expenditure on basic services and
    increasing that on targeted social protection
  • In Thailand there were significant cutbacks
    reproductive and preventative healthcare
    (including HIV prevention and education)
  • Indonesia health sector spending declined by 9
    and 13 (97/8 and 98/9)
  • At the same time social protection measures
    introduced also with help of donors
  • Mexico and Argentina focused on targeted social
    protection and attempted to maintain basic
    services with help from World Bank
  • Where both can be maintained there are
    significantly fewer social impacts

25
Current crisis protecting services
  • The extent to which investments in basic services
    are being protected varies considerably across
    regions
  • SSA AfDB warns spending on basic needs
    threatened
  • Nigeria 16 cut in education and 20 in health
  • MENA and Kazakhstan no indication of increasing
    spend in response to crisis induced
    vulnerabilities (in both despite previous strong
    economic growth basic needs spend low)
  • By Contrast
  • Thailand - Health budget protected through a
    special act
  • China 123 billion package introduced
  • Chile counter-cyclical fiscal policy 7.8
    increase in social spending
  • Costa Rica spend on housing and education
    increased
  • Social protection - although improved since last
    crisis - responses so far limited
  • Some exceptions Kazakhstan, Mexico, Bolivia
    among others
  •  

26
  • Attention to social protection remains one of
    the key features of successful policy responses
    but we can and should do much more with our
    social protection packages

27
Financial Crisis - General
General regional and international macro-economic
health
General regional and international macro-economic
health
Dimensions of the macro-economic environment
Remittances
Financial flows
Trade and prices (commodities and services)
Aid
Exchange Rates
Fiscal space
Rising unemployment, under-employment,
declining working conditions
Declining investment in public services
(education, health, nutrition, water and
sanitation, housing, protection, care)
Meso-level effects of the financial crisis
Reduced access to credit
Declining social capital rising social violence
Civil society policy advocacy service provision
  • Policy responses
  • (Fiscal stimulus, trade policy, monetary policy,
    aid policy
  • pre-existing and crisis-response investment in
    basic services,
  • pre-existing social protection infrastructure
    and crisis-specific measures,
  • labour policy)

Political economy dynamics
Policy responses
Household consumption (food and services, both
quantity and quality)
Protection (physical and emotional) promotion
of well-being
Household management of assets and investments
Household labour allocation
Reproduction, nurture, and care
Contribution to community life
Functions of the household
Intra-household dynamics household composition
Child-specific vulnerabilities Deprivations of
rights to survival, development, protection,
participation
28
Micro impacts
Gender relations change a shift in the locus of
power Migrants are returning home some
unemployed Increased unemployment in general Men
and women are taking on two or more jobs Some
women are taking on paid work for the first
time Children are left home alone or are
neglected In some cases children are working and
some are withdrawn from school Mental ill health
is on the increase Domestic tension and violence
increases Community capacity to nurture and
protect is compromised
29
Social Protection education, health and
nutrition
  • Pre-existing social protection systems and
    tailored crisis-specific responses - decisive in
    mitigating impacts on childrens educational,
    health and nutritional outcomes.
  • Scholarship programmes and social health
    insurance initiatives in East Asia,
  • Cash transfers in Latin America and
  • Public works in Latin America and Africa
  • BUT limited attention to child protection and
    care
  • Despite rises in intra-household tensions and
    violence no increased investment in related
    social services
  • Shockingly limited response to rising rates of
    mental ill-health and drug and substance abuse in
    East Asia and transition country contexts
  • Despite starkly gendered effects of unemployment,
    under-employment and household poverty no
    measures to
  • address womens time poverty
  • support womens greater responsibility for care
    and domestic work, for instance through
    subsidised childcare services

30
Social Protection decisive in mitigating impacts
but neglects child protection, nurture and care
31
  • Political economy dimensions
  • Aid linked to social protection
  • Counter-cyclical investment in social services
  • Social protection linked to child protection,
    nurture and care
  • Data timely, systematic, age and gender
    disaggregated

32
Safeguarding and progressing childrens rights
Mainstreaming children into economic crisis
responses
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