Social protection

Social protection policies in developing countries are an increasingly widespread method for tackling chronic poverty and vulnerability and helping families manage risk. Schemes often provide cash, paid work or food to poor people. Cash transfers alone are reaching 110 million families in 45 of the world’s poorest countries.

Young Lives research is looking at which children within a community are accessing social protection and which are not, and whether the schemes are helpful. In doing so, we find that social protection programmes have both intended and unintended consequences for children. Some schemes can provide poor households with a buffer against shocks and boost the livelihoods of the poorest families. They can also increase children’s likelihood of attending schools and clinics, and improve their nutritional status. But by taking adult labour away from the household, they can increase the work burden for children. While more children may end up in school, increased pupil numbers mean more pressure on class size and teachers.

What's New

Economic Development and Cultural Change'School Meals as a Safety Net: An Evaluation of the Midday Meal Scheme in India', by Stefan Dercon, Albert Park and Abhijeet Singh, Economic Development and Cultural Change 62.2: 275-306



Working Paper 95Female Labour-Force Participation and Child Education in India: a study of the impact women’s increased access to labour-market opportunities via the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in India on children’s educational attainment.


Abhijeet SinghBlog: Are we giving up too early on malnourished children? Abhijeet Singh writes for Ideas for India.





We need to end child poverty in order to break the cycle of poverty.