In this thirty-fourth installment of our RECOVR Roundup series, we are sharing new findings and analysis from the RECOVR Research Hub and from our partner organizations, as well as links on what is happening in the Social Protection landscape in response to COVID-19. Read the previous installment if you missed it, and sign up for our mailing list if you'd like to receive this roundup series directly to your inbox.
As always, we encourage you to write to our team with ideas for features.
New Findings & Analysis
More evidence on cash transfers and child nutritional outcomes: a systematic review and meta-analysis
The content of behavior change communication (BCC) matters for program effectiveness
There has been a bounty of new cash transfer studies in recent years, and it can be hard to keep track of all of the different effect sizes and outcomes. In BMJ Global Health, Manley, Alderman, and Gentilini have a meta-analysis, looking at 129 studies of how cash transfers affected child nutritional outcomes. They find statistically significant effects on height z-scores (.024 effect size), stunting (1.35% less), and wasting (1.31% less), though not for weight. In diet, they find statistically significant increases in animal-source foods (6.72%), dietary diversity (.55 effect size), and less diarrhea incidence (by 1.74%). Some programs studied added a Behavioral Change Communication component, and the ones focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene were more effective at reducing stunting and promoting dietary diversity. Read more here.
What We're Reading & Watching
- India, the second-largest country in the world by population, hasn’t released official poverty numbers since 2012, so measurement has been difficult. According to two new papers, India has either completely eradicated extreme poverty, or poverty is higher than earlier projections. Justin Sandefur is skeptical of both accounts.
- Cloutier, Harborne, Isser, Santos, and Watts present a fascinating set of case studies from Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, and South Africa in a new book on social contracts in the region. The book argues how social protection can influence citizen-state relations via formalization, state partnership, conditionality, and targeting.
- On the back of a massive global surge in economic inclusion programming led by developing country governments, a World Bank blog post by Arianna Legovini and Michal Rutkowski explores, "What do we need to learn to effectively scale-up government-led economic inclusion programs?"
- The Max Planck Institute will hold a workshop on the methodological and conceptual challenges of comparative social protection analysis. The workshop will explore the potentials and limits of social policy comparison, and address the question of how a meaningful and constructive South/North dialogue on comparative social protection analysis can take shape. Details here!
- J-PAL will host their Evaluating Social Programs course from June 13–17. Participants will learn why and when randomized evaluations can be used to rigorously measure social impact and how findings can inform the design of evidence-based policies and programs.