Review of the Global Evidence on Social Protection Supporting Childhood Development Outcomes

The review focuses on how social protection supports reductions in stunting, increases access to primary education, improves cognitive, social and emotional development, and reduces violent discipline against children in the home. It draws on evidence identified through a methodical literature search of systematic reviews and meta-analyses to identify high-quality single country studies. The available evidence was heavily biased towards studies of conditional cash transfers in Latin America and focused largely on the impact of social protection on children’s nutrition and education. In the areas of cognitive, social and emotional development and violence against children, the evidence base was much thinner and provides initial insights which warrant further research. The review is based on a purposive sample of 30 studies of social protection programmes (conditional cash transfer, unconditional cash transfer and public works) from 11 countries.