Using Longitudinal evidence from Burundi, research fellow and social policy expert Nesha Ramful presented our study on Livelihood Programming, Gender Effects and Child Well-Being, during the session on Policies and Programming.

In this study, the impact of a graduation programme on children’s well-being is analysed. Besides adding knowledge to the literature, this research is very relevant for policy designs including the moulding of social protection programmes to enable the poorest children to graduate out of poverty. This study investigates associations between participation in a social transfer graduation program and children’s well-being in Burundi. A gender perspective is incorporated, and the following research questions are addressed:

  • Under what conditions does the “Terintambwe” Graduation Programme improve children’s well-being?
  • To what extent does the gender of the beneficiary of the programme affect children’s well-being?
  • To what extent are children’s well-being impacted on differently based on their gender?
  • Which other characteristics of the beneficiary (individual or household) are associated with children’s well-being?

Research fellow and social policy expert Nesha Ramful presenting during the Policies and Programming session

The study employs longitudinal data collected in 2013, 2014, and 2015 for the Concern Worldwide Graduation Programme, in two of the country’s poorest provinces: Kirundo and Cibitoke. 1000 participants in each province along with a control group of 600 participants were sampled. The dependent variable is children’s intensity of deprivation where a multidimensional approach to child well-being is employed to encompass measurements of nutrition, health, education, sanitation, water, protection, and housing, among 4677 (panel) children aged 0 to 17 using UNICEF’s Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis methodology. The impact of the programme is then measured using a fixed effects modeling strategy controlling for gender and other individual and household characteristics of the beneficiary.

It is found that intensity of deprivation for children is lower when the beneficiary is a woman. A detailed analysis by gender of the child reveal that girls have significantly lower intensity of deprivation when the beneficiary of the graduation programme is a female and when women participates in household decision making. For boys, the relationship between the above mentioned variables are insignificant in determining their deprivation level. There is however a significant increase in children’s well-being when any woman living in the household is in an association or cooperative irrespective of the gender of the beneficiary. Besides gender, it is found that there are other factors impacting on children’s well-being for the Terintambwe programme including education level of the beneficiary, occupation of the beneficiary, number of children in the household and participation in microfinance programmes.

Designing a social protection programme carefully is a critical determinant for its success. If programmes are not designed properly, it results in waste of resources and often have unintended side effects that further deteriorate the conditions of households and children. In this paper, we provide evidence on whether the gender of the beneficiary has an impact on children’s well-being and it is indeed found that when the recipient is a woman or is an empowered woman, intensity of deprivation is lower for children especially for girls. It is also found that it is important to take into consideration other characteristics of the beneficiary and the household in designing such graduation programmes.