SPRI Global is currently supporting Save the Children UK in delivering a systematic literature review of the existing evidence regarding the economic, social and environmental rates of return and the cost of inaction of public investments in child relevant sectors including social protection, nutrition, health, education and child protection.
The overall purpose of the project is to deliver a written report summarising and synthesising what is already known about returns and costs of investing in children so as to provide Save the Children with a resource to inform their upcoming policy and advocacy materials, approaches and engagement. The analysis aims, where possible to distinguish between investments between socio-economic groups to define how levels of equity can determine the returns of child-specific investments and how improved levels of equity can result from child-specific public investments.
The main objectives of the study are to:
1. Evaluate the economic, social and environmental rates of return and costs of inaction across child-related thematic areas;
2. Compare evidence across different socioeconomic groups of children, including by country, region, gender, disability etc.
3. Review how interactions between investments can produce additional returns;
4. Provide recommendations for effective advocacy and future analysis by i) highlighting the programmes and thematic areas with the most compelling evidence and ii) recognising which methodological approaches offer the best means of analysis.
It is expected that delivery of this investment case will provide Save the Children with a means of engaging in policy debates on matters of investment and public finance for children. Specifically, the investment case will provide Save the Children with:
• Evidence and analysis on the economic, social and environmental returns of child-specific investments;
• Evidence and analysis on the economic, social and environmental costs of not making child-specific investments;
• Evidence and analysis on how matters of equity can be both a determinant and result of effective child-specific investments;
• A recommended approach to further evidence generation and advocacy.