Children’s Well-Being and Development

Development Analytics carries out research and evaluation projects at the intersection of child poverty, children’s well-being, and access to services. We were one of only three organisations awarded a long-term agreement (LTA) with the UNICEF Social Policy Unit to conduct child poverty analysis between 2017-2021. In this capacity, we have carried out various projects measuring child monetary poverty and inequality. We have also conducted comprehensive single and multi-country studies assessing the well-being of children from various angles for the World Bank, United Nations agencies, and national NGOs promoting child health and well-being. We approach children’s well-being from diverse perspectives, focusing both on (i) monetary poverty and economic well-being, and (ii) access to basic services such as education, childcare, healthcare, and social protection for households with children. 

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Development Analytics has worked on numerous projects measuring child monetary poverty and inequality.

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We approache child well-being multidimensionally, with a strong focus on the availability and affordability of basic services for households with children.

Projects

 
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Multidimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) for Azerbaijan

Poverty

2021 - Ongoing

Development Analytics will be supporting UNICEF Azerbaijan country office in piloting MODA and preparing a comprehensive multidimensional poverty report. In this role, we will be supporting the State Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Republic of Azerbaijan to pilot Multidimensional Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) by using existing data from the household surveys of the SSC and adding missing modules to the standard household questionnaires. The main purpose of the study is to improve the quality of child poverty estimation in the country, to support national efforts, policies, programmes to further improve children’s welfare in the country, and support the SDG monitoring and reporting process.

Specific objectives include:

  • to support the SSC to identify the dimensions and indicators of the MODA;

  • to guide the relevant staff of the SSC on concepts, definitions, and methodology of carrying out multidimensional child poverty analysis, including MODA;

  • to work with the relevant SSC staff to develop the analysis plan, including the selection of variables from Household Budget Survey (HBS) that should be used in the analysis and identify missing variables that should be included in the coming rounds of the HBS;

  • draft the report structure and writing of multidimensional child poverty sections;

  • provide all guidance and supporting documents to the SSC to develop national capacities to analyse and measure multidimensional poverty, with a specific focus on child poverty.

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Annual Update of the Targeting System for Multipurpose Cash and Food Assistance in Lebanon

Poverty, Cash Transfers, Targeting, Refugees, Proxy Means Testing

July 2020 - Ongoing

Since 2018, the Development Analytics team has developed, calibrated, and assessed the accuracy of the proxy-means targeting model for the annual unconditional cash assistance programs to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This study takes a mixed-methods approach the developing the targeting system. On the quantitative side, the study relies on recently developed econometric tools that use a combination of survey and administrative data and out-of-sample testing methods to target the vulnerable population in an environment with imperfect information on the vulnerability. The qualitative work harnesses extensive interaction with field staff and refugees to identify the core challenges with the systematic quantitative approach to help develop a grievance redress mechanism for implementing agencies.

Read the Paper: "Targeting humanitarian aid using administrative data: Model design and validation"

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Assessment of the Socio-Economic Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic on Children and Families in Turkey

Poverty, Impact of COVID-19, Microsimulations, Cash Transfers

June 2020 - November 2020

COVID-19 pandemic, apart from the health-related challenges, has a serious socio-economic impact on the households. This study provides estimations of the possible impact of the current crisis on both household and child poverty in Turkey through the labour market channel. The model aims to predict the possible impact of COVID-19 on household labour income and hence household expenditure that will decrease as a result of loss of jobs or reduced labour income. The model assumes that some types of jobs/sectors may be more vulnerable than others to this shock. After estimating the impact of the shock on household income and expenditures, the same model is used to estimate the possible impact of cash transfers to various target groups to alleviate this negative income effect. The impact of cash transfers on outcomes such as overall poverty, child poverty and inequality are estimated along with total cost and cost-effectiveness of each scenario. We simulate 7 different cash transfer scenarios in two different transfer levels (low and high). The transfer can be per household or per child and the targeted groups change from being universal to targeting by household expenditure level. The microsimulation makes use of Household Budget Survey 2018 (collected by TURKSTAT) as the main data source.

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Microsimulation Model for Estimating the Impact of COVID-19 on Child Poverty in St Lucia

Poverty, Multi-dimensional Poverty, Impact of COVID-19, Microsimulations, Cash Transfers

May 2020 - February 2021

Poverty is already high in St Lucia with 25.0 percent of the population living under the national poverty line.  Along with the rest of the world, St Lucia is currently dealing with the socio-economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to provide estimates on the impact of COVID-19 on monetary and multidimensional poverty in Saint Lucia, through various channels including the labour market, health and education. After identifying household-level shocks and re-estimating poverty figures based on this model, the distribution of cash transfers to various target groups are modelled, and their ‘alleviating’ impact on poverty rates are estimated along with total cost and cost-effectiveness of each scenario.

The study estimates that monetary poverty and inequality increase across the country after the shocks and the pandemic poses considerable non-monetary threats to people’s lives, which go beyond short-medium run harm. Cash transfers are found to be helpful in alleviating poverty but the transfer levels should be at a considerable level to achieve a meaningful impact.

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Estimating the Impact of COVID-19 on Child Poverty in Georgia using a Micro-Simulation Model

Poverty, Impact of COVID-19, Microsimulations, Cash Transfers

May 2020 - September 2020

Georgia is forecasted to experience a significant recession because of the pandemic and given high rates of vulnerability to poverty in the country; this could have a substantial impact on overall poverty and child poverty rates. This study aims to provide estimates of the effects of COVID-19 on household and child poverty in Georgia, through its impact on the labour market. The study, apart from estimating the poverty impact of the COVID crisis, also estimates the poverty-reducing impact of several cash transfer scenarios targeting different groups in the population and at varying benefit levels. Cash transfer scenarios range from being per household to being per child and the targeted groups change from being universal to targeting a subgroup of the population. Coverage, benefit incidence, total cost and cost-effectiveness of each scenario are also estimated along with several other indicators. One of the outputs of the study is an interactive simulation model that will enable policymakers to look at the poverty impact and cost of varying levels of the cash benefit under different scenarios. 

📖 Download the Report 

Interactive Simulation Tool

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UNICEF Tajikistan Country Programme Evaluation 2020

Evaluation, Country Programme Evaluation

February 2020 - ongoing

The goal of the UNICEF country programme is to accelerate progress towards the realisation of the rights of all children in Tajikistan. Country Programme Evaluations (CPEs) in UNICEF are strategic evaluations that provide an assessment of the totality of UNICEF's programme of work in a country. In this respect, the overall objectives of this evaluation are to look back and assess the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and resilience, coherence, and longer-term changes associated with UNICEF's portfolio, and programmatic and strategic choices made in the design and implementation of the country programme (CP) to identify good practices and draw lessons and forward-looking recommendations that can inform the 2021–25 CP planning process, which will commence during the last quarter of 2019. Development Analytics is part of the consortium led by IOD PARC in conducting the Country Programme Evaluation of UNICEF Tajikistan (2016-2020).

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Reform of Unconditional Cash Transfer Programme (Ajutor Social) of Moldova: Simulation and Costing of Options to Improve Coverage for Vulnerable Households

Poverty

October 2018 - September 2019

This study considers potential reforms to Ajutor Social (AS), Moldova’s national targeted cash transfer programme in place since 2008 which presently covers around 7 percent of the population.  The research aims to help the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Social Protection (MHLSP) be better equipped to consider how to reform AS to improve coverage for single parents, large families, and households with members who have a disability. Together, these three types of households compose a group of ‘priority households’ for the analysis of how AS can be reformed to increase coverage across them.

Overseas Development Institute partnered with Development Analytics to address two fundamental questions on behalf of UNICEF and MHLSP:

  • How can Ajutor Social be Reformed to Improve Coverage of and Outcomes for A Priority Group of Vulnerable Households?”

  • How can the costs of reform of Ajutor Social be estimated and what ‘costing model’ can be produced to demonstrate these?’

​The research uses the micro-data from the Moldovan Household Budget Survey (MHBS) for 2017, the last year of that survey that contained a special module on claiming and receiving AS.  The data from MHBS 2017 was used to construct a micro-simulation model that replicated the rules for entitlement and award of AS and allowed simulations of alternative rules of entitlement based on policy reform scenarios.​​

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Thematic Studies on the Extension of the CCTE Programme to Refugees in Turkey

Refugees, Cash Transfers, Education

 

May 2018 - February 2019

 

As of 2018, over 3.8 million Syrians were under temporary protection of whom 1.8 million of them are children. The magnitude of the problem and a high number of Syrians in the country required establishing various social protection programmes. The Government of Turkey along with UNICEF and other partners have put a significant amount of effort as a response to this crisis. One of these actions is the Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE). This CCTE programme has cash and a protection component where families receive financial support for every child attending school. This study analysed the key aspects related to the access and effects of the programme for working children, including seasonal agricultural labour, ii) boys and girls, iii) children of different age groups (1-4th grade, 5-8th grade, 9-12th grade). The aim of the study was to understand the supply and demand-side bottlenecks that hinder these children’s access to CCTE programme and payment as well as Child Protection visits. To this end, 23 FGDs with children and their parents were conducted in three provinces, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and Adana in addition to 14 key informant interviews with programme implementers and MONE staff in these provinces. 

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Child Deprivation Analysis for Azerbaijan

Child Care

April 2018 - October 2018

This project focuses on analysing Child Deprivation Surveys from 2015 and 2017 collected by the State Statistical Committee (SSC) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to measure household and child deprivation and risk of poverty, and provide a comprehensive analysis of the patterns and trends across both surveys. Additionally, currently used methodological approaches and tools (sampling, questionnaires, calculation, etc.) to estimate the relevance of the methodology of measuring child deprivation/poverty in the country will be assessed.

The study aims to provide recommendations on the improvement of data collection and measurement strategy of child deprivation and poverty to be able to respond to national priorities and SDG monitoring and reporting needs. Practical recommendations on the improvement of policies and programs for children will also be presented. The study will be helpful in providing insights on what constitutes good economic and social policy for children and in justifying the importance of the process of developing child-centred budgets and policies.

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Breakeven Analysis for Neighbourhood Child Care Centres

Child Care

April 2018 - June 2018

 

This study focuses on the feasibility of opening up and running neighbourhood childcare centres in poor and medium-income neighbourhoods in Turkey. Breakeven analysis is employed using different kinds of data sources and different scenarios with respect to centre capacity and subsidy type. In the study (i) a supply-side dataset collected from private childcare centres in 5 provinces in Turkey and (ii) information provided by childcare centres of KEDV are used as two different data sources. Set up costs, operational costs, and prices of childcare centres are taken into account in order to estimate the number of months it requires for the childcare centres to pay the setup costs through the prices that they charge (breakeven point). The breakeven point is estimated for childcare centres with different capacity levels and in different subsidy scenarios. The subsidy scenarios include (i) subsidized director salary, (ii) subsidized teacher salaries, (iii) subsidized rent, (iv) both the director and teacher salaries, and the rent are subsidized. The aim of the study is to show the general attractiveness of opening up childcare centres in poor or medium-income neighbourhoods from a financial point of view and the kinds of subsidies that would be more helpful in attracting more cooperatives or private entrepreneurs to set up childcare centres. 

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Education of Disadvantaged Children in the OIC: the Key to Escape from Poverty

Education, Poverty

 

April 2018 - June 2018

 

This report focuses on access to education among disadvantaged groups in the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The report provides an overview of the current status and recent trends in education focusing on access to quality education by poverty status, location, gender, spoken language /ethnicity, and disability status of children as well as policies and programmes to improve access among disadvantaged groups. The main focus is on primary and lower secondary education. The report consists of four parts. i) An outline of the conceptual framework used in analysing the state of education in OIC countries. ii) A summary of the state of education across OIC member states. This includes an analysis of trends across and between countries as well as an assessment of which groups are most disadvantaged with respect to access to education. iii) Case studies for the member states Jordan, Pakistan, Senegal, and Turkey provide a more detailed assessment of factors affecting education provision in these countries. iv) Policy recommendations to increase access to education among disadvantaged groups.

📖 Download the PPT

📖 Download the Report  and  the Infographic

📖 Download the Infographics of  Pakistan  Jordan   Senegal

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Status of Children (Ages 0-6) in Turkey Advocacy Campaign Research Study

Early Childhood Development, Education, Health and Nutrition

 

November 2015 - September 2016

 

Early childhood is not a one-dimensional structure consisting only of children and instead this period is experienced in a multi-person and multi-layered structure that is affected by the family, caregivers, household, neighborhood, school, services and policies, as well as the time period that the child lives in. Every person, institution, service and policy that affects the child directly or indirectly touches the child's development. In this respect, in this study, children's family and household characteristics, nutritional status, health status and early childhood care and education services are analyzed, together with the level of services and policies for the children. Hence the study aims to reveal the status of children in the 0-6 year age group in Turkey, with a focus on a statistical analysis of the current situation, and international comparisons on children’s well-being. The study looks at the existing literature in Turkey, as well as international studies to look at and identify gaps in policies and programs targeting children in this age group. Within the scope of the study, 4 main themes are covered (i) Child and Family Characteristics (ii) Child Protection (iii) Infant and Child Health and Nutrition, and (iv) Early Childhood Education.

📖 Download the Report (Turkish)

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Ex-Ante Policy Evaluation of Supply and Demand Side Childcare Subsidies

Early Childhood Education and Care, Policy Simulations

November 2015 - September 2016

 

This study presents policy simulations looking at the fiscal implications of a subsidy for the childcare market under various scenarios, and considering its impact on expanding capacity, service utilization, and female employment. The scenarios also present in each case the distributional impact of the subsidy under various modes of delivery of the subsidy (per capita grants to schools vs vouchers etc.). Policy scenarios evaluated in the paper include (i) making municipalities of a certain size liable for providing child care services – through without supporting the operations with central government financing (Scenario 0-1), (ii) provision of an investment grant only (Scenario 2), (iii) provision of an operational grant (with or without a price cap (Scenarios 3-4), (iv) providing a voucher scheme (Scenario 5), and (v) provision of the interaction of an investment grant with an operational grant or a voucher scheme (Scenarios 6-8).  The purpose of the policy measures is assumed to be three-fold:  (i) to increase the capacity of these services, (ii) to increase accessibility and affordability of services for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and (iii) to increase female labour force participation by increasing employment rates of mothers who will utilize services as well as creating new employment at these child care centres for care-taker women.

📖 Download the PPT

📖 Download the Paper

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School to Work Transition in Moldova: Informing Schooling and Jobs Decisions

Youth and Employment, School to Work Transition

 

August 2015 - November 2015

 

The main objective of the task “Informing Schooling and Jobs Decisions in Moldova” was to inform ongoing and planned reforms in Moldova that aim to improve labour market outcomes, in particular through better aligning the education system with labour market needs, with a focus on better understanding how males and females from different socioeconomic groups form their expectations regarding labour market outcomes and how they make their schooling and employment decisions in relation to these expectations. 

For this purpose, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected by the World Bank, combining mixed-methods individual interviews and focus group discussions. This Project entailed the qualitative coding and analysis of data from 22 focus groups of young people in vocational schools, junior and secondary schools universities, recent graduates, as well as parents and teachers. 

The main focus for the analysis included: (i) Reasons to choose specific education paths, (ii) Student aspirations, (iii) Perception of the education system, and the different career orientation activities.

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Benefit Incidence of Fuel Subsidies in Madagascar and Recommendations for Child-Friendly Reallocation

Poverty

July 2015 - November 2015

Fuel subsidies lead to environmental damage through inefficiencies in energy use, they are a burden for the public budget and moreover, they are regressive, benefiting the already better-off households. Despite, these negative qualities, energy subsidies are still implemented throughout the World. Post-tax energy subsidies in the World are estimated to be 5.3 trillion USD while fuel subsidies alone, are estimated to be 1.5 trillion USD, making up 1.8 percent of the global GDP in 2015. Although fuel subsidies are regressive, fuel subsidy reforms impact the poor the hardest. Previous experience with fuel subsidy reforms around the World shows that poverty increases as a result of fuel subsidy removal if it is not mitigated with redistribution efforts like cash transfers. In this study, using ENSOMD 2012 data set, we show that in Madagascar, fuel subsidies are highly regressive. Gasoline and diesel consumption is very rare in the households in the bottom 60 percent while kerosene is commonly consumed by households from all income groups. We find that poor households are affected the least if kerosene price remains unchanged. Nevertheless, different price increase scenarios including a change in the price of kerosene do not increase poverty by more than 1 percentage point. Instead reallocating the gains from the fuel subsidy reform to children aged 0-4 or 0-14 uniformly is found to decrease poverty rates between 2.4 to 4.6 percentage points.In Madagascar, the government decided to eliminate fuel subsidies gradually in June 2014. Yet, the price control mechanism has not been dropped yet. Given the sharp fall in international oil prices in the last year, a window of opportunity has opened for Madagascar and countries alike to adopt a liberalized pricing system and abolish fuel subsidies.

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Improvement of Basic Services Delivery for the Poor in the OIC Member Countries

Access to Basic Services, Poverty, Aid Effectiveness

January 2015 - September 2015

This study focuses on basic service delivery in OIC member countries, covering education, health care, water, sanitation and electricity sectors. The study presents the situation in the 57 member countries drawing on data collected from various sources and a literature review with regards to the access to the services, service delivery models employed and financing of the services along with common challenges that are observed in member countries in the delivery of basic services. Apart from the overview of the countries, the report includes in-depth case country studies of Indonesia, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Lebanon on the delivery of basic services, based on a literature review, as well as elite interviews. The report concludes with recommendations for the member countries to improve their basic service delivery models. 

📖 Download the Report

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Supply and Demand for Child Care Services in Turkey: A Mixed Methods Study

Early Childhood Education and Care, Female Labour Force Participation

 

April 2014 - September 2015

This is a mixed-methods study that investigates the status of childcare services in Turkey, particularly from the angle of quality, affordability, accessibility, and sufficiency of such supply. The overall work was done considering the potential interaction between such services and female labour force participation and productivity. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected for the study in 5 provinces of Turkey: Istanbul, Samsun, Eskisehir, Denizli, and Gaziantep. The study has 4 main components:

(i) Mapping of Child Care visually maps the availability and capacity of existing childcare and early childhood education supply in relation to the potential demand (i.e. number of children), female labour force participation levels, and (information allowed) average household income levels, both at the national level and in selected provinces.

(ii) Supply-Side Assessment includes the collection of quantitative data from 603 preschools and child care centres in Turkey and investigates the types of childcare services available to households, both public and private, as well as community-based and other models, and explore their quality, cost, and accessibility in detail.

(iii) Demand Side Assessment explores the normative and social aspects of the use and access to childcare services. It will include both focus groups and individual questionnaires to better understand care needs of families with children, household preferences when it comes to childcare, and barriers to access childcare, as well as women’s and men’s expectations of a new childcare support model. The demand assessment is structured around the dynamics of care demand and supply at the household level, having women and their labour force engagement as the centre. includes 25 focus group discussions with working, non-working mothers and fathers in 5 provinces.

(iv) The costing exercise investigates the actual operating costs of childcare centres in these provinces. The exercise also takes into consideration average family income in those provinces as well as household willingness to pay for childcare centres.

 

📖 Download the Report in (English) / (Turkish)

📖 Download the Infographic in (English) / (Turkish)

📖 Read our Article: "Investing in women and the next generation: The case for expanding childcare in Turkey"

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Estimating the Economic Value of Unpaid Elderly and Child Care by Turkish Women

Female Labour Force Participation, Early Childhood Care and Education

 

March 2014 - September 2015

 

Women, whether in employment or not, spend a significant amount of time in Turkey occupied in unpaid home-based care activities, providing care for children and the elderly in their families. Among OECD countries, the country ranks second in terms of the amount of time women spend on unpaid household chores and activities. This study estimates the economic value of time women allocate in Turkey to direct care activities at home by using two main methodologies: (i) the opportunity cost method estimates the value of time using each woman’s potential earnings in the labor market, and (ii) the proxy good method calculates the value of time taking into account a constant fixed value of hourly earnings (either the minimum wage or the average wage of a social worker).

The value of direct care, which constitutes a lower-bound for overall care activities of women, is estimated to be around 1.37-3.34 percent of GDP as of 2011. Using the opportunity cost of earnings methodology, the paper estimates the economic value of refocusing the time spent on care activities to employment to be 1.5 billion USD for working women and 4.8 billion USD for non-working women.

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Montessori Preschool Teacher Training Project

Early Childhood Care and Education, Capacity Building

September 2014 - August 2015

 

This project aims to extend the knowledge and practice of the Montessori method in nurseries and kindergartens of Istanbul. Montessori Teacher Training project targets to reach new graduates of Early Childhood Development departments of universities or vocational schools, and nurses in KEDV’s daycare centres. Implementation of this project will reinforce young teachers to improve their capabilities in early childhood education with Montessori philosophy. During the project implementation period, 20 nurses/voluntaries/teachers in KEDV's preschools, and 40 senior university students/new graduates will be taught by a London Montessori Centre International certified teacher trainer. A teachers’ handbook on Montessori method will be written and distributed. 

📖 Read our article: Montessori Teacher Training in Neighborhood Crèches of Istanbul: The Project and Beyond

Watch our documentary video on Montessori Preschool Teacher Training Project

📖 Read our book on Montessori method and teacher training: Following the Child:  The history, philosophy, and application of Montessori education (Turkish)

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Demand for Child Care and Elderly Care in Western Balkans and Central Asia: A Cross-Country Qualitative Assessment

Childcare, Elderly Care, Gender

 

November 2014 - July 2015

 

The Project involved the coding and analysis of the qualitative data that were collected via 66 focus group discussions in seven countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, Armenia, and the Kyrgyz Republic. The report focused on women’s care responsibilities in ECA Countries, how care responsibilities impact women’s lives, as well as their perceptions and demand for center-based child care and elder care services.  The project was part of a larger work program by the World Bank focusing on supply and demand-side assessment of child and elderly care services in ECA Countries.

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Supporting Access and Continued Employment of Women by Enhancing Child Care Services

Female Labour Force Participation, Early Childhood Care and Education

 

November 2014 - April 2015

 

This study evaluates the possibility of expanding childcare facilities by analysing the demand conditions currently in the market for undertaking private-sector childcare investments in order to enhance female employment. It also aims to provide a demand assessment for possibilities of investments by the private sector, organized industrial zones (OIZs), and municipalities. In this sense, the study aimed to collect qualitative data from municipalities, organized industrial zones, and corporate firms as providers of private childcare services in three provinces of Turkey. A total of 50 in-depth interviews were carried out with stakeholders at municipalities, organized industrial zones, corporate firms, and financial institutions for the feasibility study, and results were compiled using a coding structure that enabled the team to code and analyses the qualitative data in a quantitative format.  In order to achieve these objectives, the report gives (i) an overview of the childcare services sector for Turkey looking at public and private provision and assessing the institutional set-up of the sector, (ii) assesses demand for childcare by households using data from a recent World Bank study on childcare in Turkey; (iii) focuses on private and local providers of child care in Turkey, first looking at the microeconomics of private providers (cost and pricing structure) in the sector and then focusing on fieldwork results taken from in-depth interviews carried out for this study with agents at workplaces (Corporates, Organized Industrial Zones) as well as municipalities.

📖 Download the Report 

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Master Class on Value of Money in Education

Education

September 2014

 

The CABRI annual seminar is the flagship event of the CABRI network of senior African budget and planning officials. CABRI’s 10th Annual Seminar was developed around the theme ‘value for money in public spending’ and was held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 to 26 September 2014. The seminar was attended by 75 delegates representing 24 African countries, development partner organisations and think tanks whose work focuses on public finances and public health, agriculture and education policy. Master classes covering practical tools/techniques to help senior budget officials extend their understanding of value for money in a practical way were held as part of the annual seminar.

The education sector master class, which was a half-day technical session delivered by Development Analytics as part of the Seminar of CABRI, was designed to introduce concepts and methodologies in value for money analysis in the education sector. The session included measurement methods such as (i) benefit incidence analysis (ii) provider level quantitative surveys (PETS) and (iii) an introduction to quantitative impact evaluation methods. The course used country and program case studies to illustrate methodologies.

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Final Evaluation Report for "A Fair Start for Young Children in Turkish Rural Communities" Project

Early Childhood Care and Education, Gender and Women's Empowerment

November 2014 - August 2015

 

“A Fair Start for Young Children in Turkish Rural Communities” project was conducted by the Mother-Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) in Tokat from 2012 - 2015. The purpose of the project was two-fold: (i) to improve the physical, mental, social, and emotional development of young children in rural Turkey by engaging them in an early childhood education program, and (ii) to increase community awareness in early childhood education.  The interventions in the project aimed to contribute to the development of young children in the villages by: (i) improving parenting skills, reducing physical and emotional violence at home against children while encouraging positive discipline methods; (ii) improving early childhood education services and preschool facilities in the villages; (iii) engaging the communities in the villages around early childhood education related issues to enhance community ownership of the project; and strengthening sustainability of the outcomes through women’s empowerment.

The evaluation of the project is a post-test study, which relies heavily on the quantitative coding of qualitative data.  Qualitative data was collected in both control and treatment villages through 16 focus group discussions with beneficiary and non-beneficiary mothers and fathers in the program area as well as through in-depth interviews conducted with preschool teachers, village leaders and early childhood education platform members at the district and province level, and a short quantitative survey of teachers was also collected in the final phase of the program. 

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Impact Evaluation of UN-Women Father Training for Violence-Free Families Project

Women’s Empowerment

 

August 2013 - November 2013

 

The project evaluated the impact of a 3-year project funded by the UN- Women Trust Fund for Reducing Gender-Based Violence and implemented in Turkey by the Mother-Child Education Foundation (AÇEV). The Father Training for Violence-Free Families Project (FTVFFP) aims to prevent violence against women and girls (VAW/G) by engaging men in a comprehensive and community-based violence prevention program. Throughout the three-year project, fathers and their wives were trained in a program that aims to foster democratic, anti-violent, and gender-sensitive attitudes and behaviours within the family. The impact evaluation study used a mixed-methods methodology using both quantitative surveys and qualitative focus groups and key informant interviews. 

The evaluation aimed (i) to measure improvements and changes in outcomes as a result of the trainings, in terms of the fathers’ attitudes towards their children and wives, and the mothers’ awareness of violence and the existing legal structure in Turkey for protecting against VAW/G; (ii) to describe the external and contextual factors that may have also been at play and influenced the factors measured during the evaluation;  (iii) to identify the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and trends in the project activities that have implications for strengthening its future administrative, programmatic and strategic directions.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Publications

 
 
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Can Regulations Make It More Difficult to Serve the Poor? The Case of Childcare Services in Istanbul, Turkey

Meltem A. Aran, Ana Maria Munoz Boudet, Nazli Aktakke

November 2018

 

This paper considers the impact of regulations on private childcare capacity in the context of Turkey's highly regulated child care market. Using data from a recently fielded survey that sampled 141 private ECEC facilities in Istanbul, Turkey, the paper looks at the impact of fixed regulations on prices and poor children’s access to services. The paper, in particular looks at the outdoor space requirement that was originally imposed on private providers in the 1960s and has over time become more difficult to fulfill in densely populated districts of the city. The paper estimates that controlling for other provider characteristics, in districts where such requirement is more binding, the price of childcare services increases by 376.2 TL per child per month and the percentage of children enrolled coming from "poor" backgrounds is lower by 15.1% points than in districts where this standard proves less challenging.

📖 Download the Paper

Building an ex-ante simulating model for

Building an Ex-Ante Simulating Model for Estimating the Capacity Impact, Benefit Incidence, and Cost-Effectiveness of Child Care Subsidies: an Application Using Provider-Level Data from Turkey

Meltem A. Aran, Ana Maria Munoz Boudet, Nazli Aktakke

November 2018

 

Public financing and subsidization of childcare can allow for more equitable access to childcare in places where public provision and capacity are low. The mechanisms of the delivery of the subsidy matter, however, in terms of who gets the benefits of the subsidy and overall cost-effectiveness, given the initial conditions in the childcare market. This paper sets out an ex-ante simulation model using a supply-side provider level and demand-side household model and combining the two models for estimating the benefit incidence of expanded capacity and enrolments as a result of the childcare subsidies, looking at different mechanisms of the delivery including investment grants to providers, operational monthly grants to childcare providers, combinations of the investment and operational grants and demand-side vouchers to households. The model is applied to empirical data from childcare centres and households in Turkey and results reveal that the choice of the subsidy delivery model is not trivial, and has a strong bearing on both the benefit incidence and cost-effectiveness of the subsidy. In the case of Turkey, where significant supply-side constraints exist in the market, a demand-side voucher system is shown to be the least cost-effectiveness measure of delivery of the subsidy, and while a demand-side voucher can be pro-poor targeted, it is not necessarily the option that reveals the most “pro-poor results” both in terms of newly generated capacity and the impact of the subsidy on household welfare. The simulation model developed here can be applied in other country contexts, with the only data requirements being microdata on costs and pricing structure of childcare providers as well as household data with variables on household welfare and childcare utilization.

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Maternal and Child Health in Turkey.JPG

Maternal and Child Health in Turkey Through the Health Transformation Program

Meltem A. Aran, Nazlı Aktakke, İpek Gürol, Rıfat Atun

December 2015

Improving maternal and child health outcomes is a major development objective. Targets related to these outcomes were included in the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and they continue to galvanize global support through the Sustainable Development Goals (under Goal 3 health targets). Turkey is among the few successful middle-income countries that have significantly reduced the under-5 mortality rate below the MDG 2015 target levels. This study analyses improved demand-side (health insurance, conditional cash transfers) and supply-side inputs (expanded health services) in Turkey’s health system as part of the Health Transition Program (HTP), as well as contextual improvements (such as improved economic well-being and increased maternal educational attainment), to identify how these input factors have advanced health outcomes. The results show that while demand-side measures, such as universal health coverage through the extension of health insurance to low-income families (Green Card program), improved health utilisation variables, the main impact of on maternal and child health was through supply-side improvements which expanded for all women access to free antenatal and midwifery care, regardless of health insurance status.

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Early Childhood Health and Education Out

Early Childhood Health and Education Outcomes and Children's Exposure to Multiple Risks in Turkey

Meltem A. Aran, Cristobal Ridao-Cano

October 2013

 

This paper considers changes in children's early health and education opportunities and outcomes in Turkey. The study aims to look at changes in health utilization, nutrition, access to early childhood education and school enrolment rates for children between 2003 and 2008. The findings suggest that health utilization has improved over time in these years and access to health care has increasingly become delinked from initial circumstances of children in the household, in parallel to Turkey's expansion of the Health Transformation Program. On the other hand, nutrition outcomes remained correlated with maternal education and household wealth status. Access to early childhood education and care programs also came out to be highly regressive, with only households and children in the top quintile having access to childcare programs outside the home. The paper also considers later educational attainment outcomes for older children, by circumstance groups and finds that while some progress has been made in enrolment in basic education in these years, variables that define gender, mother tongue spoken at home and parental education remain significant determinants of early drop-outs as of 2008. In the final section, the paper investigates the exposure of a certain small group of children in Turkey to multiple risk factors at the same time and evaluates the incidence by circumstance group the probability of facing overlapping risks in early childhood. the paper argues that children in these circumstance groups, and that have exposure to multiple risk factors, should be the primary target of social protection and early childhood intervention programs.

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Can Child Care Vouchers Get Turkish Moth

Can Child Care Vouchers Get Turkish Mothers Back to Work? Estimating the Employment and Redistributionary Impact of a Demand Side Child Care Subsidy in Turkey

Meltem A. Aran, Herwig Immervoll, Cristobal Ridao-Cano

October 2013

 

Lack of access to affordable and quality childcare is one of the impediments to increasing female labour force participation rates in Turkey. With less than one-third of working-age women active in the labour market, the Turkish government has been considering options for expanding female labour force participation by providing a demand-side subsidy conditional on employment (or activation). To achieve this, utilization of childcare is being considered as a policy option. This paper considers the labour supply impact and cost-effectiveness of such a demand-side subsidy by evaluating the labour supply model of women in Turkey under the current conditions and simulates -- under various targeting scenarios and for different benefit levels of the subsidy - (i) the number of women that would join the labour force or become formally employed; (ii) the budgetary implications and cost-effectiveness of the subsidy; and (iii) the potential benefits accrued by the bottom quintiles of society.

Given the constrained supply of existing services, the paper finds that the immediate employment impact of such a demand-side intervention is likely to be low, and the distribution regressive in the short term. A targeted subsidy based on welfare level and employability of the woman is likely to be most cost-effective in the medium term when supply-side constraints on childcare are addressed and concurrent policies to expand the supply of childcare have been implemented. In the short term, when the subsidy is provided conditional on childcare utilization (and there is no targeting of the poor) the benefits are likely to be highly regressive, with only 3 percent of benefits accruing to the bottom quintile of the population. The formal employment impact of the program is also estimated to be low: we find that in the short term the number of women activated through the program would range from 2,800 to 43,000 women (entering formal employment) at a cost varying from 1.4 million TL to 37 million TL per month (not including administrative costs of running the program) if the benefits are fixed at 50 % of the net minimum wage. In the medium term, when the supply of ECEC is assumed to be more flexible and supply of services is not a constraint, the demand side transfer is expected to activate into the formal sector an upper bound estimate of 187,600 women, constituting a less than 1 percentage point change in female labour force participation -- at a cost of about 138 million TL per month.

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Inequality of Opportunity in Access to B

Inequality of Opportunity in Access to Basic Services Among Egyptian Children

Meltem A. Aran, Lire Ersado

July 2013

 

This paper estimates the inequality of opportunities among Egyptian children over time between the years 2000 and 2008 using Egypt Demographic and Health Surveys. The Human Opportunity Index (HOI) is calculated across four categories of access to services, including health utilization, nutrition, basic infrastructure services, and school enrolment.

Over these years, Egypt implemented several policies in the health and education sectors that improved the access of children to services through the nation-wide Family Health Model (FHM), as well as through a social marketing campaign to promote iodized salt. This paper finds improvements in the Human Opportunity Index linked to such policies, with HOI increasing from 38.8 to 67.7 for instance for the probability of blood sample being taken from mother during pregnancy, and from 37.6 to 63.4 for births taking place in public or private health facilities. Increases in the overall coverage of health services were responsible for improvements in the HOI. However, in terms of malnutrition, indicators have deteriorated during this time period, with HOI for not being stunted decreasing from 78.2 to 74. The decomposition of the HOI finds that the probability of malnutrition among Egyptian children is not closely linked to family circumstances, contrary to what one might expect, calling for more supply-side (and less targeted) efforts to reduce malnutrition for all Egyptian children.

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Universal Health Coverage in Turkey enha

Universal Health Coverage in Turkey: Enhancement of Equity

Rifat Atun, Sabahattin Aydin, Sarbani Chakraborty, Safir Sumer, Meltem Aran, Ipek Gurol, Serpil Nazlioglu, Senay Ozgulcu, Ulger Aydogan, Banu Ayar, Ugur Dilmen, Recep Akdag

June 2013

Turkey has successfully introduced health system changes and provided its citizens with the right to health to achieve universal health coverage, which helped to address inequities in financing, health service access, and health outcomes. We trace the trajectory of health system reforms in Turkey, with a particular emphasis on 2003–13, which coincides with the Health Transformation Program (HTP). The HTP rapidly expanded health insurance coverage and access to health-care services for all citizens, especially the poorest population groups, to achieve universal health coverage. We analyse the contextual drivers that shaped the transformations in the health system, explore the design and implementation of the HTP, identify the factors that enabled its success, and investigate its effects. Our findings suggest that the HTP was instrumental in achieving universal health coverage to enhance equity substantially, and led to quantifiable and beneficial effects on all health system goals, with an improved level and distribution of health, greater fairness in financing with better financial protection, and notably increased user satisfaction. After the HTP, five health insurance schemes were consolidated to create a unified General Health Insurance scheme with harmonised and expanded benefits. Insurance coverage for the poorest population groups in Turkey increased from 2·4 million people in 2003 to 10·2 million in 2011. Health service access increased across the country—in particular, access and use of key maternal and child health services improved to help to greatly reduce the maternal mortality ratio, and under-5, infant, and neonatal mortality, especially in socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. Several factors helped to achieve universal health coverage and improve outcomes. These factors include economic growth, political stability, a comprehensive transformation strategy led by a transformation team, rapid policy translation, flexible implementation with continuous learning, and simultaneous improvements in the health system, on both the demand side (increased health insurance coverage, expanded benefits, and reduced cost-sharing) and the supply side (expansion of infrastructure, health human resources, and health services).

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Protection in Good and Bad Times The Tur

Protection in Good and Bad Times? The Turkish Green Card Health Program

Meltem A. Aran, Jesko Hentschel

August 2012

This paper evaluates the equity and financial protection implications of the expansion of the Green Card (Yesil Kart) non-contributory health insurance program in Turkey during the growth years from 2003 to 2008. It also considers the program's protective impact during the economic crisis in 2009. The authors find that the rapid expansion of the program between 2003 and 2008 was highly progressive. It led to significant gains in coverage of the poor but offered limited financial protection as out-of-pocket expenditures even before the introduction of the program had been limited. Using a specialized welfare monitoring survey, fielded in 2009, the authors estimate the impact of the program on household-level health care utilization during the first phase of the economic slowdown in Turkey. Using three different estimation techniques, they find that the Green Card program had a significantly positive impact on protecting health care utilization during the crisis.

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Measuring Inequality of Opportunity with

Measuring Inequality of Opportunity with Imperfect Data: The Case of Turkey

Francisco H. G. Ferreira, Jeremie Gignoux , Meltem A. Aran

February 2010

The measurement of inequality of opportunity has hitherto not been attempted in a number of countries because of data limitations. This paper proposes two alternative approaches to circumventing the missing data problems in countries where a demographic and health survey and an ancillary household expenditure survey are available. One method relies only on the demographic and health survey and constructs a wealth index as a measure of economic advantage. The alternative method imputes consumption from the ancillary survey into the demographic and health survey. In both cases, the between-type share of overall inequality is computed as a lower bound estimator of inequality of opportunity. Parametric and non-parametric estimates are calculated for both methods, and the parametric approach is shown to yield preferable lower-bound measures. In an application to the sample of ever-married women aged 30-49 in Turkey, inequality of opportunity accounts for at least 26 percent (31 percent) of overall inequality in imputed consumption (the wealth index).

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Experts

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Meltem Aran, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Meltem is a human development economist with research focusing on poverty, inequality, and overall distributional impact of social policies. Since 2004, she has been involved in various research projects and impact evaluations relating to poverty and human development with the World Bank in East Asia, ECA, and MENA regions.

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Naureen Karachiwalla, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Naureen’s work focuses on education, and specific topics include promotion incentives for teachers, and social distance and learning outcomes. She has previously conducted work for the World Bank, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Oxford Policy Management, and the Young Lives Project. This work has included both research and policy work. 

 

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Özsel Beleli .Ph.D_
Özsel Beleli .Ph.D.
Research Associate

Özsel’s research and work span a range of topics at the intersection of early childhood development and education policy. She has provided research and analysis services as a consultant to international organizations, including UNICEF, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, and Catholic Relief Services as well as working as a staff member at the European Commission, Istanbul Policy Center, Search for Common Ground, and the Regional Development Agency in Turkey.

 

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Didem Pekkurnaz, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Didem is an applied microeconomist with primary interests in health and labour economics. She holds a BS degree in Statistics, an MS degree in Economics from Middle East Technical University, and a doctoral degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

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Yasemin Kisbu Sakarya, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Yasemin is a faculty member at Koç University and has worked on several country-wise evaluations and large-N surveys. She is a quantitative methodologist with expertise in the evaluation of social, educational, and health programs, experimental/quasi-experimental design, and models to optimize intervention effectiveness.

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Aytuğ Şaşmaz
Aytuğ Şaşmaz
Research Associate

Aytug Sasmaz is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Government Department of Harvard University. He holds degrees in political science from Bogazici University (BA), LSE (MSc), and Brown University (MA). Prior to his doctoral training, he worked as an education policy analyst at the Education Reform Initiative in Turkey, executing research and evaluation projects in collaboration with the Ministry of National Education, UNICEF and World Bank. 

 

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Şenay Özd
Şenay Özden
Research Associate

Şenay is a cultural anthropologist and a researcher. Her research areas include international migration, refugees, Turkish state’s refugee policies, politics of humanitarian aid.

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Amalee McCoy
Amalee McCoy
Child Protection Expert

Amalee is a child protection specialist with over 15 years of experience in the fields of child protection, child and family welfare, and child rights. She was most recently a principal consultant in the development of a five-year strategy on parenting for violence prevention for UNICEF Thailand. 

 

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Merve Uzunalioğlu
Merve Uzunalioğlu
Research Associate

Merve is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Social Sciences at the UCL’s Institute of Education. Before starting her doctoral studies, she was a full-time team member at Development Analytics. Merve holds a master’s degree in Social Policy Analysis (IMPALLA) from KU Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.

 

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Safir Sümer
Safir Sumer 
National Health Expert

Safir Sumer is an international development specialist with extensive experience in health systems. She is a national of Turkey, with over 20 years of human development experience. She consulted for the World Bank, WHO, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Development in Turkey, Merck Pharmaceuticals, and the EU Commission on health sector-related projects. Her health sector experience includes results-based financing, health systems, and policy analysis, strategic planning, universal health coverage, public health, health budget and financing, people-centred health care, and integrated care.

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Laetitia Lemaistre
Refugee and Education Specialist

Laetitia Lemaistre is an education specialist who focuses on refugee education, education in emergencies and conflict contexts, and humanitarian coordination. She is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Education at University College London and her research interests lie in urban refugee children’s access to formal education. 

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Nazlı Aktakke Quantitative Research Analyst
Nazlı Aktakke
Senior Quantitative Research Analyst

Nazli is a senior quantitative researcher at Development Analytics with experience working on a wide range of topics including cash transfer programs, labour force participation of women, and health and education outcomes of children. 

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Hazal Colak
Hazal Colak
Data Scientist for Social Policy

Hazal is a data scientist for social policy at Development Analytics with research interests related to poverty and inequality, social assistance reforms, cash transfer programmes and targeting approaches, and child welfare. She has received her master’s degree in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford, focusing on comparative welfare system analysis and cross-national variations in major social policy areas.

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Yali Hajhassan
Arabic Speaking Qualitative Data Analyst

Yali works at Development Analytics as an Arabic-speaking qualitative data analyst ​on evaluation projects related to Syrian refugees in Turkey and the region. She holds a BA in Psychology from Cumhuriyet University and speaks Arabic, English, and Turkish fluently. 

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Zehra Sena Kibar
Quantitative Research Analyst

Sena Kibar works at Development Analytics as a junior quantitative researcher. She is proficient with using Stata and R and uses this knowledge of hers in analysing micro-level datasets. Her tasks in the team include quantitative data management, statistical analysis, data coding, and research support to studies and evaluations being conducted by Development Analytics. 

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