Universal Child Benefits (UCBs) are increasingly discussed as a policy instrument to achieve universal social protection and progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. At present, 385 million children live in extreme poverty. This has negative short-term and long-term consequences, including on children’s longevity and quality of life as adults. Social protection has proven an effective instrument in addressing poverty. However, social protection coverage of children worldwide is low and highly uneven.
Cash transfers have been increasingly adopted by countries worldwide. There is growing interest in the potential of transfers to make a significant difference in the lives of children. In addition, the global discussion on universal basic income demonstrates a growing appetite for universal approaches to direct support. At the same time, debates on the effectiveness and trade-offs of alternative policy options remain alive. Key issues around targeting and universalism, conditionality, policy financing, the positioning of cash transfer schemes within wider social and fiscal policy, variations in cash transfer core design features (such as the level of transfers, duration of participation) and their implications for policy impact on children's outcomes and policy sustainability are widely debated.
This conference, convened by UNICEF, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), brings together national governments and policy practitioners, researchers and the international community to explore the arguments and the evidence emerging from the implementation of alternative cash transfer schemes and their implications for UCGs. It aims to promote informed policy debate and decision-making with regards to cash transfers, social protection and the objectives of reducing child poverty and improving wider outcomes for children.
The conference is one component of a larger UNICEF and ODI-led project on UCGs.
The event features keynote speeches by:
Sir Richard Jolly - Honorary Professor and Research Associate of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.
Jayati Ghosh @Jayati1609 - Professor Centre for Economic Studies & Planning School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.
For further information please email the UCG conference secretariat: [email protected].