How does social protection contribute to social inclusion in Nepal? Evidence from the Child Grant in the Karnali Region

Research reports and studies
May 2014
Tej Prasad Adhikari, Fatik Bahadur Thapa, Sonam Tamrakar, Prakash Buda Magar, Jessica Hagen-Zanker, Babken Babajanian

This study uses a social exclusion lens to analyse the effects of the Child Grant, launched by the government of Nepal in 2009. This transfer is targeted at all households with children aged up to five years in Karnali region and at Dalit households in the rest of the country, for two children per household at the most. It covers about 21.5% of the population of children aged under five. The payment is NRs 200 ($2) per child per month.

The research has five specific research objectives, to:

  • assess how much the Child Grant enhances household consumption and food security;
  • assess how much the Child Grant improves access to and utilisation of basic services, including health and education;
  • examine the potential for the Child Grant to enhance labour market and economic opportunities for socially excluded individuals;
  • assess how much the Child Grant can support social relations and participation in local communities; and
  • explore the change in perceptions towards local and central government of citizens receiving the Child Grant.

In assessing the effects of the Child Grant, this study generated evidence on the context-related economic, social and institutional factors that mediated its impact. While there is relatively more empirical evidence on the first three objectives, this study is unique in that it brings these dimensions together in one study and analyses the underlying drivers of exclusion. The research on the Child Grant fills a concrete research gap in the literature – testing assumptions about the role social protection can play in contributing to transformative changes in people’s well-being.