Child Poverty and Social Protection in Central and Western Africa

“Child Poverty and Social Protection in Central and Western Africa” focuses both on extent and types of social protection coverage and assesses various child poverty trends in the region.

Gustave Nébié, Chinyere Emeka-Anuna, Felix Fofana N'Zu, Enrique Delamonica

Publication Year: 2020

340 pages

ISBN: 9783838211763

ibidem Press

🏷 Books

“Child Poverty and Social Protection in Central and Western Africa” focuses both on extent and types of social protection coverage and assesses various child poverty trends in the region.

In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Livingstone declaration, and the UN Social Protection Floor, this book deals jointly with multi-dimensional child poverty and social protection in Western and Central Africa. It focuses both on extent and types of social protection coverage and assesses various child poverty trends in the region. More importantly, it looks at social protection to prevent and address the consequences of child poverty.

Child poverty is distinct, conceptually, and different, quantitatively, from adult poverty. It requires its own independent measurement—otherwise half of the population in developing countries may be unaccounted for when assessing poverty reduction. This book posits that child poverty should be measured based on constitutive rights of poverty, using a multi-dimensional approach. The argument is supported by chapters actually applying and expanding this approach. In addition, the case is made that the underlying drivers of child poverty are inequality, lack of access to basic social services, and the presence of families without any type of social protection. As a result, the case for social protection in contributing to reduce and eliminate child protection and its consequences is made.

Poverty reduction has been high on the international agenda since the start of the millennium. First as part of the MDGs and now included in the SDGs. However, in spite of a decline in the incidence of child poverty, the number of poor children is harder to reduce due to population dynamics. As a result, concomitant problems such as the increasing number of child brides, unregulated/dangerous migration, unabated child trafficking, etc. remain intractable. Understanding the root causes of child poverty and its characteristics in Western and Central Africa is fundamental to designing innovative ways to address it. It is also important to map the interventions, describe the practices, appreciate the challenges, recognize the limitations, and highlight the contributions of social protection and its role in dealing with child poverty. No practical policy recommendations can be devised without this knowledge.

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About the editors:

Gustave Nébié is currently the Economic Adviser for UNICEF in West and Central Africa. Before that, he was the Chief Social Policy in UNICEF Mali, Inter-Regional Adviser in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and Senior Economist at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Before joining the UN, he worked at the Central Bank of West African States and he was Director of Economic Studies and Planning (Ministry of Finance, Burkina Faso). He holds a PhD (Economics, Paris Dauphine) and MA (Public Administration, National School of Administration, ENA, Paris).

Chinyere Emeka-Anuna is the Senior Programme Officer for International Labour Organisation (ILO). She has a first degree in Linguistics from the University of Calabar and three Master’s Degrees from the University of Lagos in Public Administration (MPA), International Law and Diplomacy (MILD), and Humanitarian and Refugee Studies (MHRS). She has extensive working experience in the public and private sectors. She worked for the International Red Cross Movement for nine years—six years with the Nigerian Red Cross and three years with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in different areas such as fundraising, finance and administration, and program management. In 2010, she moved over to the International Labour Organization as the National Programme Coordinator for a Human Trafficking/Forced Labour Project and in 2014, she became the Senior Programme Officer. Over the years, she has accumulated expertise in various fields like management and coordination with leadership skills; program management including operational planning and budgeting, reporting, monitoring and advocacy, organizational development and capacity building and the ability to manage change processes within an organizational setting. Her current role as the Programme Officer is to support ILO Tripartite Partners in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in achieving the goal of the Decent Work Agenda.

Felix Fofana N’Zue holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University (USA). He is currently the Head of the Economic Policy Analysis Unit of the ECOWAS Commission. Before joining ECOWAS he worked with the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) based in Accra, Ghana, as a Senior Research Fellow. He also held the following successive positions: Manager of Collaborative Research with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) in Nairobi, Kenya; Director General of Employment with the Ministry of Public Service and Employment of Côte d’Ivoire; Senior Expert in Agricultural and Rural Employment, with ILO; Technical Adviser to the Prime Minister in charge of Employment and Professional Training. He taught undergraduate and graduate econometrics at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University and at the Ivorian Social and Economic Research Center (CIRES) in Abidjan.

Enrique Delamonica is the Chief of Social Policy and Gender Equality at UNICEF Nigeria. He is an economist and political scientist educated at the University of Buenos Aires, the Institute for Economic and Social Development, Columbia University, and the New School for Social Research. He was a policy analyst at UNICEF’s Headquarters for over ten years and for five years the Social and Economic Policy Regional Advisor at UNICEF’s Office for Latin America and The Caribbean focusing on poverty reduction strategies, social protection, socioeconomic disparities, equity approaches, child poverty, financing social services, and the impact of macro-economic trends on child welfare. He has published and co-edited books and articles on issues of social policy and economic development, particularly as they affect children’s rights. He has also taught economics, international development, policy analysis, statistics and research methods at, among other places, New York University, Columbia University, the New School, and Saint Peter’s College (New Jersey). He is a Fellow of the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP).



“Comparative case studies and empirical evidence, along with important theoretical insights on childhood deprivation, are at the core of this outstanding book which should be mandatory reading for policymakers as well as academic researchers and graduate students who are working in this field.”—Jamee K. Moudud, Professor of Economics, Sarah Lawrence College

“This is an important volume that introduces a set of analytical tools for coming to grips with the still extensive childhood deprivations prevalent in West and Central Africa. In using multi-pronged data sets, it presents context-specific country and thematic studies that build up the arguments for un-conditional social protection within a broader set of policies to address pervasive and widening inequalities. It illustrates how neglect in building capabilities in children, in protecting their rights and in enabling them to grow up in households without severe deprivations in their diverse communities and life-situations will have far-reaching costs to them and their societies—and fundamentally challenge the achievement of the 2030/SDG agenda in the region. This type of context specific data driven analysis and the discussions it has generated should inspire policy makers towards interventions that really are effective and efficient for achieving the global agenda of social justice and to leave no one behind.”—Eva Jespersen worked three decades at UNICEF and the UNDP Human Development Report Office

“This book is an outstanding contribution to the literature on Child Poverty, both in terms of its excellent analytical perspective and its practical policy contributions. Noting that almost half of the population in Western and Central Africa are children, it emphasises that the features of Child Poverty can be quite different from those of Adult Poverty. Also, the book rightly highlights the importance of inequality—as well as the common lack of basic social services and social protection—as key factors in keeping the levels of Child Poverty high in Western and Central Africa. Chapter 1 is particularly noteworthy for arguing that child-focused social protection measures need to be practically oriented to a prevailing context of rising inequality, which has emerged as a major impediment to poverty reduction efforts.”—Terry McKinley, Professor and Director of the Centre for Development Policy and Research, SOAS, London