Children and economic strengthening program: Maximizing benefits and minimizing harm

This guide is designed for practitioners designing or implementing economic strengthening (ES) programs in low-income settings that are sensitive to the protection needs and well-being of vulnerable children. The guide provides an overview of key learning about how ES can achieve better outcomes and impacts for children aged 0-18, both within and outside of household care, whether the direct program beneficiaries are adults or adolescents (aged 10-18) themselves. It provides guidance on mitigating threats to children’s well-being that may be an unintended consequence of ES interventions and discusses what is currently known about ways to maximize benefits to children from ES interventions.

The evidence base shows that ES interventions can have a variety of positive effects on children, but can also sometimes inadvertently cause harm. In response, this guide will help practitioners be more effective in recognizing, monitoring, and mitigating the major risks to child protection and well-being from ES programs. This guide comes primarily from a child protection orientation, but recognizes that programming must also be consistent with best practices for market-based ES programming in order to achieve sustainable results. ES for child well-being calls for a multi-sectoral approach drawing on a range of practitioner experience. Recommendations will assist practitioners across sector areas around child well-being, livelihoods and protection issues.

Published 2013-09-17