From comparative to global social policy: Lessons for development practitioners from UNICEF's Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities
How can one assess whether social policies in one context can be effective in another? What standardized framework of inputs, outputs, results and outcomes allows one to make such global comparisons? There is resistance to creating such a standardized mechanism; in order to ensure national specificities – cultural, socio-economic and political contexts – are considered. This paper attempts to look at the responsiveness of global social policy to addressing multidimensional child poverty, through the experience of UNICEF's Global Study on Child Poverty and Disparities. The Global study spans 50+ countries in Africa, Asia, CEE/CIS, Latin America and the Middle East. The purpose of this initiative is to highlight the notion of child poverty as a distinct problem and to sensitize policymakers as to how to most effectively address it. This paper looks at why UNICEF launched this effort; what concerns, considerations and principles have shaped it; and analyses the challenges of operationalizing the child poverty concepts, measures and responses across five continents. Finally, it examines what lessons the first phase of this global effort can offer to the international development community and laborers in comparative social policy.
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