Rethinking Socio-Economic Policy for a Recovery for All

UNICEF is holding a call for papers on "Rethinking Socio-Economic Policy for a Recovery for All." Please see the announcement below and also a word document here

We encourage you to submit your latest research and thinking on the topic - send us an abstract. We very much look forward to your contributions. 

Please share with interested colleagues, partners, etc.

Isabel Ortiz
Associate Director, Policy and Practice, UNICEF

Jingqing Chai
Chief, Social and Economic Analysis, UNICEF

Call for Papers:
Rethinking Socio-Economic Policy for a Recovery for All

1. Overview
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is organizing an online call for papers on the theme of "Rethinking Socio-Economic Policy for a Recovery for All." Selected papers will be published by UNICEF. Authors wishing to submit papers are invited to do so on any of the sub-themes described below.

Reaching the most deprived and most vulnerable children has always been UNICEF's central mission. A focus on equity for children is not only a moral imperative--the Convention on the Rights of the Child is founded on the principles of universality, non-discrimination and accountability--but also a necessary condition for ensuring a country's long-term growth prospect, which hinges on the wellbeing of children today. 

The equity focus is motivated by evidence of a growing inequity in a wide range of countries. Despite positive economic growth and progress in child-related MDGs, recent UNICEF analysis (Narrowing the Gaps) finds that a wide gap exists in that deprivations of children's rights are disproportionately concentrated among the poorest and most marginalized populations within countries. A key policy implication of this finding is the need to better understand how economic trends and different policy responses impact children and equity outcomes. 

UNICEF's Adjustment with a Human Face (1987) documented that adjustment policies failed to mitigate, and in some cases exacerbated, the impact on the most vulnerable children in the aftermath of the 1980s' crisis and recommended alternative policies to break the chain of worsening inequity. Today, the world has arrived at a similar crossroad. To what extent have the most deprived and most vulnerable children been hit by the effects of the global economic crisis and the ongoing threat of high food prices? How can the adjustment policy actions that are currently being undertaken achieve more equitable outcomes for children and more broadly for a Recovery for All?

The United Nations Secretary-General has emphasized the need for governments to ensure a Recovery for All: "We must design recovery from the ground up. High unemployment, rising food and commodity prices, and persistent inequalities have contributed to a substantial rise in hunger, poverty and associated social tensions... Just as households have borne much of the brunt of coping during the crisis, they now run the risk of being left behind by the recovery. Global stabilization and recovery debates must take into consideration the specific needs of vulnerable populations."

As governments are undertaking adjustments and reforms in a volatile economic recovery, they are presented with an opportunity to build a more resilient and equitable future by ensuring that their recovery strategies are pro-poor and inclusive. It is therefore timely to ask: Can the government play a greater role in supporting vulnerable populations and promoting equity more generally? Do social and economic recovery policies consider the impacts of high unemployment, rising food prices and structural inequalities? What are the social impacts of macroeconomic policy decisions, including the opportunity cost of not scaling-up equity-based interventions and social protection programmes? Given the limitations of commonly considered policy measures, what are some of the alternative policy options that are more conducive to inclusive and equitable economic development? 

This research volume aims to influence key decision makers by offering a repository of inclusive and equitable policies in the context of economic recovery. The publication will be centred on the following 

i. Evidence of the distributional impact of the 2007/08 food/fuel crisis, the global economic slowdown and the recent escalating food prices on vulnerable populations 
ii. Fiscal stimulus programmes and protecting the poor: What works, why and lessons for the next time around 
iii. Post-crisis adjustment strategies: Distributional impacts and alternatives for children and poor households 
iv. Overcoming food price volatility: Short and long-term solutions to protect vulnerable populations and achieve food security 
v. Employment opportunities for all: Creating jobs among the bottom quintiles and for young persons

Papers should contribute insight and value to UNICEF's mandate to be a "global, authoritative and independent voice for children," in the context of achieving the Millennium Development Goals and ensuring human rights.

Papers can be based on country, regional or global experiences (e.g. policy inventory or stocktaking, policy analysis, etc.) and must be methodologically and empirically sound. We accept already published papers as long as UNICEF can have the copyright to re-publish.

Submission of Papers
Interested authors are invited to submit papers on any of the sub-themes to and NO later than 20 October 2011. Each paper should include an abstract, JEL classification and the sub-theme for which it is being submitted.

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