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UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

Social and economic policy updates

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This month, the spotlight is on this new report: "Austerity Measures Threaten Children and Poor Households: Recent Evidence in Public Expenditures from 128 Developing Countries.

The monitoring of budget trends and their impacts on children has never been more integral to achieving results for UNICEF. History shows that a key bottleneck and threat to realizing equitable outcomes for children is inadequate or sharply reduced government expenditures, which in turn adversely impact basic social service delivery especially during economic downturns. That lesson cannot be more pertinent today, as the Great Recession continues to take a dire toll on the survival and development of children and poor households everywhere. A key element of UNICEF’s equity refocus strategy is closely monitoring government expenditure trends.

This report offers a timely monitoring assessment of government expenditures in 128 developing countries. It finds that the scope of austerity is severe and widening quickly, with 70 countries reducing spending by nearly three percentage points of GDP during 2010, and 91 planning cuts in 2012. Moreover, nearly a quarter of developing countries are undergoing excessive fiscal contraction, defined as slashing public spending to below pre-crisis levels.


UNICEF/ERF launch free e-course on Social and Economic Policies

UNICEF and the Economic Research Foundation (ERF) invite you to participate in a new e-learning programme focusing on socio-economic policies for child rights with equity. This free, self-paced online course is available to all development partners at UN agencies, governments, universities and civil society organizations. Visit policyforchildrights.org to get started.

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Documents and publications


UNICEF/ERF  free e-course on Social and Economic Policies


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