Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York



A Policy Forum and Workshop Jointly Organized by

Fordham University’s Center for International Policy Studies (CIPS) - Social Justice and Policy Unit, Fordham’s International Political Economy and Development (IPED) Program, and the United Nations Children’s Fund

18-19 February 2010, New York City


Recovery from the global economic slowdown confronts governments everywhere with the challenge of protecting social spending even as fiscal resources remain limited and unemployment persists. This is especially true in developing countries just emerging from the global recession and coping with volatile food prices. In order to ensure that recovery is inclusive and benefits children, women and poor families, these governments will need to take decisive steps in 2010 and beyond to support economic recovery while protecting vital human development programs related to health and education. Haiti represents an extreme case of the threats to child health and development faced by countries emerging from the compounded effects of food price volatility, economic slowdown and natural disaster.


Recovery with a human face requires adequate resources be channelled to effective programs targeting children, women and poor families.  This conference will focus on three main policy areas:


1)      Ensuring budget transparency and citizen participation and engagement in order to ensure that enough resources are allocated and these are effectively channelled;


2)      Implementing robust countercyclical social spending programs in response to crises and to support social services and minimize harm to children;


3)      Building and financing child-sensitive social protection systems that address both longer term structural poverty as well as crisis-response.


This meeting brings together development practitioners, researchers and other experts to discuss emerging empirical evidence and deliberate on key policy responses, notably those related to social budgets and public finance policy.


Day 1: Children in Crisis: Impact, Challenges and the Role of Social Budgets


LOCATION: Fordham University Lincoln Center, McNally Amphitheater (West 62nd Street and 9th Avenue)






Nancy Busch / Msgr. Joseph Quinn / Dr. Stephen Freedman* (Fordham University)


UNICEF’s Work on Recovery with a Human Face


Isabel Ortiz (UNICEF)


Keynote Address


Rebeca Grynspan* (Assistant Administrator UNDP, in charge of UNDP Haiti response)


Budget Situation and Policy Responses


Chair: Nora Lustig* (Tulane University)


Social Spending and Social Protection in Times of Crisis: The Philippine Experience

Cielito Habito (Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development)


Budgets for Children in India: Policy Responses to Disasters and Crises Enakshi Ganguly Thukral (HAQ Centre for Child Rights)


Reaching the Marginalized in the Aftermath of the Global Economic Crisis: Education Challenges in Low Income Countries Samer Al-Samarrai (UNESCO)


Discussants: Shantanu Mukherjee (UNDP); Ronald Mendoza (UNICEF)


Coffee Break


Evidence on Crisis Impact


Chair: Luis Felipe Lopez Calva* (UNDP)


The Effect of Aggregate Economic Shocks and Household Health Seeking Behavior

Karen Grepin (New York University)


The Impact of the Increase in Food Prices on Children Poverty and the Policy Response in Mali

Gustave Nebie (UNICEF Mali)


Macro-Micro Modelling of the Economic Crisis Impact: Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Ghana

Leonardo Menchini and Luca Tiberti (UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre)


Maintaining Child Health During Crises: Evidence from the DHS  Maria Davalos and Darryl McLeod (Fordham)


Discussants: Sophie Mitra (Fordham); Jingqing Chai (UNICEF); Melissa Labonte* (Fordham)



Lunch Break


Policy Options to Help Ensure Recovery with a Human Face


Chair: Gaspar Fajth (UNICEF)


Financing Social Protection: Addressing Shocks and Structural Poverty

Nora Lustig* (Tulane University)


Social Protection in Fiscal Stimulus Packages

Yanchun Zhang and Nina Thelen (UNDP)


Innovations in Social Budget Work: Bringing the Public Back into Public Finance

Ronald Mendoza and Gabriel Vergara (UNICEF)


Budget Transparency and Pro-Poor Budgets: A Proposal for a Transparency Norm for Social Spending

Warren Krafchik, Shaamela Cassiem and Vivek Ramkumar (International Budget Project)


Discussants: Enakshi Ganguly Thukral (HAQ Centre for Child Rights); Cielito Habito (Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development)


Closing Remarks for the Policy Forum (Day 1)


Isabel Ortiz (UNICEF)


Day 2: A Development Practitioner’s Toolkit on Advancing Child Rights


LOCATION: UNICEF House, Labouisse Hall (East 44th Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues)



Welcome and Background on the UNICEF-EC Toolkit for Child Rights Initiative


Elizabeth Gibbons (UNICEF)


Background on the UNICEF-EC Toolkit for Child Rights Initiative


Rada Noeva (UNICEF)


Video Presentation on Child Rights Participation in Brazil


Ravi Karkara (UNICEF)


Social Budgeting for Children, Women and the Poor


Chair: David Stewart (UNICEF)


Presenter: Radhika Gore (Columbia University)



·         Vivek Ramkumar (IBP)

·         Enakshi Ganguly Thukral (HAQ)

·         Cielito Habito (Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development)

·         Jingqing Chai (UNICEF)




Integrating a Child Rights Perspective in Poverty and Social Impact Analysis


Chair: Jingqing Chai (UNICEF)


Presenter: Margaret Wachenfeld (UNICEF)



·         Alberto Minujin (New School)

·         Leonardo Menchini (UNICEF)

·         Namsuk Kim (UNDP)

·         Jennifer Yablonski (UNICEF)


Open Discussion on the EC Toolkit and Synthesis


Moderator: Daniel Seymour (UNICEF)




 *For further information on this event, please contact the organizers: Darryl McLeod ( and Ronald Mendoza (



* To be confirmed




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