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Conference paper

Social Protection and Child Protection: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

There is widespread recognition that children are a particularly vulnerable group; they have different basic needs than adults do, they are dependent on others for the fulfilment of their needs and the denial of those needs can have far-reaching and long-term adverse consequences (Roelen and Sabates-Wheeler 2012, White, Leavy, and Masters 2003, Sabates-Wheeler, Devereux, and Hodges 2009). The policy areas of social protection and child protection are part and parcel of the response to children and their vulnerabilities. Nevertheless, both policy areas have largely developed in silos (Roelen, Long, and Edstrom 2012). This holds in both academic and policy terms. Whilst issues of child protection are mostly dealt with in disciplines of child psychology and childhood studies, social protection is largely appropriated by economists and social scientists. Similarly, national governments, international organisations and NGOs often deal with issues of child protection and social protection in different departments and through distinct sectoral policies. It is increasingly recognised that this dichotomy is artificial (Shibuya and Taylor 2013), and that it compromises the effectiveness of the response to the wide set of needs of vulnerable children.
Policy brief

What Are the Labor Impacts of the Global Financial Crisis? Flexibility Vs Protection: a Case Study of Labor Outsourcing in Bekasi, Indonesia

The impact of the global financial crisis (GFC) in Indonesia started to be felt when the economic growth slowed sharply at the end of 2008. Even though the economy still showed some resilience towards the GFC compared to the neighboring countries, marked by 4.4% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2009, we observed a rapid contraction in trade, large declines in export, and major falls in prices of important commodities. The largest fall in sectoral growth was in the manufacturing industries (of textile-leather-footwear, wood, and wood products) and in the trade, hotel, and restaurant (retail and wholesale trade) industries. The growth of these sectors declined to its lowest point in the middle of the 3rd quarter of 2009. In order to obtain a micro-level picture on how the crisis transmitted and how it had impacted the manufacturing sector at the community and household levels, SMERU conducted a qualitative assessment in one urban community close to a major industrial park in Kabupaten Bekasi. As for the macro-level picture of the crisis impact, it was obtained through a quantitative assessment using a nationally representative labor force survey (Sakernas) before and after the onset of the GFC, conducted by research partners from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, United Kingdom (UK). This policy brief specifically draws on both assessments to offer key messages with policy relevance especially on the impact of GFC on the labor market.
Working paper

Does Better Local Governance Improve District Growth Performance in Indonesia?

A large literature suggests that countries with better governance have higher growth rates. We explore whether this is also true at the sub-national level in Indonesia. We exploit a new dataset of firm perceptions of the quality of economic governance in 243 districts across Indonesia to estimate the impact of nine different dimensions of governance on district growth. Surprisingly, we find relatively little evidence of a robust relationship between the quality of governance and economic performance. However, we do find support for the idea that structural variables, such as economic size, natural resource endowments and population, have a direct influence on the quality of local governance as well as on economic growth. This suggests that efforts to improve local governance should pay greater attention to understanding how such structural characteristics shape the local political economy and how this in turn influences economic performance.