Latest publications

Janz, Teresa, Britta Augsburg, Franziska Gassmann & Zina Nimeh, 2022, Leaving no one behind: Urban poverty traps in Sub-Saharan Africa, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2022-041

Perdana, Ari , Kostas Matakos, Dimitrios Minos & Elizabeth Radin, 2022, “Dragon boating” alone? Community ties and systemic income shocks, Journal of International Development, 34, More information

Nimeh, Zina, Giulio Bordon, Mitja Del Bono & Guido Heins, 2022, Global Solidarity Funding for Social Protection: Two country case studies, Study commissioned by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Bonn, Germany, More information

Kawar, Mary, Zina Nimeh & Tamara A. Kool, 2022, From Protection to Transformation: Understanding the Formal Landscape of Social Protection in Jordan, ERF Working Paper No 1590, More information

Kawar, Mary, Zina Nimeh & Tamara A. Kool, 2022, The Importance of the Transformative Angle for Advancing the Social Protection Agenda in Jordan, The Mapping of social protection programmes discussed in this brief highlights that programmes are mainly reactive in nature, and an overarching harmonization is still missing. In moving forward, transformative social protection policies and programmes in Jordan should incorporate both development and humanitarian objectives. This, More information

Ahmed, Musa Hasen , Wondimagegn Tesfaye & Franziska Gassmann, 2022, Early Growing Season Weather Variation, Expectation Formation, and Agricultural Land Allocation Decisions in Ethiop, Journal of Agricultural Economics, Online, More information

Iacoella, Francesco, Franziska Gassmann & Nyasha Tirivayi, 2022, Which communication technology is effective for promoting reproductive health? Television, radio, and mobile phones in sub-Saharan Africa, PLOS One, Online, More information

Dietrich, Stephan, Aline Meysonnat, Francisco Rosales, Franziska Gassmann & Victor Cebotari, 2022, Economic Development, Weather Shocks and Child Marriage in South Asia: a Machine Learning Approach, PLOS One, Online, More information

Behrendt, Christina, Mira Bierbaum, Tomoo Okubo, Shahra Razavi, David Stewart, Natalia Winder-Rosse & Veronika Wodsak, Mar 2022,, A hopeful sign in the COVID-19 pandemic has been the crucial role that social protection has played, evident in the unprecedented policy response worldwide with social protection and jobs measures pursued by virtually all countries and territories, albeit with staggering inequalities in countries’ response capacity. Undoubtedly, without this massive and rapid expansion of social protection, based on strong political will and commitment, the human and socio-economic toll of the crisis would have been much greater. While all these extra measures have been incredibly valuable, they were also mostly temporary, and there is little sign of increased long-term investment in social spending to the extent that will be required to build back better after the COVID-19 crisis. Many countries now find themselves at a crossroads with regard to the future orientation of their national social protection strategies and systems. Going forward, without strategies to build and finance sustainable social protection systems, create decent jobs, and formalize enterprises and employment, these programmes will remain just that: temporary and unsustainable, More information

Bierbaum, Mira, Veronika Wodsak & Christina Behrendt, May 2022,, The multiple crises we are currently confronted with, including the COVID-19 pandemic, violent conflicts, climate change and environmental degradation, painfully remind us of everyone’s vulnerability to shocks and lifecycle risks. Workers in the informal economy and their families are particularly vulnerable, not least because of their lack of access to social protection. Investing in social protection and employment policies is critical for a more inclusive recovery, decent work and a just transition to environmentally sustainable economies and societies, More information

Bierbaum, Mira & Valérie Schmitt, Jan 2022, Investing more in universal social protection. Filling the financing gap through domestic resource mobilization and international support and coordination, More information

Bierbaum, Mira & Valérie Schmitt, Jan 2022, Investing better in universal social protection. Applying international social security standards in social protection policy and financing, More information

Bordon, Giulio, Francesco Iacoella & Franziska Gassmann, 2022, Simulating redistributive social policy scenarios for Montenegro, Final Report, Study commissioned by UNICEF Montenegro, More information

Kool, Tamara A. , 2022, Promotiebespreking: Tamara A. Kool, ESB, 107

Kuschminder, Katie & Talitha Dubow, 2022, Moral Exclusion, Dehumanisation, and Continued Resistance to Return: Experiences of Refused Afghan Asylum Seekers in the Netherlands, Geopolitics

Haile, Kaleab, 2021, Cash Transfers, Negative Rainfall Shocks and Child Welfare in Ethiopia, Journal of African Economies, More information

Hurley, John, Marta Fana, Dragoș Adăscăliței, Giovanna Mazzeo Ortolani, Irene Mandl, Eleonora Peruffo & Carlos Vacas-Soriano, Oct 2021, What just happened? COVID-19 lockdowns and change in the labour market, Eurofound - Joint Research Centre report, More information

Ammann, Theresa A. & Tamara A. Kool, 2021, A Systematic Literature Review of Gendered Human Security Approaches, Journal of Human Security, 17, More information

Markhof, Yannick Valentin, Isabella Franciscon, Nicolo Bird & Pedro Arruda, Dec 2021, Social assistance programmes in South Asia: an analysis of socio-economic impacts, Report commissioned by the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), More information

, 2021, Next practices – Innovations in the COVID-19 social protection responses and beyond, The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated large-scale, rapid responses from governments to ensure that the negative effects of the crisis on people’s livelihoods are mitigated. Countries with more well-established social protection systems in place prior to the crisis were able to respond faster, but almost all countries required innovative practices to quickly deliver social protection to those usually excluded from benefits, such as informal-sector workers, refugees and migrants. This paper aims to systematise the social protection innovations implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis, which can be leveraged to build more inclusive and sustainable systems in the medium and long term, More information

Mukherjee, Manisha, May 2021, Ideas for India , Launched in 2016, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) aims to encourage the adoption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking in India. The article examines the impact of PMUY in two states in India with low LPG usage – Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, More information

Bierbaum, Mira & Veronika Wodsak, Aug 2021, Coordination of different instruments, in: E. Schüring & M. Loewe, Handbook of Social Protection Systems, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, More information

Bierbaum, Mira, Markus Kaltenborn, Valérie Schmitt & Nicola Wiebe, 2021, Financing universal social protection during COVID-19 and beyond: Investing more and better, Policy in Focus, 19, More information

Kuss, Maria Klara, 2021, The Negotiations of Zambia’s Welfare Regime: The Transformative Potential of Social Cash Transfers, PhD dissertation Maastricht University / United Nations University

Kool, Tamara A. & Zina Nimeh, 2021, Refugees and Social Protection, in: E. Schüring and M. Loewe (eds), Handbook of Social Protection Systems, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham

Dietrich, Stephan, Aline Meysonnat, Francisco Rosales, Victor Cebotari & Franziska Gassmann, 2021, Economic development, weather shocks and child marriage in South Asia: A machine learning approach, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2021-034

Martorano, Bruno, Ortrun Merkle, Alex Hunns, Giulio Bordon, Cintia Denise Granja & Francesco Iacoella, Jul 2021, Inequality in Botswana; An analysis of the drivers and district-level mapping of select dimensions of inequality, Botswana is currently one of the most unequal countries globally, having the 9th highest Gini coefficient, indicating the degree of inequality of incomes, according to the most recent UNDP report (2020). Both theoretical and empirical studies have shown the negative effect of inequality on long-run growth, poverty reduction, social and political stability. The issue of inequality in Botswana has received limited attention historically from both research and policy perspectives. This study was therefore commissioned by UNDP, in an attempt to assist Botswana in understanding the drivers of inequality beyond income, as part of Botswana’s commitment to implement SDG 10 targets, More information

Zinyemba, Tatenda, Wim Groot & Milena Pavlova, 2021, Effects of HIV on gender gaps in school attendance of children in Zimbabwe: a non-linear multivariate decomposition analysis, Education Economics, More information

Siruno, Lalaine, 2021, ‘We are Filipinos, we do bayanihan, we help each other’: undocumented migrants in the Netherlands during COVID, London School of Economics - COVID-19 Blog, More information

Volante, Louis, Don A. Klinger, Livianna Tossutti & Melissa Siegel, 2021, Student achievement depends on reducing poverty now and after COVID-19, The Conversation, April 19, More information

Rodriguez, Omar, 2021, Does entrepreneurship increase the chances of the poor?, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2021-018

Gassmann, Franziska, Bruno Martorano & Jennifer Waidler, 2021, How social assistance affects subjective Well-being: Lessons from Kyrgyzstan, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2021-013

Iacoella, Francesco & Nyasha Tirivayi, 2021, Mobile phones and HIV testing: Multi-country evidence from sub-Saharan Africa, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2021-010

Kool, Tamara A. , Giulio Bordon & Franziska Gassmann, 2021, Access to social protection for platform and other non-standard workers: A literature review, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2021-002

Arruda, Pedro, Yannick Valentin Markhof, Charlotte Bilo, Isabella Franciscon & Wesley Silva, Jun 2020, Overview of non-contributory social protection programmes in South Asia from a child and equity perspective, Report comissioned by the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), More information

Markhof, Yannick Valentin, Fabio Veras Soares, Nicolo Bird, Beatriz Burattini & Elise Chretien, Oct 2020, Socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, policy responses and the missing middle in South Asia, Report commissioned by the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), More information

Markhof, Yannick Valentin, Dec 2020, Pakistan’s social protection response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the adequacy of Ehsaas Emergency Cash and the road ahead, IPC-IG Working Paper No. 188, More information

Razavi, Shahra, Christina Behrendt, Mira Bierbaum, Ian Orton & Lou Tessier, 2020, Reinvigorating the social contract and strengthening social cohesion: Social protection responses to COVID-19, International Social Security Review, 73

Diaz, Yadira, Liliana Narváez, Omar Rodriguez, Mónica Cortés & Juan S. Silva, Jun 2020, Evaluating three UNDP entrepreneurship programmes for the economic inclusion of the poor in Colombia, UNDP Working Paper, More information

Gassmann, Franziska, Nga Leopold & Eszter Timar, Nov 2020, Technical Assistance to review Decree 136 with a focus on social assistance for children and propose policy options for the development of a new Decree in line with MPSARD targets and relevant to the context of a lower middle-income country, This assignment is to provide technical support to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA)in revising Decree 136 on social assistance policy in Vietnam

Gasper, D., R. Jolly, G. Koehler, Tamara A. Kool & M. Simane, 2020, Shake and stir: Adding human security and human resilience to help advance the SDGs agenda, Journal of Human Security Studies, 9, More information

Richardson, Dominique, A. Carraro, Victor Cebotari, A. Gromada & G. Rees, 2020, Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in high-income countries, Innocenti Research Report, UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti, Florence, More information

Nimeh, Zina, Tamara A. Kool, Francesco Iacoella & Alex Hunns, 2020, Rethinking humanitarian aid & making the case for humanitarian social protection: A response to the 2019 Global Refugee Forum, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2020-053

Cebotari, Victor, Oct 2020, UNICEF, UNICEF Evidence for Action Blog, More information

Leopold, Nga, Wim Groot, Sonila Tomini & Florian Tomini, 2020, Health insurance and self-employment transitions in Vietnam, Journal of Small Business Management

Gasper, D.R., R. Jolly, G. Koehler, Tamara A. Kool & M. Simane, 2020, Adding human security and human resilience to help advance the SDGs agenda, ISS Working Paper Series / General Series No. 665, More information

Urias, Eduardo & Shyama V. Ramani, 2020, Access to medicines after TRIPS: Is compulsory licensing an effective mechanism to lower drug prices? A review of the existing evidence, Journal of International Business Policy, Online, More information

Cebotari, Victor, N. Ramful, B. Elezaj & Chris de Neubourg, 2020, Women's Empowerment and Child Well-being in Ethiopia, Research brief UNICEF Ethiopia, More information

Elezaj, B., Victor Cebotari, N. Ramful & Chris de Neubourg, 2020, Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Ethiopia, Research brief UNICEF Ethiopia, More information

Richardson, Dominique, Victor Cebotari, A. Carraro & K. A. Damoah, 2020, Supporting Families and Children Beyond COVID-19: Social protection in Southern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti, Florence, More information