CVA & Child Protection Global Study – DRC, Egypt, Lithuania, Philippines (Save the Children)

Since 2022, Save the Children has been scaling up its use of CVA for Child Protection (CP) programming through various pilot projects. Taking stock of the evidence reviews’ findings, Save the Children commissioned research in four countries in 2022-23 (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Lithuania and the Philippines) that focused on measuring the impact of CVA on child marriage, child labour and child wellbeing in order to generate evidence and learning to inform the design of future programming but also to design a robust implementation and monitoring methodology to measure the outcomes of CVA on specific child protection outcomes.

The methodology used relied on a mixed-methods approach where both quantitative (through households and child protection actors surveys) and qualitative data (through FGDs and individual interviews including with children and young people) were used to measure change against a series of well-defined indicators.

This report examines the impact of cash and voucher assistance (CVA) on child protection, focusing on key areas such as child labor, child early and forced marriages and unions, child wellbeing and distress, and children associated with armed forces and armed groups. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, the study draws on qualitative and quantitative research conducted across four countries where Save the Children implemented micro-grants pilot projects: the Philippines, Egypt, Lithuania, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Through in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and statistical analysis, the report evaluates the effectiveness of CVA in mitigating the risks and vulnerabilities faced by children in these diverse contexts.

Findings reveal multifaceted effects of CVA on child protection outcomes, including some longer-term ones through a follow-up survey three months after the last transfer. Across most countries, CVA interventions have demonstrated promising results in reducing instances of child labor and child early and forced marriages and unions, while also improving child wellbeing indicators and alleviating distress. Moreover, the report highlights the role of CVA in facilitating the reintegration and rehabilitation of children associated with armed forces and armed groups, fostering community resilience, and promoting sustainable solutions to complex protection challenges. Through nuanced analysis and cross-country comparisons, this report offers valuable insights into the potential of CVA as a tool for safeguarding children’s rights and enhancing their overall well-being in diverse humanitarian contexts. But it also shows how CVA cannot be used as a standalone tool to address child protection risks that are often driven by factors other than economical.