Quality of life has improved greatly almost everywhere over the past century, even in places where per capita incomes have stayed relatively flat. While discussions often focus on the failings and shortcomings of development, progress made in human and social development must not be overlooked. Child-focused development policies in particular have been critical to the improved well-being of children worldwide.
Increased investment in people – especially children – is critical to combating the impact that the economic crisis, rising food and fuel prices, and conflicts and natural disasters are having on the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable. This investment has a strong economic and development payoff and can help secure stability, growth, and prosperity long-term.
On April 20, the Center for Universal Education at Brookings hosted the launch of Progress in Child Well-Being: Building on What Works, a report commissioned by UNICEF and Save the Children International, and prepared by the Overseas Development Institute, that aims to counter current skepticism over the impact of development assistance and its return on investment. The panel discussed lessons learned about effective delivery of child-focused development assistance, as well as future challenges. After the discussion, participants took audience questions.