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Child Well-Being Policies in Post-Soviet Countries: The Potential of Child Development Accounts
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, all post-Soviet countries initiated reforms in child well-being systems. Some have undertaken meaningful changes, and others continue to struggle.
This policy brief summarizes one portion of an in-depth study on child well-being policies. The study was conducted during 2019 and 2020 in six post-Soviet countries: Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Overall, the study identified weak child well-being systems, small and ineffective public benefits, and limited services. Absence of resources is not the only barrier to child well-being in these nations. Some of them have substantial wealth from oil, gas, coal, and/or other natural resources. In this context, it is important to ask whether the resource-rich countries manage to overcome the very common “resource curse” and use resources to improve social welfare, including child well-being. To address this question, six counties were selected for study: three with abundant natural resources and three without. Insights from the study have the potential to inform child well-being policies and also add to the important body of research on the resource curse.