Before going further, we need to talk about why Child Protection is a bit different to other sectors. Unlike others, we are not going to spend much time discussing pre-2018 data. This is because Child Protection (along with Gender Based Violence, Mine Action, and Housing Land and Property) is a special case. Child Protection is not a designated global cluster, like many other sectors, but is an ‘Area of Responsibility‘ under the Protection sector. Hence historically, Child Protection funding was not separated from overall Protection funding in FTS.
As the Unprotected report outlines, and we’ll just quote in entirety here as it sums it up very well: “Since 2017, with the creation of a new FTS website, child protection is a category of its own on the FTS, making CP funding easily identifiable. Prior to 2017, CP interventions were simply reported under the Protection Sector”. Thus, the data from pre-2017 isn’t particularly reliable, and even the 2017 data doesn’t look reliable. 2017 has no funding requirement and $14m recorded as CP funding. This compares to a $163m funding requirement and $81m received in 2018.
Thus, the more reliable data from 2018 onwards reflects the emergence of Child Protection as a sector in itself, distinct from (but obviously still a part of) the Protection sphere. Consequently, from 2018 onwards, more and more contexts are starting to separate out Child Protection with a separate funding requirement in their response plans and appeals.
Therefore, we’ll mainly be talking about the time period from 2018 and onwards on this page.
How much funding is the Child Protection sector forecast to receive in 2022?
Funding to the Child Protection sector is forecast to be between $179m and $237m in 2022. Our central estimate is $205m. For reference, the Child Protection sector received $148m last year.
This forecast is based on our 95% probability range. In other words, we are 95% sure that funding will be between $179m and $237m. Below are the other forecast ranges for the Child Protection sector. As we become less sure about our forecast, the range narrows. So for example, we think there’s a 50% probability that funding will be between $195m and $215m in 2021.
But we need to put this into context. What does the forecast mean in terms of reaching the funding that is required for the sector (also known as the funding requirement)? The total funding requirement globally is determined by how much is needed in each context. Given that we don’t have the information yet we have projected the funding required for 2022 and compared that to the funding forecast. If you hover over the donut below you’ll be able to see the chances of reaching 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the funding that is required.
We think there’s only a remote chance of the Child Protection sector reaching 25% of their funding requirement in 2022. For reference, at the time of writing, Child Protection received only 20% of the funding required last year.
How does the 2022 forecast compare to previous years?
Child Protection is forecast to receive more than it has in the past couple of years. Since 2018, the funding to Child Protection has increased from $81m in 2018, to $140m in 2020, to $148m in 2021 and currently sits at $168m in 2022. The central estimate for 2022 is $205m.
At the same time, the funding requirement for Child Protection has increased rapidly from $163m in 2018, to $989m in 2022.
One factor behind increasing Child Protection funding may be that more funding is being tagged as Child Protection, instead of being tagged as simply ‘Protection’. The Unprotected report noted that 28% of the estimated Child Protection funding in 2018 was found under ‘Protection’ and not ‘Child Protection’.
Since 2018, both funding received and the funding requirement have increased year-on-year (assuming that 2021 funding will increase). Whilst an increase in funding is great in terms of more funding towards the sector, one key question is: what is growing faster, the funding received or the funding requirement?
Looking at pre-2021 funding, the growth rate for funding received is 28% year-on-year, which is really quite fast. At this rate, you would expect to see the funding received double every 3 years – although this is obviously not sustainable in the long run! The bad news, however, is that the growth rate for the funding requirement is 46%, which is even faster. At that rate, you would expect to see the funding requirement double every 2 years.
What this means is that there is a year-on-year increase in the funding gap in both absolute terms and percentage of what’s required. The funding gap in 2018 stood at $82m, but by 2021 the funding gap had widened to $577m
With the funding gap increasing year-on-year, that means Child Protection is already in a real humanitarian recession. In this story, we’ve defined a real humanitarian recession as two consecutive years of a growing funding gap. Child Protection has already experienced three years of a growing funding gap. So what are the odds of Child Protection staying in a humanitarian recession?
We think that there’s a 50-50 chance that Child Protection will experience ‘real growth’ in 2022 this year. The flip side of this is that it is also a realistic possibility that the sector will continue to be in a real recession this year.
How does the 2022 forecast compare to other sectors?
The central estimate of $205m puts Child Protection 12th in the sector rankings. Interestingly, this would be behind Gender Based Violence, significantly ahead of Mine Action, but some way behind Protection which is forecasted in 8th place at $743m.
The current state of things
By the end of December, Child Protection funding in 2022 is ahead of the same point in similar years ($168m this year vs. $148m last year). This is an optimistic sign for the Child Protection sector.
What is interesting however, is that the shape of funding in the last quarter. In 2020, 2021, and now 2022, funding to the Child Protection sector jumps significantly in November, December and the Post-Year period. Child Protection colleagues should keep an eye on this in 2022 as it could signal yet more ‘late-year’ funding.
Features of the Child Protection sector in 2021
The average Child Protection response in 2020 was 18% funded. This is obviously quite low in absolute terms, and ranks 6th lowest out of the 16 sectors analysed on the site.
One clear funding success story in 2021 is that of three Flash Appeals: Kenya, Afghanistan and Madagascar which received 143%, 93% and 92% of what was required, respectively. Other relative success stories include six other plans that received over 50% of the funding requirement. These were: oPt (77% funded), CAR (72%), Ukraine (54%), Myanmar (54%), and DRC (53%).
Yet, at the same time, most contexts for Child Protection received less than 25% of the requirement. 7 of the 42 plans with Child Protection funding required didn’t report any funding. This begs the question: why are some contexts more funded than others? Is it just year-on-year variation, donor preferences, underreporting, or something else? We’ll explore this in more detail in the future in our Stories section. We’re also currently working on an “Equity Index” to measure the extent to which a sector is unequal – stay tuned!
Child protection is a moderately diverse sector in terms of funding sources. Like other sectors, the US Government was the largest donor in 2021, bringing in $38m to Child Protection. This is followed by UNICEF, ECHO, Governments of Norway, Germany, Denmark, Japan, and the CERF. Beyond the top eight donors, who contribute two thirds of funding (66%), another 57 smaller sources of funding make up the remainder.
The diversity of the sector is reflected in its Herfindahl Hirschman Index value. The Herfindahl Hirschman Index measures the extent to which a market is concentrated, with a value below 1,500 meaning that the market is competitive. The HHI value of the Child Protection sector is 891 based on the sources of funding to the sector. A plurality of perspectives is good in terms of limiting the power of any one actor.
Despite this diversity in the donors who contribute to Child Protection, this is not reflected in who is given the funding. Nearly 80% of all Child Protection funding goes to either UNICEF (59%) or Save the Children (17%). A quick peruse of other sector pages shows that it is not necessarily uncommon for UN agencies, and in this case international NGOs, to vacuum up funding. Yet, in reality, there will undoubtedly be ‘second tier’ recipients of this funding from UNICEF and Save the Children, and funding through alternative channels may not be captured here.
Last year’s forecast can’t yet be judged against what the reality was as the 2021 numbers aren’t ‘final’ yet, despite it being 2022 already. It varies year-to-year, but there is still a non-trivial amount of funding that is logged after the end of the year. Therefore, we can’t really judge last year’s forecast until some point later in 2022. It’s at this point that we’ll do a post-mortem on our 2021 forecasts and see how well we did.
The usual health warning: FTS doesn’t capture everything. It is a platform that relies on voluntary reporting by organisations. But it is the most comprehensive source of data for humanitarian funding.
To find out methodology and sources for other things on this page which aren’t the forecast, click here.
Note: Numbers in ‘The current state of things’ graph may differ from elsewhere on the page as the data was extracted on a different date (13th January 2022) than other numbers that also show how much was received in 2022 (e.g. the column chart).