Closing the Child Labor and Forced Labor Evidence Gap: Impact Evaluations

Randomized controlled trial (RCT) impact evaluations examining the effects of the Government of the Philippines KASAMA program on child labor
Project Duration
July 2015
October 2018
Funding and Year

Our impact evaluation projects use rigorous quantitative techniques to evaluate the impact of interventions on reducing child labor, forced labor and human trafficking—part of a broader ILAB effort to build rigorous evidence on what works to secure and protect the rights of children and adults. Such evaluations support our partner governments’ evidence-based policymaking efforts, and also help identify proven strategies to inform ILAB’s future investments in global programs to combat child labor and forced labor.

The Problem

With an estimated 152 million children engaged in child labor and nearly 24.9 million victims of forced labor worldwide, it is critical that scarce resources are used to support effective and efficient programs.  However, gaps in the evidence base mean that more rigorous research is needed to understand how to best protect the rights of these children and adults. 

Our Strategy

By conducting impact evaluations based on randomized controlled trial designs, our researchers can understand how an intervention has directly led to changes in, for example, the prevalence of child labor.  Specifically, the project implemented by Innovations for Poverty Action will examine the effects of the KASAMA program implemented by Department of Labor and Employment on child labor in the Philippines.


Approximately 15 months after the program started:

» The assets increased household business activity, both fostering new activities and helping older business activities persist.

» The program increased food security and improved some measures of child welfare, including children’s life satisfaction.

» The program had a positive rate of return on family-firm generated income.

» However, the program also led to an increase in child employment for children who had not worked before.

» The increase in child employment appears to be driven by the increase in work opportunities brought on by the family businesses.

» The results support productive asset livelihoods promotion as a poverty alleviation strategy in poor families with child labor present, but cast doubt on the approach as a way to eradicate child labor, at least in this context.

Innovations for Poverty Action
Implementing Partners:
Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
Contact Information:
(202) 693-4843 / Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking (OCFT)
Child Labor
Impact evaluation