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Healthier Wealthier Children: Literature review

Date: September 2011
Category: Report
Work programme: Early years
Author: Richard Withington

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This literature review was designed to inform the development of the Healthier, Wealthier Children evaluation process, and to provide a contextual and theoretical base for the evaluation plan and final report. It is envisaged that this review will be used as a tool to inform each aspect of the evaluation process, rather than as a ‘stand-alone’ piece of work. Due to the time-limited nature of the project and constraints of reporting, a systematic review of the literature was not undertaken. Instead, a more pragmatic and iterative approach was adopted, although one always cognisant of the project aims and objectives.

Using the aims and objectives outlined in the project specification as a starting point, themes were identified and then explored further in an effort to inform the evaluation design and provide a theoretical framework that would shape the research questions and evaluation plan. The following three broad themes were identified:

  1. The policy and political context in which the project operates;
  2. The impact and extent of poverty on children and women at a national and local level;
  3. The emerging evidence on the potential benefits of income maximisation and welfare benefits advice services delivered in a healthcare or partnership setting.