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RMIT is working in collaboration with World Vision International to evaluate the impacts of their child sponsorship programs.

There is little research currently on the impact of child sponsorship programs, which receive more than $US1 billion of funding each year.

The research team led by RMIT includes Associate Professor Simon Feeny and Cara Donohue from the School of Economics, Finance and Marketing and Professor Patricia Rogers from the Centre for Applied Social Research in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.

“The research will involve fieldwork in five locations across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America,” Feeny said.

“It will examine how World Vision’s community based approach improves the well-being of children and the way this is supported by child sponsorship.”

Another component of the research will examine how World Vision’s Christian faith influences its development work.

Despite receiving more than $US1 billion of funding each year, there is very little existing research on the impacts of child sponsorship programs.

The new research project seeks to promote evidence-based practice and to improve the impact of World Vision’s programs in developing countries.

External research partners include Professor Matthew Clarke of Deakin University, Dr Michael Jennings of SOAS, University of London and Gill Westhorp of Community Matters.

World Vision’s child sponsorship programs help children living in developing countries through a community-based approach to development. Its programs reach about 100 million people in nearly 100 countries.

Story: Simon Feeny / Rita Truong