Child Sponsorship Works

wydickBruce Wydick, professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, recently published study findings that show that child sponsorship works.  The academic paper appears in the current edition of the Journal of Political Economy.  Wydick provided an overview of the material for a lay audience in the June 2013 edition of Christianity Today (p.20-25).

Based on research done using a grant from USAID to analyze the impact of child sponsorship programs in six countries, Wydick finds that child sponsorship generates

better educational outcomes:

  • 27-40% more likely to complete secondary school,
  • 50-80% more likely to complete a university education, and

better employment opportunities in adulthood:

  • 14-18% more likely to attain a salaried job,
  • 35% more likely to attain a white-collar job (p. 23)


So What?

Child sponsorship offers a way for individuals, families or groups in the developed world to help children in the developing world in such a way that the donors have an opportunity to connect with the child(ren) he/she/they sponsor.  Currently in excess of 9 million children are sponsored through such programs amounting to over $5 billion a year donated to the many agencies overseeing such programs (p.21).

  • Have you ever sponsored a child?  
  • Does this research make you more or less likely to sponsor a child in the future?

Important note: Originally no child sponsorship organization was interested in allowing Wydick and his research team access to their population.  Compassion provided access for the initial project, then widened the access for the project cited here.   Initially Compassion agreed to allow the research with one stipulation: their name would never be shared or cited in any publications.  After the research clearly showed the value of their work, they removed the restriction regarding the use of their name.


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