YDI Annual Report 2020-2021

Page 1

Annual Report 2020-2021

Towards a Puerto Rico without Child Poverty


We Are

The Youth Development Institute (YDI) promotes research and public policies to strengthen the economic security of families with children and youth with the objective of substantially reducing child poverty in Puerto Rico.

How do we boost change?

Developing evidencebased public policy recommendations, empowering those affected to participate in the decision-making process, and fostering alliances.

Conducting research that deepens understanding of the problem to forge possible solutions.

Disseminating data to increase general knowledge about the challenges children and youth face in poverty in Puerto Rico.

LETTER FROM THE TEAM As a team, we talk everyday about the severe consequences of child poverty in Puerto Rico and what we can do to tackle it. When we internalize that 58% of Puerto Rican children live below poverty levels, we understand the urgency of promoting measures that open the way to an environment of opportunities so that children and youth can develop their maximum potential. With this percentage in mind, we cannot lose sight of the fact that child poverty not only currently affects children that experience it, but it has future consequences. Growing up in poverty limits opportunities for healthy development, educational attainment and increases exposure to crime. Indeed, some will overcome the obstacles imposed by poverty and do well, but many will be left behind. Faced with this panorama, we do not waver in our efforts to identify measures and opportunities that give way to economic mobility for families living in poverty. An example of this is the recent approval of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) extension for Puerto Rico.

The CTC extension was a project that the Youth Development Institute (IDJ) coined when we identified a problem six years ago. We began to knock on doors, mobilize sectors, and finally saw an opportunity in the emergency associated with the Covid-19 pandemic for this to happen. The CTC represents a contribution of $ 2.2 billion to the local economy. Without a doubt, the investment of our allies over the past eight years has had a historic return in benefits to Puerto Rican families and is a significant advance on the path to eradicating child poverty in Puerto Rico. Because if we are sure of one thing, a Puerto Rico with less child poverty and better economic development is possible. It's up to all of us. We count on you.

The Team


years of unstoppable work.

Many goals


2013 Launch of the Youth Development Institute CHILD & YOUTH WELL-BEING INDEX OF PUERTO RICO Tedx Youth Puerto Rico ImaginAction

2014 SME Award - Best Use of Data-Driven Solutions Beginning of Alliance with The Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count

2015 Presentation before Obama Puerto Rico Taskforce. SME Award - Best Public Service Campaign "Troki" Participation in Advances in Research and Action with Children and Youth: Transdisciplinarity and Public Policy

2016 Launch of the Early Childhood Observatory. First exhibition of data in the Capitol of Puerto Rico. We defended the rights of youth in P.R. at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. in Washington D.C.

2017 Summary the projections of the effects of Hurricane María on children. Alliance with Save the Children

2018 Children & Youth Task Force Launch of the Children's Budget. First meeting of adults of the Advocacy Project. Launch of the Early Childhood Observatory.

2019 Study: The Effects of Hurricane Maria on Children. Presentation before the Natural Resources Committee in Congress. Approval of Resolution 1378 of the House of Representatives of P.R.

2020 Analysis of the effects of Covid-19 on the economic security of children and families in P.R. Governor Candidates Townhall: Together Against Child Poverty Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) approval. A Future of Child Poverty: How Much It Costs and What We Can Do About It

...and we will continue until all children and youth have the opportunities to overcome of poverty.

A Puerto Rico with less child poverty

is possible

The time is now 2020-2021

With child poverty, we risk economic future Too many girls and boys are living in poverty. As these children grow up, they are less likely to finish school, go to college, and be ready for the work


environment. According to our research, they are more likely to have chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure, resulting in health costs that are 53% higher than if they did not grow up in poverty. Lack of opportunity increases their chances of participating in crime and being victims. Young adults ages 18-30 without a high school diploma are three times more likely to be unemployed. And the income of those with a college degree is 67% higher than those with just a high school diploma. For Puerto Rico, child poverty translates into wasted human potential, less quality of life, less productivity, and less consumption. As our studies show, child poverty costs the people of Puerto Rico $ 4.4 billion annually.

In less than two decades, these children will be responsible for the payment of the debt, the collections of the treasury, the contributions to the retirement systems, the formation of future businesses, and the competitiveness of the Puerto Rico workforce. With so many children living in poverty, we are risking the future. Do we write them off, or do we start rescuing them now? The task of raising the Puerto Rico of the future falls on these boys and girls, an increasingly smaller group. While the adult population has decreased by 8 percent since 2010, the population aged 0 to 17 has reduced by 34%. With fewer boys and girls and more than half growing up in poverty, the economic future of Puerto Rico does not bode well. It is clear that to advance the economic development of Puerto Rico and to put the country on a growth path; some investments must be made. It is common to speak of investments in education, technology, institutions, and infrastructure. To this conversation we must add the investments necessary to reduce child poverty as these also lead to economic development.

Poverty is not destiny. Some of these children are going to be successful despite the obstacles that poverty imposes on them. But many will be lost along the way.

Dr. María E. Enchautegui

The doctor is Director of Research and Public Policy of YDI. Her career path covers academia, the public sector and the private sector.



Deep Dive

looking for effective solutions

HANGING BY A THREAD: Puerto Rico's social protection system and the economic mobility of families According to the most recent report from the Youth Development Institute (YDI), HANGING BY A THREAD: Puerto Rico's social protection system and the economic mobility of families, the current design of Puerto Rico's social protection system hinders the economic mobility of families since it is an assistance system, focused on mitigation and up-keeping, with little

100 DAY PLAN: Agenda to reduce child poverty by encouraging economic mobility in Puerto Rico This document establishes an agenda to reduce child poverty by encouraging economic mobility in Puerto Rico; we seek to detail how Governor Pedro Pierluisi can direct these public policies in Puerto Rico during the first 100 days of his administration. This work plan focuses on the strategies that the Executive can manage to reduce child poverty.

emphasis on the development of the abilities of individuals.

Back to class online: Implications for our children and youth living in poverty

On August 17, 2020, 281,577 children began the new school year virtually as a public health mechanism due to the risk of contagion by Covid-19. The closure of schools and online education has several implications for children, particularly those living below the poverty level. Under this project, we analyze some of the characteristics of students in the public education system and the factors that could exacerbate their academic and social lag and food security.

Child Poverty: A matter of public policy

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Puerto Rico faces once again the challenge of establishing a strategy for the economic development of all Puerto Ricans. No strategy will work if it does not address child poverty. The problem is too huge to be ignored. The roadmap that we propose from the YDI includes public policies that reduce the high levels of child poverty and have a broad scope in education, health, social welfare, and the economy.

Our evidence-based agenda includes:

1 2

Tax Policies

Maintain the local Earned Income Tax Credit at its current levels. Extend the Federal Child Tax Credit to families with one or two children. Create a Welfare-to-Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

Economic and Work Policies Expand government-subsidized jobs for parents and youth Create a universal child allowance program ($100 per child) Create a universal child allowance program ($150 per child)

Removing Barriers to Work Policies

3 4

Ensure access to early child development programs to all children aged 0 to 5. Extend after-school programs to children in public schools. Introduce whole-family twogeneration models to public schools.

Human Capital Development Policies Develop a Sector-Based Work Training program. Revamp high school and associate degree completion programs.

The research indicates that the issue of child poverty must be addressed with priority, the public policy infrastructure is already formed through executive orders, laws, and budget, and the wills from all levels of government are focusing. The time to act to reduce child poverty is now. From the Youth Development Institute, we will continue to generate power with allied organizations and families hand in hand to achieve the Puerto Rico that we deserve, using data and research to formulate public policy recommendations that benefit us all.

Brayan Lee Rosa Rodríguez Public Policy Manager the YDI. He has a master's degree in Administration and Public Policy from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service graduate school at New York University.

It is time to align efforts establishing a public policy that proposes the reduction of child poverty by half during the next decade.

Innovating proposals to fight against child poverty

Child poverty as a priority

Pandemic EBT for Puerto Rico The extension of the Pandemic EBT program for Puerto Rico was

Governor Pedro Pierluisi

approved in September 2020, the local plan for the use of the funds

approved Executive Order

was sent to the USDA in December 2020, and in record time, the

2021-039 to create a

Pandemic EBT program for Puerto Rico was approved in January

commission that would

2021. Benefits have been disbursed to families with school-age

organize the Government's

children since February 2021 at a monthly rate of $ 117 per eligible

strategy to address child

child with retroactive payments of more than $800 per child.

poverty guided by the YDI

The IDJ successfully launched a campaign to include Puerto


Rico in the Pandemic EBT program with a multi-pronged

The Government included

strategy that had educational meetings with stakeholders and

funds to address poverty in its

traditional media.

budget for the fiscal year 2022 specifically.

The YDI worked a campaign during the 2020 elections to raise the issue and achieve a commitment to address the issue once the change of Government occurred.

Federal impact The Child Tax Credit (CTC) extension for all families with children in Puerto Rico was approved in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Additional funds were approved for the local Earned Income Tax Credit of $ 600 million in federal match. The YDI advance the CTC as a policy priority for more than six years.

Local impact The Senate introduced legislation for a job opportunity tax credit, one of YDI's recommendations to combat child poverty. Approval of the legislation for the design of the Local Work Income Tax Credit. Approval of PS293 to establish the goal of reducing child poverty in the Senate. The YDI submitted comments to the bills and assisted the Department of the Treasury.

Driving a culture of data use In Puerto Rico, it's urgent that a culture of data use be adopted to promote evidence-based measures with goals and objectives to reduce child poverty.

Promoting a data culture requires:



Creating policies and structures rooted in data governance models in agencies. This type of model facilitates the use, availability, quality, and security of data and enables the communication between agencies.

2 3

Fostering a culture of analysis and evaluation. Optimizing service delivery is an exercise in selfreflection and monitoring of results.

Disseminating. The data must be public, following confidentiality and privacy protocols.

At the YDI, data is a tool that we use to: make visible the living conditions of children and youth in Puerto Rico; raise awareness about the magnitude of the problems they face; monitor and advocate for their well-being; and evaluate public policies, programs, and practices related to families with children.

When we talk about data, we mean all the available information to make an informed decision. These can be numerical, qualitative, findings from studies and literature, expert or community opinions; they can be historical, punctual, or anchored to reliable scientific processes. However, the data is only a starting point. The context surrounding them and the analysis as a whole allows the data to be transformed into meaningful information for those who analyze it. We are aware that it is not an easy transition. However, there are certainly some initial steps that promote the adoption of a culture based on data, such as the creation of regulations, structures, and policies in the agencies that facilitate not only the use but the analysis and the broadcasting; bridges of communication with communities and experts; and investment in technology and staff training. We recognize the importance of using data in the decision-making process and the current context where resources are minimal.

Caridad A. Arroyo Quijano Statistics Manager and Kids Count Project Manager. Under her direction, the Child and Youth Well-being Index in Puerto Rico and the first Observatory of Early Childhood in Puerto Rico were developed.

We recognize the importance of using data in the decisionmaking process and the current context where resources are minimal.

Let's talk about data to make informed decisions

Child & Youth WellBeing Index

Municipal Child & Youth Well-Being Index

Child Poverty in Puerto Rico

A tool developed by the YDI in order to obtain a radiography of the conditions in which children and youth, ages 0 to 21 years old, live in Puerto Rico.

Similar to the Child & Youth WellBeing Index, the interactive Municipal Index Map establishes comparisons between Puerto Rico and the 78 municipalities in 17 of the 27 indicators available in the Child & Youth Well-Being Index.

This profile is an approach to the issue of child poverty in Puerto Rico with a focus on the local context and looks at the employability, income, and education of parents with children in poverty.

Children in Poverty in Puerto Rico

Kids Count Data Center


This profile is based on two subjects: (1) children living in poverty and (2) children living above the poverty level; it establishes clear comparisons in multiple living conditions.

Most recent data

57.1 % Children living in poverty

Kids Count is the Annie E. Casey Foundation project focused on making statistics related to children and youth across the 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.


The statistics area contain over 140 indicators of interest related to: economy, family, education, health and safety in children, youth and their families. Similar to the Municipal Index, this tool establishes comparisons with data available for Puerto Rico and the 78 municipalities.

out of 10 kids live in poverty.


Family with Minors Whose Mothers / Fathers Are Not Employed

Empowering communities

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The problem of child poverty is not exclusive to those who live it but to the entire country. That is why we believe in fostering alliances that result in strategies and actions to combat it.

COMMUNITY VOICE "Today, at 62 years of age, I am determined to be part of the change, by supporting teh cause and a spokesperson to obtain the best conditions for life and development of Puerto Rican children and youth."

-Natividad Flores, spokesperson for Hijos de Borinquen

Over 300,000 children go through the consequences "We must put our faith in the power of the people. of sustained impoverishment Enough of standing idly by. Promoting social in Puerto Rico. Making change requires a long-term commitment." communities part of - Beraliz Germocén, spokesperson for Hijos de Borinquen the conversation and public policy process o n issues that directly affect the families of We know that it is vital to know our Community: childhood and youth has a significant communities and leaders in-depth, for me, it is an impact in the effectiveness of the and we recognize the importance of honor and a strategies and the collective aspirations. This is why our organization seeks to give Puerto Rican families the power to influence decisions, projects, and public policies that affect their lives. For this to happen strategically at the IDJ, we design platforms to empower mothers, fathers, grandparents, caregivers, and young people and thus strengthen a community-based movement. For us, community integration in our work is not negotiable. The team understands that the role of accompanying and working together with the community is everyone's job.

each of them to fulfill our great objective.

Although the empowerment of communities is key, mobilization also requires working in alliance with other groups to amplify results. Our families deserve more. There is no better time to unite wills and achieve Puerto Rico that we deserve. It will not be easy, but we will get it done. Together.

Estela M. Reyes Rodríguez Mobilization and Advocacy Manager. She has a master's degree in Social Work with a focus on Community from the Beatríz Lasalle Graduate School of the UPR. She developed Hijos de Borinquen and the campaign: Together Against Child Poverty for the 2020 elections.

matter of pride to always be able to accompany you.

Communities in action as the backbone of mobilization

Our Academy of Advocacy

On June 17, we were at

is an organizing movement

the Puerto Rico Capitol to

for mothers, fathers,

educate on the

caregivers, and the young.

importance of addressing

We support participants

child poverty. For this, we

from all over Puerto Rico

trained and mobilized

to imagine and build a

more than 50 community

more just and equitable

members to participate in

world for themselves and

more than 30 meetings.

their families.

Advocacy Day




We facilitate the organization

We organize collaborative

of Hijos de Borinquen, a non-

advocacy actions with 7

partisan movement made up

organizations to promote

of mothers, fathers,

legislation on child poverty.

grandparents, youth, families,

The members of the coalition

and allies who have come

are: Banco de Alimentos del

together to encourage the

Puerto Rico, Boys and Girls

leadership to commit to

Club of Puerto Rico, FURIA

addressing the effects of

inc, PRODEV, Mentes

precariousness in which tens

Puertorriqueñas en Acción,

of thousands of children in

Impacto Juventud, and Hijos

Puerto Rico grow.

de Borinquen.


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Transforming the conversation

60 +






Forum: Together Against Child Poverty On October 13, 2020, a forum was held with five of the six candidates for the Governor of Puerto Rico to discuss child and youth poverty. The Child and Youth Poverty Forum were broadcast live on WIPR, telemundopr.com, and El Nuevo Día's Facebook page. The event was attended by journalists and had questions from Hijos de Borinquen community movement. Opinions with solutions The team published columns periodically, that went beyond raising a flag on child poverty, but also

Considering that the

included solutions to

radio is a mass

tackle this social



media and generates opinion, we insert ourselves in the conversation to emphasize the urgency of addressing child poverty.





A look at the social protection system of Puerto Rico The main media in Puerto Rico delved into the content of the report HANGING BY A THREAD: Puerto Rico's social protection system and the economic mobility of families.

Analysis on the impact of economic stimulus to mitigate Covid-19 Publication in the special edition to One year of the pandemic at El Nuevo Día newspaper.

Urgent call to pass the target bill An informative media tour and a call for the approval of Senate Bill 293, was advocated to establish a public policy in the local government to reduce the child poverty rate in Puerto Rico by 50% by 2031.

An in-depth report on child poverty and the social support system For 20 minutes, one of the programs with the highest audience discussed the data on child poverty in Puerto Rico generated by the YDI. These data points were used to debate public policies measures to reduce child poverty with local stakeholders.

Claim for disbursement of $30 M. per month in food aid for children The YDI warned about the delay in the disbursement of the $30 million monthly electronic funds transfer program to address the insecurity food of more than 300 thousand students from system of public education.

Financial Report

2019 2020

State Grants Others 11%

Contributions from Individuals 15%

Revenues Corporate Foundations 11%

Private Foundations 61%

Operating Expense 38%

Expenses Salaries and Benefits 62%

Our work is made possible by the generous support of:

Together we can make fighting child poverty a priority.






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