Child Development Accounts are envisioned as universal (i.e., everyone participates), progressive (i.e., greater subsidies for the poor), and a potentially lifelong national policy. The original proposal for CDAs was in part a response to the many existing regressive asset-building policies around the world that give greater benefits to the well-off. As innovations in CDA policy progressed in recent years, several countries (e.g., Singapore, Korea, Israel) have adopted national CDA policies, and multiple statewide policies are now in place in the United States (e.g., Maine, Rhode Island, Nevada, Connecticut; Loke & Sherraden, 2009; Sherraden et al., in press). Research suggests that CDAs have positive financial impacts and promote child development (e.g., Clancy et al., 2016; Huang, Sherraden, Kim, & Clancy, 2014; Huang, Sherraden, & Purnell, 2014; Nabunya et al., 2015; Sherraden et al., 2015; Ssewamala, et al., 2014). Evidence (e.g., Clancy et al., 2016) also indicates that true universality can be achieved with automatic account opening and automatic deposits. Today, momentum for universal and progressive CDAs is accelerating.
With contributions from CDA research and policy experts from Singapore, Taiwan, Uganda and Mainland China, the symposium has the four objectives, aiming to: (1) highlight selected global policy and program developments of CDAs toward universality and progressivity;(2) identify key policy designs to inform the creation of future CDA policies and programs;(3) summarize empirical findings on the existing CDA research; and (4)share lessons and insights from existing CDA policies, programs, and research.