Methods: Needs assessment and developmental evaluation types were used to identify the needs for a CDA program in Azerbaijan, and to explore local conditions, existing, and potential resources for designing and adapting a CDA policy in the country. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews in 2017 and 2018. A purposive non-probability sampling method was used to interview about 15 key informants, such as ministers, deputy-ministers, members of national parliament, heads and deputy-heads of departments, presidents and vice-presidents of universities including representatives of World Bank, Unicef, USAID and local NGOs in Azerbaijan. Framework analysis method was used to find out the needs, issues, resources, and feasibility of implementing CDAs in Azerbaijan from interviews, meeting notes, and archival data.
Results: Five relevant themes emerged from the analysis: 1) wide acceptance of CDAs, 2) willingness to launch CDAs in coming years, 3) availability of potential resources, 4) efficient utilization of current resources by transferring them to CDAs, and 5) the importance of strong institutional base for administering and managing CDAs. Almost all participants showed great interest in the concept of asset accumulation for children and welcomed the idea of CDAs. Existing funds, such as some financial allowances for children which are not efficient, can be relocated to CDAs as seed funds, and wealth from natural resources can be used as a potential fund for matching. However, study participants raised concerns about the lack of reliable banks, wealth management agencies, and investment organizations for administering and managing CDAs.
Conclusions and Implications: These findings suggest several implications for further research and policy development for Azerbaijan. First, further research is needed to find the best-suited model for CDAs in an environment with weak financial institutions and limited wealth management resources. Second, future research needs include more stakeholders such families, community members, children and youth to specify potential of CDAs. Third, more research is needed to identify how currently available financial resources in Azerbaijan can be transferred to the CDA program.