Michal Grinstein-Weiss and Michael Sherraden work with the Israeli government to develop an innovative asset-building policy informed by the experiences of similar programs in other parts of the world. Their focus was on Child Development Accounts (CDAs), asset-building accounts in children’s names that may help to reduce the inequalities present in Israel today, where 29 percent of Israeli children live below the poverty line.
In July 2015, a proposal authored by Grinstein-Weiss on adopting CDAs in Israel was incorporated into the country’s national budget and approved by the national cabinet. The Knesset, Israeli’s parliament, formally voted on the budget and included the CDA proposal in November 2015. The policy proposal built on the infrastructure of Israel’s monthly child allowance, a stipend provided to families with children under 18 by the government, with the goal of developing long-term assets and the results socioeconomic improvements for children.
Bringing CDAs to the forefront of policy discussions in Israel was an effort years in the making.