Farzana Kashfi, Santhosh Ramdoss and Scott MacMillan, from BRAC and BRAC USA, highlight BRAC's network of clubs for adolescent girls, called Empowerment and Livelihoods for Adolescents, which are now active in Bangladesh, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Haiti and Sierra Leone. This program has been shown to have positive impacts, for example a randomized evaluations of BRAC's ELA programs in Uganda have shown that over a two-year period, among a chort where teen pregnancy rates were 20 to 25 percent lower in Ugandan villages with and ELA program versus a control sample from similarly situated villages without and ELA program.
Jo Boyden and Stefan Dercon, from the University of Oxford, highlight results from the Young Lives study, which is a longitudinal study of child hood poverty, following the lives of 12,000 children in 4 countries (Ethiopia, the state of Andhra Pradesh in India, Peru and Viet Nam) over 15 years. In this Child Poverty Insight they draw upon evidence from the Young Lives survey, and conclude that it is not economic growth per se, or the level of that growth, that matters for children, but rather the nature or quality of growth. Policymakers concerned to improve children's well-being need to better condiser how to convert economic growth in social change that benefits poor children and their families.
Polly Vizard, from the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE, highlights the Children’s Measurement Framework (CMF) in Great Britain. The CMF is a new set of indicators to monitor and report on the equality and human rights position of children and young people in the constituent countries of England, Scotland and Wales. One of the key principles underlying the CMF is to ensure that all indicators can identify, monitor and report on inequalities amongst subgroups of children and young people. The CMF monitors three ‘aspects’ of inequality by tracking not only what Amartya Sen describes as the ‘functionings’ of children and young people (for example, health status and educational attainment) but also inequality in the treatment of children and young people (for example, experiences of degrading treatment and / or discrimination), and considers inequality in autonomy (or their choice and control).
Child Poverty in High- and Middle-Income Countries: Selcted Findings from LIS1
Janet C. Gornick, Director, LIS (Luxembourg Income Study) and Markus Jantti, Research Director, LIS, present some early analyses based on a selection of high- and middle-income countries to show some of the challenges of looking at child poverty across a widening global perspective. Their analysis is based on data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database (LIS), which currently contains data on household incomes from nearly 40 countries.
Alex Cobhamn, Chief Policy Advisor, Christian Aid, discusses some of the findings from Christian Aid's report Poverty: We're all in this together. He highlights the gap between the ambition of the Millennium Declaration and the eventual form of the MDGs, mostly in three areas: sustainability, accountability and inequality. He discusses consequences of inequality to child poverty, and the opportunities and challenges in the process of identifying the post-2015 successor to the MDGs.
- Indicators of monetary poverty and multidimensional poverty cannot serve as a proxy for one another;
- There are risk factors that increase a child's likelihood to be poor or deprived;
- Multidimensional poverty measures enables policy makers to identify the most vulnerable children and design holistic anti-poverty policies.
The Changing State of Global Poverty
In this issue, the authors discuss new trends on global poverty. They estimate that between 2005 and 2010, the total number of poor people around the world fell by nearly half a billion people to under 900 million. Whereas it took 25 years to reduce poverty by half a billion people up to 2005, the same feat was likely achieved in the six years between then and now. They observe that the global poverty landscape is quickly being redrawn. Between 2005 and 2015, Asia’s share of global poverty is expected to fall from two-thirds to one-third, while Africa’s share more than doubles from 28 to 60 percent. With the graduation of some of the world’s biggest developing countries into middle income-country (MIC) status, poverty is no longer concentrated in low-income countries (LIC). They discuss the fact that poverty is becoming increasingly concentrated in fragile and conflict-afflicted states. Finally, they discuss how these trends affect UNICEF and others committed to improving the wellbeing of children across the developing world.
A new look at an old problem: Why do so many poor children miss out on essential immunizations?
In this essay, MIT J-PAL founders and directors Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo draw on their new book Poor Economics and focus on one particular question that is central to UNICEF’s mission. Immunization is recognized as one of the most effective and most cost effective ways to save life. And yet, according to the World Health Organization every year, 27 million children do not receive the essential vaccinations that are part of the Expanded Programme on Immunization. Given the well-established benefits, and the resources that individual countries and the international community devote to this problem, why do so many poor children miss out on essential immunizations?
In this issue, Sarah Cook, Director, United Nations Research Institute on Social Development (UNRISD) highlights some of the main messages from the UNRISD Report of the same title. Cook discusses some of the factors that account for the persistence of poverty and inequality, and the reasons why some countries have been more successful than others in reducing poverty and inequality. She states that poverty and inequality are not mutually exclusive, hence they cannot be dealt with in isolation to each other. In fact, she emphasizes the importance of reducing inequality for poverty reduction. Based on the report, she puts forth some recommended strategies for socially inclusive structural changes that generate employment, social policies emphasizing universal rights and social cohesion, and political arrangements that are sensitive to the needs of the poor population. She also discusses how social policy can impact poverty and inequality in low-income countries, and especially child poverty. Finally she talks about why it is essential to take politics and power relations into account in order to reduce poverty and inequality.
Overseas Development Institute
"Escaping Poverty Traps – Children and Chronic Poverty"
In this issue, the authors- Caroline Harper, Associate Director of the Chronic Poverty Research Centre and Head of Social Development Programme at ODI, Hanna Alder, freelance Research Assistant, and Paola Pereznieto, Research Fellow at ODI- discuss the importance of chronic poverty to development, what the drivers of chronic poverty are, how children are disproportionately affected, and how chronic poverty, in particular children's chronic poverty, can be addressed. They provide key policy recommendations to tackling the issue.
Timo Voipio, Senior Adviser for Global Social Policy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Finland/OECD-Povnet argues that the single most remarkable shift in the global poverty reduction agenda of this new Millennium is the emergence of social protection as a top priority for most international organizations and development agencies. Furthermore, he explains why Social Protection is a key element of Pro-Poor Growth, and discusses how this relates to Child Rights and Child Protection, and ultimately to UNICEF.
Professor and Research Director
Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester, U.K.
The author discusses the findings of the IDS report Can the MDGs provide a pathway to social justice? The challenge of intersecting inequalities. The author stresses that the focus on the MDGs on ‘average’ measures of progress fails to capture the unequal pace of this progress and the systematic exclusion of certain groups in society, and demonstrates how the effects of social exclusion are detrimental to child well-being.
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development (UNDESA)
The author discusses the most striking findings presented in UNDESA's recent publication, Rethinking Poverty, describing global poverty trends and distribution patterns over the last 20 years, and the need for rethinking policy approaches. Among some of the findings discussed are the fact that while the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day declined globally from 1.9 billion in 1981 to 1.4 billion in 2005, the absolute number of people living in poverty actually went up during this period in many countries, and that the experience of poverty is multidimensional. The author also presents some key policies for poverty reduction.
Richard and Kate are authors of The Spirit Level, and together with Bill co-founders of The Equality Trust
"The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality makes Societies Stronger"
The authors explain why problems with social gradients (health, violent crime, and educational failure) are not caused by differences in material wealth, or by any kind of sorting or selection effects, but instead are due to social status differentiation itself - to the degree of hierarchy within a society. They discuss the impact of inequality on the most vulnerable, and offer ways to tackling inequality.
Centre for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University
Author of the Moving Out of Poverty series
"The Dynamics of Poverty"
The author discusses the dynamics of poverty: how people fall into it and how they move out of it. She highlights the importance of understanding poverty in such dynamic way, as well as a multidimensional phenomenon. The study being discussed in this issue shows that, across the 500 communities studied in the world, close to half the population is moving up or down, often with the same people falling and rising at different times, and that the reasons for moving out of poverty and for falling into it are different. Finally the authors discusses several policy implications to her findings.
Authors: Hugh Waddington and Birte Snilstveit
International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)
The authors discuss what impact evaluation is, why they are so critical for development work, who is conducting them, and how to attribute impact to an intervention. Additionally, the authors explain how to assess the range of impact for policy guidance. Finally, the authors provide an example of application on the area of water, sanitation and hygiene.
Authors: Sabina Alkire and José Manuel Roche
Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, University of Oxford
"Beyond Headcount: The Alkire-Foster Approach to Multidimensional Child Poverty Measurement"
Author: Alberto Minujin
The New School & Equityforchildren.org
"Making the Case for Measuring Child Poverty"
The author discusses the idea that child poverty is experienced differently from adult poverty and explains why it should thus be measured differently, providing examples of projects that use such an approach. Furthermore, the author elaborates on how child poverty can be inserted in the policy discourse.