UNICEF Zambia, the Ministry of National Development Planning, and the Central Statistical Office recently launched the first child poverty study in Zambia using a multidimensional approach. The study is based on UNICEF’s Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) approach, and its conclusive findings are based on the unique analysis of deprivations among individual children (not on household data). This analysis considers the nature of child deprivations at different life stages allowing for a precise measurement of deprivations of children in poverty.

For example, in the case of being deprived in the education dimension, each child can be deprived in the education dimension even when their siblings are not. This realistically precise estimate avoids under- or overestimation compared to studies using household data, as seen in other multidimensional poverty methodologies. The MODA approach thus also allows for demonstrating the differences between boys and girls in a precise manner, compared to other, less precise multidimensional poverty measurement methods.

This publication for Zambia points to issues that are important for policy design and for country-specific programming to better respond to the deprivations faced by children. Child poverty results for Zambia are a baseline for the 2017-2021 National Monitoring and Evaluation framework that will also be used for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) reporting.

In the near future Angola, Cambodia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Libya will publish a child poverty study based on MODA.