Despite considerable progress, children in Lao PDR continue to experience significant levels of deprivation. Only 12 per cent of children experience no deprivation at all, while about 70 per cent of children under 18 years of age suffer at least two deprivations in the areas of nutrition, health, education, Early Childhood Development (ECD), child protection, water, sanitation, housing and information. 50 per cent of children are suffering from 3 or more deprivations at the same time.

We were thus happy to support UNICEF Lao PDR, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the National Institute for Economic Research, line ministries, and other national partners, in the design and implementation of a multidimensional study on child well-being in Lao PDR. This study uses the latest Lao Social Indicator Survey collected in 2017 (LSIS II) to analyse the situation of child well-being and multidimensional poverty in Laos, following up on a similar study conducted in 2014 and published in 2015, using a previous version of the Lao Social Indicator Survey (LSIS I).

SPRI Global Director Dr. Chris De Neubourg presenting MODA

Using UNICEF Innocenti’s Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) toolbox, the study provides a comprehensive analysis of the state of child well-being at the national and sub-national levels. The research is intended to inform progress on children in Laos as a primary component of the country’s ambitions for human development, graduation from Least Developed Countries status, Sustainable Development Goalsachievement and poverty reduction while leaving no one behind. We are happy to continue our work with UNICEF Lao and national partners to complete this study by the end of 2018, following our current study validation and capacity building workshops in Vientiane.

Facing numerous deprivations during childhood and even adolescence can have irreversible effects on the productivity and social participation of those children. Alleviating the severity of deprivation among these children today will contribute enormously towards the economic growth and overall productivity level of the country for a better and more prosperous Lao PDR.