Despite making great strides in transformation and development during the last two decades, South Africa continues to be plagued by poverty and inequality. While being ranked by the World Bank as an upper-middle income country, South Africa is judged by recent UNICEF data to be one of the most unequal societies in the world and its 19 million children bear the brunt of this disparity: A child growing up in the poorest home in South Africa is 17 times more likely to be hungry and 25 times less likely to be covered by medical schemes compared to a child growing up in the wealthiest household.

SPRI Global Director Dr. Chris De Neubourg instructing UNICEF SA and Stats SA Staff

A significant proportion of children live in poverty – 62.1 per cent of children live in households with a per capita income of less than R570 per month. These persistently high levels of inequalities in South Africa make child poverty increasingly complex.

Research is essential in defining this problem, establishing its extent and the processes by which it persists or arises and in informing possible interventions, while also assessing the effectiveness of these policy-oriented solutions. In this capacity, SPRI Global is assisting the national statistics office, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and UNICEF South Africa in analyzing the state and complexity of Child Poverty in South Africa using the Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) framework based on data from the Living Condition Survey collected in 2014-2015 (LCS 2014-2015). The main objective of the study is to measure and monitor the progress in child poverty in the country as per target 1.2 of the Sustainable Development Goal 1.

SPRI Global researchers Nesha Ramful and Lien Bonn with technical staff from UNICEF SA and Stats SA

Technical staff from Stats SA and UNICEF SA have been trained to analyze the depth and extent of child poverty and to build an understanding of the findings in order to guide policy actions of the Government of South Africa in improving the situation of its nation’s children.

Stats SA Headquarters in Pretoria, Gauteng