CoverPoverty reduction is a national priority for the Government of Eswatini and SPRI Global was happy to support the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD) and UNICEF Eswatini to measure and analyze the complexities of child poverty. The Poverty Reduction Monitoring and Evaluation Division under the MEPD, coordinates programs aimed at promoting inclusive growth resulting in poverty reduction as guided by the country strategy for Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth (2022).

Despite efforts to reduce the prevalence of poverty in the Kingdom of Eswatini, it remains an occurring deprivation that disproportionately affects children. Building an understanding of the multidimensional nature of child poverty is essential for addressing the needs of children through suitable programs and policies. This report provides up to date empirical evidence on the multidimensional nature of child poverty in the country and aims to set the baseline figure for child deprivation and future monitoring of progress in achieving target 1.2 of the Sustainable Developmental Goal 1 aiming at reducing child poverty by at least half by the year 2030. To the extent that child poverty leads to limited opportunities and violation of basic human rights, this report defines child poverty as a vulnerability that encompasses multiple domains of child well-being.

In 2017, the Ministry, in collaboration with UNICEF and with SPRI Global’s support, conducted a child poverty assessment with the purpose of providing empirical evidence on child poverty to inform government efforts in fighting against poverty, particularly among children. The assessment used multidimensional overlapping deprivation methods to determine the level of child poverty in Eswatini. The data was generated from the 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) and the report goes beyond mere deprivation rates and identifies the depth of child poverty by analysing the extent to which the different deprivations are experienced simultaneously. The 2017 child poverty assessment report is the product of collaborative efforts of different institutions. The Ministry of Economic Planning and Development would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the Central Statistical Office (CSO) for providing technical support for the meaningful interpretation of the MICS data, the child poverty assessment technical writing team who provided guidance on the construction of the child deprivation indicators for Eswatini. The team also provided inputs and comments during the drafting and finalization of this report.

This study uses the multiple overlapping deprivation analysis (MODA) methodology to map the multidimensional poverty of children in the country. In order to understand the complexity of child poverty, the approach uses and quantifies children’s vulnerabilities in a holistic manner and measures the multidimensional nature of poverty that leads to the identification of interventions that more accurately meet the needs of children. The analysis was conducted using secondary data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2014. Given that children have different needs at different stages of their childhood, they were divided into four age groups (0-23 months, 24-59 months, 5-14 years and 15-17 years). The dimensions of well-being used by MODA in Eswatini were: nutrition, health, HIV/AIDS, child protection, education, child development, clothing, water, sanitation, housing, and information, communication and technology (ICT). These dimensions of well-being vary according to the different age groups.

Download the full report from UNICEF Eswatini.

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