In the beginning of 2021, Social Policy Research Institute (SPRI Global) started a project on multidimensional child poverty in Liberia together with UNICEF Liberia and the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS).

In the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), building an understanding of the nature of child poverty and deprivation is essential to address the needs of children through suitable programs and policies. This study aimed to assess the current situation of children and their well-being in Liberia by: i) identifying the incidence and intensity of deprivation experienced; ii) outlining the profile of the most vulnerable children (e.g. geographical, demographic and socio-economic characteristics); iii) building the research and analytical capacity of LIGSIS and UNICEF in child poverty analysis using the Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) methdology.

Multidimensional child poverty in Liberia was assessed based on the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted by Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) in 2019-2020. However, the future objective is to base child poverty measurements in the country on the Household Income and Expenditure Surveys (HIES). Therefore, SPRI Global provided recommendations on the development of a child specific module that can be added to the HIES.

The project is based upon the principle of capacity bridging and the participative approach, which promotes the active involvement of key partners at the national level to ensure ownership of the findings and joint identification of national priorities and context-specific solutions. Engagement has been ensured through a series of sectoral meetings on the selection of parameters, opportunities to provide feedback on preliminary results and the final report, and through technical capacity building on the MODA methodology and analysis.

SPRI Global visited Liberia in November 2021 to facilitate a technical training on child poverty measurement to professionals from various ministries, government agencies and NGOs. The training introduced the participants to the MODA methodology and provided a technical insight on how to select, define and create child poverty indicators and dimensions using the statistical software STATA.                             

Moreover, participants got hands-on experience in interpreting the key results through Excel exercises, and took parti in group work and panel discussions. At the same time, valuable inputs from the participants enlightened the SPRI Global team on the existing social dynamics in Liberia.