We are happy to contribute to The International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth’s (IPC-IG) latest Policy in Focus issue, which presents a collection of 15 articles from leading scholars, researchers and policy practitioners, shedding light on the key challenges of promoting social protection programs for children.
Social protection comprises a set of public policy instruments aiming to reduce people’s exposure to risks, assist them in dealing with their consequences and enhance their attitudes, knowledge, skills and material resources so that they can actively contribute to the reduction of risk exposure and better deal with the consequences of bad luck and adverse shocks. Moreover, social protection should be understood as both an investment and an obligation to meet children’s rights. Organisations concerned with the latter, such as UNICEF, have long promoted a universal approach to social protection. Yet, while evidence points to the benefits of universal child grants, there is still much to be discussed in terms of gaps in knowledge. Irrespective of the type of social protection policy being considered, the articles in the latest Policy in Focus issue show that child poverty assessments can play a crucial role in informing the design of programs.
Our article explores how recent insights stemming from multidimensional child poverty research led to specific arguments in favor of child-sensitive social protection and a further elaboration of its focus. Read it now by downloading the report from IPC-IG.
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. 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.
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.
Monday November 12 saw the beginning of Morocco’s first National Conference on Social Protection (Assises Nationales de la Protection Sociale). Its aim was to address the the lack of effectiveness and efficiency of the 120 active social protection programs, and to give the large number of specialists and stakeholders in attendance a forum to discuss concrete recommendations for a major overhaul of social protection in Morocco.
SPRI Global director Chris de Neubourg addressed the plenary session of the meeting and also presented a study by SPRI fellows on mapping Morocco’s social protection system. The study, a collaboration with UNICEF Maroc on the formulation of an integrated vision for the reform of the social protection system and on child poverty, formed the basis for the discourse among the more than 600 participants during the two day session. The study report can now be accessed here.
Participants in the conference, whose work ended on Tuesday evening, called for the adoption of measures to address shortcomings and inconsistencies in social protection and improve social conditions throughout different social strata across the nation. Speakers shed light on the achievements of Morocco in the field of social protection but also examined the issues that must be addressed to improve national protection programs and the social conditions of its citizens.
This first conference on social protection initiated a public discourse between different national and international organizations, economic and social actors, civil society organizations and experts, with a view to developing an integrated and consistent vision of a social protection system that functions as an integral part of the new Moroccan model of development.
Find footage of the inaugural plenary sessions and other content relating to social protection on our YouTube channel.
In 2016, SPRI conducted a monetary & multidimensional poverty analysis among children age 0-17 years in Burundi, in cooperation with UNICEF Burundi. The report is now accessible through UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa.
The indicators used as proxies for capturing the level of poverty among children were contextualized and are specific to Burundi. The study is based on a national household database namely “L’Enquête sur les Conditions de Vies des Ménages” (ECVMB) 2013-2014. An additional analysis was conducted for children below 5 years on data collected by the World Food Programme in Burundi, which included more specific indicators on nutrition and health. Local stakeholders, namely statisticians from the national statistical institute (Institut de Statistiques et d’Etudes Economiques du Burundi), the University of Burundi and several ministries, were also trained to use the MODA methodology in order to conduct multidimensional poverty analysis.
We were 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).
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 Goals achievement 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.
SPRI Global is proud to collaborate with the Department of Sociology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia and BPJS Ketenagakerjaan (Employment Social Security Agency), Indonesia on our ongoing International Summer Course on Social Protection in the Changing Labour Market. The course will run until September 29 in Yogyakarta and is structured in four modules:
- Social protection in a global context,
- Demographic changes and employment,
- Digital economy and young workers,
- Current trends in the sociology of work.
SPRI Global designed and is currently teaching the first week of the course, with the schedule being as follows:
- What is poverty?
- Equity & social inclusion
- Risks facing individuals & households
- Social protection – sustainable development goals, risk management
- Social protection – myths and misconceptions
- Social assistance & targeting
- Simulation exercise on targeting social transfers
- Mapping the Indonesian social protection system
- Multidimensional poverty
- Contributory social protection
- Contributory social protection: The ASEAN & Indonesian context
- Social protection for the informal sector
- Institutional framework of social protection: Integrated models, single registry
- Social protection administration and policy implementation
- Financing social protection: budgeting, costing, creating fiscal space
- Group assignments
- Presentation of assignments
- Closing presentations
SPRI Global recently participated in Economic Policy Research Centre’s #EndChildPoverty18 conference in Kampala, Uganda, presenting research and exchanging knowledge on what works for Africas’s poorest children.
While there has been substantial progress in reducing global poverty in recent years, hundreds of millions of vulnerable children remain trapped in extreme poverty. This is especially the case on the African continent, where children account for the majority and growing proportion of the population. Despite rapid economic growth in several African countries, as well as significant achievements in both development and humanitarian interventions, a staggering number of African children remain vulnerable to extreme levels of deprivation.
Existing challenges notwithstanding, a number of carefully crafted and effectively implemented social policies and programs proved successful in alleviating the burden of child poverty and deprivation. In addition to being vitally important in promoting and protecting children’s rights, these social policies and programs embody the international community’s commitment to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ensuring no one is left behind.
This conference aims to contribute to global efforts to end child poverty by generating key insight on practical actions, programs and social policy interventions that have made a tangible difference in the lives of Africa’s poorest children.
For more information please visit Uganda’s Children Portal for information and studies on children and child poverty: bit.ly/2NnZc9S
Looking at SDG4 ‘Quality Education’ through the eyes of a child: Thank you Nika for sharing your video and reminding us that education is a fundamental human right, and that achieving inclusive and quality education for all is indispensable for the achievement of sustainable development.
This is a message from Nika about her video:
“I’m Nika Keovilay and I’m a thirteen year-old girl who is half Ukranian, half Lao. I live in Vientiane, Laos, which is a beautiful, small country with a unique culture and history. I am currently studying at a bilingual school and I’ll be attending Grade Seven this coming semester.
I created this video as I felt lucky to be able to attend a school and get a proper education. I wish for the same for all Lao children and for all the children in this world. I believe all children should learn new things, enjoy school and be able to have a chance to achieve their dreams. Children must be able to dream who they want to be and more improtantly, be able to accomplish it.
Thank you for watching“
In line with the global development agenda and its recognition of child poverty as a unique condition with its own set of considerations, the Cambodian Government has recognized that child poverty analysis is an important tool for evaluating the impact of its poverty agenda. Using a child lens to assess the challenges of poverty reduction offers key insight into the nature of poverty in Cambodia – who the poor are, why their poverty persists, and how poverty is intergenerationally transmitted. Understanding the current context of child poverty and establishing baselines to assess progress is indispensable to achieving the 2030 SDG targets.
In support of UNICEF Cambodia, we studied child poverty in Cambodia through both the multidimensional and monetary perspective, which supports a more precise measurement and a better understanding of the situation of children in Cambodia. Where the monetary poverty measurement focuses on assessing the average financial means children’s households have available, multidimensional poverty measurement determines whether children’s basic needs are being met independent of income. The separate analysis of these two concepts of poverty allow for a more complete picture of the reality of Cambodian children, and for the identification of the most vulnerable subgroups of children that require specialized policy and programming.
The analysis was conducted using 2014 government data: the Cambodia Socio-Economic Survey (CSES) for monetary poverty and the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey (CDHS) for the multidimensional component.
Full and summary reports available through UNICEF
The Republic of Guinea has committed to achieving target 1.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations member states, to reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions (according to national definitions).
Multidimensional child poverty analysis is an essential tool to evaluate the impact of a government’s poverty agenda. We were happy to support UNICEF Guinea in a Child Poverty Study in Guinea using UNICEF Innocenti’s MODA (Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis) approach. Using their quantitative analysis skills, our team of researchers utilized raw and semi-raw MICS5 data, to inform the multidimensional deprivations faced by children in Guinea.
As part of this assignment, selected members of the Institut National de la Statistique and of the Laboratoire d’Analyses Socio-anthropologiques de Guinée were trained in the conceptual approach adopted for child poverty (including multidimensional poverty analysis) measurement and guided to apply these concepts for the calculation of child poverty related statistics and their analysis for Guinea. The results of this analysis will also allow for update of the country’s SitAn (Situation Analysis), previously realized by SPRI members. Learn about the study, its results and methodology by reading its accompanying summary report (French language) and infographic (French and English language), now available for full download.
Full download: Guinea (MODA) Summary Report