SPRI Global carried out a comprehensive study of child poverty and deprivations in Benin, working closely with two Beninese consultants under the supervision of a “Comité de pilotage”. The latter was comprised of representatives of a wide array of line ministries and local development actors.
Understanding child poverty and deprivation is key to develop policies that ensure children’s proper development and wellbeing. Analyses often focus on monetary wellbeing, utilizing income or expenditure measures to assess the poverty status of members of a given household. While financial constraints are one of the most important determinants of child deprivation, not all monetary poor children are deprived nor are all deprived children monetary poor. Access to income at the household level may not directly translate into improvements in its members’ wellbeing, especially children, not only because they are not the decision-makers in households (they are not sovereign consumers), but also because their needs are specific and they are not necessarily fulfilled by higher household incomes.
In order to complement traditional income-based measures of poverty with multidimensional deprivation analysis and to generate quality evidence on child poverty and disparities, UNICEF developed the Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA). MODA adopts a holistic definition of child wellbeing, concentrating on the access of children to various goods and services, which are crucial for their survival and development. It recognizes that a child’s experience of deprivations is multi-faceted and interrelated, and that such multiple and overlapping deprivations are more likely to occur, and with greater adverse effects, in socio-economically disadvantaged groups.
The application of the MODA methodology has been at the core of the analysis and supplemented by in-depth documentary reviews. The child poverty and deprivation was informed through the application of MODA to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2014 dataset while a household poverty measurement exercise was carried out using another nationally representative dataset; the Enquête Modulaire Intégrée sur les Conditions de Vie de Ménages (EMICoV) 2014.