CHILD POVERTY IN LESOTHO
Understanding the Extent of Multiple Overlapping Deprivation
Like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Lesotho faces significant challenges related to persistent poverty, poor outcomes and hindered development. In January 2016, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into effect to focus on strategic areas of development and to provide support for policymaking in achieving national development plans and policies. One strategic area of development is the alleviation of child poverty, which is reflected in SDG1, Target 1.2, aimed at reducing at least by half, by 2030, the proportion of children, men, and women living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.
Partnering with UNICEF Lesotho, SPRI Global was happy to support the agenda of the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho by assessing the situation of its children. Assessing the current situation of children in Lesotho establishes the empirical threshold for measuring and monitoring the progress towards achieving the SDG 1, Target 1.2, and prepares the relevant policy recommendations that aim at achieving this target by 2030. This study builds on the assumption that understanding the complexity of child poverty and children’s deprivation is essential to addressing the needs of children through suitable programs and policies.
Therefore, this report aims to analyze the extent and characteristics of children’s deprivations and the profiles of the children suffering from deprivation in Lesotho, and to inform equity-based policy responses. The complexity of child poverty in Lesotho is analyzed through UNICEF’s Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) methodology. This methodology was explicitly designed to holistically approach and quantify children’s poverty to help identify its multidimensional nature and to support the identification of interventions that more accurately meet the needs of children.
Specifically, MODA identifies the type, level and overlaps of deprivations in the areas of nutrition, HIV/AIDS, health, housing, protection against violence, sanitation, water, education, information, and registration. In addition, MODA uses profiling variables to describe the characteristics of the most vulnerable children in Lesotho. In addition, a Wealth Index is used to map wealth among children living in households in Lesotho as a profiling indicator and to measure the overlap between monetary poverty and multidimensional deprivation in the country.
The analysis is based on data from the 2014 Lesotho Demographic and Health Survey (MOH and ICF International, 2016). To improve the capture of children’s deprivation in relation to their developmental stage, the analysis splits children into four age groups: 0–23 months, 24–59 months, 5–12 years, and 13–17 years. A section detailing the methodology of this study is presented next. A section presenting the results follows that. Conclusions and policy recommendations sum up the report.
Download the full report from UNICEF Lesotho.