Child Poverty in South Africa

A Mulltiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis
Child Poverty in South Africa

A Mulltiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis

Despite making great strides in economic 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 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) research1 to be one of the most unequal societies in the world and its 19 million children bear the brunt of this disparity. 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.

This report, the result of a joint collaborative effort between Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), Social Policy Research Institute (SPRI Global) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) South Africa, measures multidimensional and money-metric poverty among children in South Africa. It also explores the relationship between both poverty measurements and identifies the demographic, socioeconomic and geographical characteristics of multidimensionally poor children. In particular, the findings of the report contribute to efforts by the Government of South Africa to monitor the country’s progress in achieving SDG targets 1.1 and 1.2.

UNICEF’s Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) methodology is employed to measure multidimensional child poverty in the study. The MODA methodology applies child rights and life cycle approaches by looking at children’s basic needs across several dimensions and at different stages in life. The methodology is underpinned by international and national legal and policy documents including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The selection and definition of parameters for the MODA was carried out through a participatory process involving a myriad of stakeholders and institutions in South Africa.

The analysis uses data from the Living Condition Survey (2015) and focusses on the following dimensions of child well-being: nutrition, health, child development, education, child protection, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), housing and information. A child is considered multidimensionally poor if she/he is deprived in at least three dimensions out of the seven analysed

Download the full report from Stats SA.

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