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. In monetary terms, Guinea is considered one of the poorest countries in Africa. Although its per capita GDP, currently estimated at US$ 532, is slightly above the average for Sub-Saharan Africa (US$ 520), the United Nations Report on Human Development has for several years ranked this country last among some 160 countries. Yet the country is richly endowed with agricultural, mineral and energy resources.
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.
SPRI Global collaborated with UNICEF Guinea on the SitAn, which is an in-depth analysis of the situation of children and women in the country, based on three approaches: equity and human rights approach, life cycle approach and a participatory approach. The study report was based largely on data derived from the MODA analyses.