In partnership with the UNICEF country office Kenya and Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), SPRI Global conducted a child poverty research project using Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA). The research project included a qualitative research component in three counties in Kenya in the sectors of Health, Nutrition, Education and WASH, with both service beneficiaries (children and mothers) and providers.
Understanding child poverty and deprivation is key to develop policies that ensure children’s proper development and wellbeing. Analyses often focus solely on monetary well-being, 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 MODA. MODA adopts a holistic definition of child wellbeing, concentrating on the access of children to various goods and services that 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.