Multi-Dimensional Child Poverty Study

In January of 2017, SPRI Global collaborated with UNICEF Libya on a multi-dimensional child poverty study. The Libya UNICEF office met with the SPRI Global team in Tunis for the project’s first mission, joined by members from the Libyan Ministry of Planning, the Bureau of Statistics and Census Libya and Libyan non-governmental organizations. The aim of the first mission was to introduce the Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) methodology to the Libyan participants and discuss an action plan to conduct the analysis. For the MODA study, data from the Libyan PAPFAM 2014 were used, including the household and reproductive health surveys.

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.

The MODA analysis included indicators in the nutrition/physical development, health, early childhood development, education, child protection, water, sanitation, housing and information dimensions. For the project’s second mission, selected members from the Libyan Ministry of Planning and the Bureau of Statistics and Census Libya will be trained in STATA analysis for MODA, to ensure local ownership of the results and to support the process of replicating the analysis in the future. The second mission will also involve a discussion of preliminary results. This will be followed by a dissemination workshop of the outcome of the MODA study.

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