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Multi-Dimensional Child Poverty

In Ghana
Multidimensional Child Poverty Report

In Ghana

Ghana’s remarkable economic performance over the past years has helped to reduce the country’s poverty rate in half, from 52.6 to 23.4 percent between 1991 and 2017, becoming the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to meet the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015. Ghana is on track to meet target 1.2.1 of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1: To reduce by at least half the proportion of the population living below the national poverty line by 2030. Despite this progress, 6.8 million people in the country are classified as “poor”, surviving on less than GH¢1,314 per year. This vicious cycle of poverty remains strong in rural areas and in some regions of Ghana.

In order to sustain reductions in poverty rates, there is a need to invest in Ghana’s youthful population. Up to 45 percent (11.4 million) of the Ghana’s total population is below the age of 18. Deliberate policy interventions, aimed at harnessing the demographic dividend will ensure that these children contribute to the country’s growth as well as to its poverty reduction. Creating the best possible environment for children to develop into healthy and productive adults will result in high-quality human capital, necessary for sustainable and inclusive development of the country.

The aim of this study is to understand the complexity of child poverty in Ghana by invesƟgaƟng children’s access to various goods and services crucial for their long-term development. It is also aimed at establishing the baseline for measuring part of target indicator 1.2.2 of the SDGs, which seeks to “reduce by half, the proportion of children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions”. In addition, the profile of the most vulnerable Ghanaian children will be drawn based on various socio-economic, household and geographic characteristics to guide the development of evidence-based policies, programmes and projects to address the specific needs of children.

Child poverty, in this report, is measured by two methods: a multidimensional approach using UNICEF’s Multiple Overlapping DeprivaƟon Analysis (MODA) framework and a monetary poverty approach. For the multidimensional child poverty analysis, data from the Ghana Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2017-2018 are used, while the monetary child poverty analysis employs data from the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) 2016-2017. With the multidimensional approach, child poverty is measured using the dimensions of wellbeing that reflect the needs and rights of Ghanaian children. The dimensions of children’s well-being used are Nutrition, Health, Learning and Development, Child Protection, Water, Sanitation, Housing and Information. A child is considered multidimensionally poor if s/he is simultaneously deprived in at least three of the aforementioned dimensions of well-being. Given that children face different needs across their childhood, the study adopts a life-cycle approach by disaggregating the analysis into four age groups: 0-4, 5-11, 12-14 and 15-17 years. On the other hand, for the monetary poverty approach, a child is considered monetary poor if s/he lives in a household where its members’ consumption is below the national poverty line of of GH¢1,314 per adult equivalent per year.

With just 10 years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and in view of its renewed commitment to the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Ghana is prioritising the reduction of child poverty. This study and report should re-energise practioners to ensure that the basic human rights of children in Ghana are guaranteed.

Download the full report from UNICEF.

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