In 2015, SPRI Global carried out a multidimensional child poverty study for children in State of Palestine together with UNICEF State of Palestine. The study included an innovative approach for combining MRM data with MICS5 data in order to measure children’s exposure to a harmful living environment and humanitarian access to education in addition to other dimensions of well-being including Nutrition, Health, Child Protection, Water, Housing, and Sanitation. Outputs of the study included a final report, Child Poverty in State of Palestine: A Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis, and a capacity building session together with the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics.
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. 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.