Assessment of the Current Situation of Children and Their Wellbeing

As commissioned by UNICEF Suriname, the Social Policy Research Institute (SPRI Global) is carrying out an assessment of the current situation of children and their well-being in Suriname to identify the profile of the most vulnerable children (e.g. geographical, demographic and socio-economic characteristics) and measure the intensity of deprivation experienced. In addition, the project has the objective to map the social protection system of the country to analyse if and how existing social programs address children’s multiple deprivations, identify the gaps and formulate recommendations in terms of legislation, programs and schemes to improve the Social Protection systems and social programs.

Based on a July 2018 census, the estimated average population of Suriname is 575,763, and the current adolescent population is around 17%. Two thirds of the population live in and around greater Paramaribo, and ensuring accessibility and quality of services in sparsely populated rural and interior areas is a challenge. While data is still lacking, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to exacerbate inequality, with income inequality expected to increase owing to significant loss of jobs and livelihoods. There has been a major loss of learning due to school closures, with many children, especially in rural and interior areas, victims of the digital divide, unable to access online learning and in danger of falling further behind.

The key research questions are as follows:

  • What is the level of deprivation across different dimensions for children in Suriname, by age group
  • What are the geographic and socio-economic characteristics of deprived children?
  • Which dimensions and sub-groups of the population contribute the most to the deprivation of children?
  • What are the aspects of inequality in terms dimensional deprivations experienced by each child
  • What is the relationship between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and child poverty?
  • What are the policy implications and recommendations?
  • To what extent do existing social programs address children’s multiple deprivations?
  • What are the remaining gaps?

The expected outcomes include:

I) an inception report elaborating the theoretical framework, methodology, timelines, and proposed structure of the final report;

II) an N-MODA report on child poverty in Surinam;

III) a report on the social protection system using The Core Diagnostic Instrument (CODI) methodology; and

IV) 10 County Profiles with policy recommendations. Subsequently, this study will provide evidence to support the prioritization of children’s needs in the national Development Plans and budgets.

SPRI is currently reviewing relevant documents and will apply the Multiple Overlapping Deprivations Analysis (MODA) approach to conduct a first national multidimensional child poverty analysis in Suriname by using the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2018 data. At a later stage, interviews with key stakeholders will be carried out in country to better understand the existing social protection system.

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