From November 2-4, 2017 our team participated in the APPAM (Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management) conference in Chicago, themed “Measurement Matters: Better Data for Better Decisions”. It was especially interesting to engage in discussions about poverty measurement with fellow research colleagues and policy-makers of various backgrounds.
We gave two presentations at the conference: 1. “Improving measurement of children’s well-being: Lifecycle needs and context in focus”; and 2. “Child poverty measurement and monitoring in the context of SDGs 1.1 and 1.2”.
The first research paper assesses the adequacy of the most commonly used surveys for measurement of multidimensional child poverty and deprivation in middle-income countries. We specifically analyze the compatibility of indicators available in MICS, DHS, and other household and child and youth surveys in Thailand, Morocco, and Kosovo with these countries’ contexts and life-cycle needs of children depending on their age.
In the second paper, we compare different multidimensional child poverty methodologies in the context of SDG 1.1 and 1.2 measurement. The paper focuses especially on target 1.2 and establishing an official measure of multidimensional child poverty that is child-centered, uses a life-cycle approach, and is contextualized.
On October 10, 2017, a policy workshop took place in Ezulwini, Swaziland, where SPRI team members – Nesha Ramful, Liên Boon and Victor Cebotari, in partnership with colleagues from the Ministry of Economic Planning & Development, and UNICEF, discussed and validated the final results of the country’s Multidimensional Child Poverty analysis. The audience of the workshop consisted of senior officials from key governmental institutions in Swaziland. Together, SPRI and its partners reflected on the results and discussed implications for policy and practice. The workshop fueled the interest and commitment from all participants to take further actions and reduce the multidimensional child poverty in Swaziland according to the Sustainable Development Goal 1.2.
In addition to carrying out the child multidimensional poverty analysis for Morocco, we trained a young and dynamic team, from the ONDH (Observatoire National du Développement Humain), selected by UNICEF to carry out future research using MODA.
To start with, the concepts of child poverty and its measurement was introduced. The participants to the training got hold of child poverty analysis basics and got well acquainted with the implications of parameter selection. This proved to be essential for the betterment of future child poverty measurement and analysis exercises in Morocco. As the ONDH designs and collects data for a nationally representative panel survey, their now deepened knowledge of child indicators will allow the adaptation of future data collection instruments to the requirements of the MODA method.
The second round of training saw the application of the MODA method using a hands-on approach. The training was held on 5 days and participants have been introduced to the basics of the Stata software. Afterwards, we applied the MODA to a real case: the Moroccan one! Participants were given the choice to work in groups or alone, catering for the differing abilities and needs of each of them.
Together we organised and tested variables used as analysis parameters. The calculations were then carried out firstly using an Excel simulation exercise, which allowed the consequences of each manipulation to be easily seen, and secondly, on the actual dataset. By the end of the training session, participants had calculated the percentage of poor children for each dimension of child well-being, the percentage of children suffering from simultaneous deprivations, and other indices including the Multidimensional Child Poverty Rate often measured for the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goal 1.2.
This mission also provided the occasion for the presentation of preliminary results and discussion of their implications with UNICEF and ONDH.
Morocco has a rich history and culture, however, children of the country still face obstacles to their well-being. Despite the country’s engagement to promote the realisation of children’s rights and its recently reasserted commitment to poverty alleviation there are too often instances where the neediest are left behind. Child conditions also differ significantly depending on their geographical location, sex, and socio economic status. Our work helped making visible the shortcomings of each Moroccan child, as EACH of them count.