Child poverty is a ‘multidimensional’ phenomenon

The importance of understanding child poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon is highlighted in a new report from UNICEF, Child Poverty and Inequality: New Perspectives. The report argues that as long as policy debates focus solely on income poverty, children and their priorities will be overlooked, and the battle to end the cycle of poverty will be undermined.

The report brings together a series of expert contributions on how and where children globally are experiencing poverty, and on the kind of policy responses that would structurally address their different deprivations.

Although an adult may fall into poverty temporarily, the report suggests that a child rarely gets a second chance – falling into poverty in childhood can last a lifetime. Child poverty not only threatens the individual child, it is also likely to be passed on to future generations.

Separate chapters in the report:

  • Discuss the idea that child poverty differs from adult poverty, and explain why it should be measured differently – providing examples of some initiatives that use multidimensional approaches.
  • Discuss a methodology for multidimensional poverty measurement, and how it could be used to inform policy. This methodology formed the basis for the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) – developed in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and the United Nations.
  • Demonstrate how a multidimensional approach is an essential supplement to the traditional income approach to poverty, and how such multidimensional child poverty measures can inform child-friendly policies – drawing on the groundbreaking model developed by Bristol University in 2003.

Source: Isabel Ortiz, Louise Moreira Daniels and Solrun Engilbertsdottir (eds), Child Poverty and Inequality: New Perspectives, UNICEF
Link: Report