Huge optimism surrounded the global commitment at the turn of the
century to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Many of the goals
related to children and childhood, including ending poverty and hunger,
expanding enrolment in primary education, and improving access to clean
water and sanitation. If we can get things right at the start of a
child’s life, the world agreed, we have a chance to stop poverty and
inequality being passed down through the generations.
During 2015, Young Lives have been taking stock of the achievements and
lessons learned since the adoption of the MDGs, in the run-up to the new
Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
Using data gathered from 12,000 children and their families over the
timeframe of the MDGs, and in children’s own words where possible, this
report from Young Lives looks beyond the ‘big data’ to see what has
changed in the reality of children’s lives in the context of the shifts
in national policy, priorities and outcomes related to the MDGs.
There have been some important advances, with a reduction in childhood
poverty and rise in essential services across many developing countries.
However, average numbers cannot tell the whole story; the figures hide
discrepancies between countries, as well as between children within
countries, and gaps in quality and inclusiveness.
You can also download related infographics from our data visualisation page.
Feeny, E.; Knowles, C. Children of the Millennium: Growing Up with the MDGs. Young Lives, Oxford, UK (2015) 40 pp. ISBN 978-1-909403-59-8