Understanding how poverty and inequalities impact on children is the
major goal of Young Lives, a unique longitudinal, mixed-methods research
and policy study. We are tracking two cohorts of 12,000 children
growing-up in Ethiopia, the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP) India, Peru and
Vietnam. In this paper we offer eight key research messages, focusing
1. How inequalities interact in their impact on children’s development,
and the vulnerability of the most disadvantaged households.
2. The ways inequalities rapidly undermine the development of human
3. How gender differences interconnect with other inequalities, but do
not always advantage boys in Young Lives countries.
4. The links between poverty, early ‘stunting’, and later outcomes,
including psycho--social functioning, as well as emerging evidence that
some children may recover.
5. Inequalities that open up during the later years of childhood, linked
to transitions around leaving school, working, and anticipating marriage
6. Children’s own perceptions of poverty and inequality, as these shape
their well--being and long--term prospects.
7. Evidence of the growing significance of education, including the ways
school systems can increase as well as reduce inequalities.
8. The potential of social protection programmes in poverty alleviation.
We conclude that since inequalities are multidimensional, so too must be
the response. Equitable growth policies, education and health services,
underpinned by effective social protection, all have a role to play.
Woodhead, M.; Dornan, P.; Murray, H. What Inequality Means for Children: Evidence from Young Lives. (2012) 38 pp.
What Inequality Means for Children: Evidence from Young Lives