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DFID research: Young Lives: New publication on Global child poverty and well-being

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Young Lives: New publication on Global child poverty and well-being.

A new book published earlier this month by the Young Lives research programme, provides evidence that economic growth itself will not solve the problems associated with poverty in childhood, and in some instances can accentuate inequalities.  The findings, gathered from a longitudinal study of children in four countries since 2000, are published in a new book entitled ‘Global Child Poverty and Well-being: Measurement, Concepts, Policy and Action’.

Edited by Alberto Minujin and Shailen Nandy, this book brings together theoretical, methodological and policy-relevant contributions from leading researchers on international child poverty with the aim of changing policy, action and research.

The book reports on research being done around the world, with national case studies showing the extent and nature of child poverty in countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Congo Brazzaville, Haiti, Iran, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania and Vietnam. Child poverty in rich countries is also examined, with work from the US, EU and UK.

A chapter by Jo Boyden, Abby Hardgrove and Caroline Knowles outlines some early findings from Young Lives concerning trends in child welfare and the dynamics of child poverty, in particular looking at how poverty is transmitted across generations. Based on data collected when the children were aged 5 and 12, they conclude that economic growth itself will not solve the problems associated with poverty in childhood, and in some instances can accentuate inequalities. They also conclude that the experience of deprivations in childhood cast a very long shadow for children as they grow and develop, and that properly designed social policies can have a protective effect against economic shocks (such as the global financial crisis).

Young Lives is a unique international study of childhood poverty following the changing lives of 12,000 children and has been core-funded by DFID since 2001.

Young Lives aims to both improve understanding of the causes and consequences of childhood poverty and to examine how policies affect children’s well-being and inform the development and implementation of future policies and practices that will reduce childhood poverty.

For further information on this project and publication visit the Young Lives site.