Globally children are the largest age group affected by poverty and deprivation. This has both severe and lifelong consequences for individuals, households, communities and countries. In order to break national and global patterns of the transmission of inequality and poverty, childhood is the place to start.
The DFID funded Young Lives Programme, based at Oxford University, is a unique international study, collecting data on poverty over a 15 year period from some 12,000 children. Two cohorts of children, born in 1994-95 and 2001-02, are participating in the study in Ethiopia, India (Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam.
In Vietnam, the programme took a focus on education by introducing a school survey to look at the teaching and facilities at the schools children attended. The findings from this survey identified a variety of strengths in the system and lessons that can applied in other countries, particularly in relation to the causes of underachievement amongst ethnic minority groups. Since their publication, Young Lives findings have been presented to the Vietnamese Ministry of Education, who have used the research to inform their policies.