Orphanhood and the Living Arrangements of Children in Sub-Saharan Africa

40 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Kathleen Beegle

Kathleen Beegle

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Deon Filmer

World Bank; World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Andrew Stokes

Johns Hopkins University

Lucia Tiererova

Johns Hopkins University

Date Written: March 1, 2009

Abstract

Increasing adult mortality due to HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa raises considerable concerns about the welfare of surviving children. Studies have found substantial variability across countries in the negative impacts of orphanhood on child health and education. One hypothesis for this variability is the resilience of the extended family network in some countries to care for orphans-networks under increasing pressure by the sheer number of orphans in many settings. Using household survey data from 21 countries in Africa, this study examines trends in orphanhood and living arrangements, and the links between the two. The findings confirm that orphanhood is increasing, although not all countries are experiencing rapid rises. In many countries, there has been a shift toward grandparents taking on increased childcare responsibility-especially where orphan rates are growing rapidly. This suggests some merit to the claim that the extended network is narrowing, focusing on grandparents who are older and may be less able to financially support orphans than working-age adults. However there are also changes in childcare patterns in countries with stable orphan rates or low HIV prevalence. This suggests future work on living arrangements should not exclude low HIV/AIDS prevalence countries, and explanations for changes should include a broader set of factors.

Keywords: Street Children, HIV AIDS, Youth and Governance, Primary Education, Population Policies

Suggested Citation

Beegle, Kathleen and Filmer, Deon and Stokes, Andrew and Tiererova, Lucia, Orphanhood and the Living Arrangements of Children in Sub-Saharan Africa (March 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4889, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1372966

Kathleen Beegle (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/kbeegle

Deon Filmer

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://go.worldbank.org/MRWPOHRQJ0

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Andrew Stokes

Johns Hopkins University ( email )

Baltimore, MD 20036-1984
United States

Lucia Tiererova

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD 20036-1984
United States

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