Situation Analysis of Child Poverty and Deprivation in Uganda
170 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2014 Last revised: 12 Jul 2018
Date Written: July 7, 2014
Poverty is different for children than for adults. This becomes very clear when we listen to children themselves talking about their experiences of poverty, as they do in the companion piece to this report, “The Voices of Children.” In their own way, children have the ability to cut right to the very core of the crucial problems they face, from worrying how a lack of education will erode their futures, to seeing poor health taking their families livelihoods; of how the hunger they face can be devastating, or their how their experience of violence evaporates hope. Using traditional income poverty measures will not adequately capture these experiences of childhood.
The importance of effectively measuring child poverty is underlined by the fact that its impacts are particularly devastating; for children, poverty can last a lifetime. The impacts of poor nutrition, a missed education or poor child health cannot be easily remedied and will change a child’s life chances forever. Further, where child poverty is widespread it can impact on all of society and the economy. As Uganda looks towards middle income status in Vision 2040, ensuring a strong start for Uganda’s children will lay an essential foundation.
Despite the pressing importance of child poverty, there was previously no single measure that captures the poverty children experience in Uganda. Without such a measure policy makers are left either to consider children isolated within separate sectors or use inadequate measures of adult income poverty. Both approaches miss the holistic experience of childhood, and the impacts of child poverty which can be so pernicious. The conceptualization of poverty in terms of children is even more important for Uganda given that about 57% of the total population is under the age of 18, suggesting that development policy should be heavily focused on children. It is for these reasons that the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, supported by UNICEF, commissioned the Economic Policy Research Centre to undertake this analysis. In preparing this report, the research team has adapted an internationally recognised approach to child poverty based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child to the Ugandan context. The methodology is designed to be updated on a regular basis, as new nationally representative data become available.
The objectives of this report are to: (i) develop a set of comprehensive indicators to measure child poverty and disparities in Uganda using an adapted and modified Bristol deprivation approach; (ii) investigate the key determinants of child wellbeing in Uganda; (iii) analyse the policy frameworks associated with the major child indicators to identify gaps and opportunities for policy advocacy; and (iv) draw policy recommendations for addressing child poverty in Uganda.
Keywords: poverty, child, deprivation, nutrition, health, education, water, sanitation, multidimensional analysis
JEL Classification: C13, D30, I10, I20, I30, J10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation