The Young Lives animation: Tracing the consequences of child poverty

We are delighted to share the Young Lives animation 'Tracing the consequences of child poverty'. The animation offers an overview of our longitudinal study of child poverty across four countries, over 15 years, with 12,000 children. 

It captures some of the key study findings and implications for policy and programming to explore how best to secure and sustain healthy development for children growing up in poverty around the world. Please find the animation below and on our YouTube channel, and engage in the virtual conversation on Twitter @yloxford with #YLPoverty and #tracingtheconsequences 

Young Lives child poverty conference captures 'the story of the first part of this century'

Submitted by remote on Mon, 08/13/2018 - 09:54

On Wednesday 27th June, more than 100 researchers, policymakers and practitioners joined the Young Lives team at the 'Young Lives, child poverty and lessons for the SDGs' conference held at the British Academy in London to mark the first 15 years of the study, to share and debate findings so far, and to help outline what governments and donors can do to address the disadvantages children face. 

Poverty and Intergenerational Change: Preliminary Findings from the Round 5 Survey in Ethiopia

Poverty and inequality
Country report
Round 5 Fact Sheets

Round 5 Longitudinal Poverty and Intergenerational Change Fact Sheet

This fact sheet presents findings from the fifth round of the Young Lives survey of  children in Ethiopia in 2016. Young Lives is  a longitudinal study of childhood poverty  that has followed two cohorts of children born seven years apart since 2002. This fact sheet reports on trends in household living standards – measured by a wealth index – and movement into and out of poverty for the Younger Cohort households in 2016 (Round 5 survey) compared to 2002 (Round 1 survey). It also reports on intergenerational mobility between parents and children in terms of education and health for the Older Cohort (aged 22 in 2016). There have been noticeable movements into and out of poverty over time. Of the 1,741 Younger Cohort households interviewed in all five rounds, 584 (33%) were in the bottom tercile (i.e. poor) in 2002, but only 12% of these households have been persistently in the bottom wealth tercile over the five rounds from 2002 to 2016.

Key Findings:

  • Indices of the wealth index (housing quality, access to services, and ownership of consumer durables) improved significantly between 2002 and 2016. The main driver was ownership of consumer durables which more than doubled over that period. Although the gap in terms of wealth between urban and rural areas decreased, in 2016 the levels of wealth index in the rural sites are still low compared to the urban sites.

  • Access to services (clean drinking water, sanitation, and electricity) has also improved. However, regional disparities persist with greater access to these services for urban households.

  • Environmental and economic shocks were tracked across the period; despite a decreasing trend, rural households were more vulnerable to environmental shocks and urban households slightly more vulnerable to economic shocks. In 2009 almost all households were exposed to at least one economic shock, probably due to higher inflation.

  • There has been noticeable intergenerational progress in attaining higher school grades. 24% of 22-year-olds reached post-secondary education compared to 6% of their parents, with the greatest improvements for better-off households and those in urban sites.

Beyond Monetary Poverty Analysis: The Dynamics of Multidimensional Child Poverty in Developing Countries

Poverty and inequality
Journal Article

This article investigates transitions in monetary and multidimensional poverty using the 2006 and 2009 Young Lives surveys in Ethiopia, India, Peru, and Vietnam. While the headcount ratio in both measures of poverty decreases over time, author Hoolda Kim finds that there is only a small overlap between the groups in monetary and multidimensional poverty in either or both waves. Kim also notes that children remaining in monetary poverty are more likely to stay in multidimensional poverty. However, children escaping from monetary poverty do not always exit from multidimensional poverty. The results suggest the need to go beyond traditional monetary poverty indicators to understand and monitor poverty dynamics among children.

Access the article here.

Heterogeneity in the impact of drought on child human capital - evidence from Ethiopia

Poverty and inequality
Poverty and shocks
Human capital
Student paper

Children in the developing world are routinely exposed to drought shocks and other climatic hazards. Such shocks can have lasting effects in adulthood if they affect investments in child human capital. In this study, I investigate the impact of two recent episodes of drought in Ethiopia on two measures of cognitive outcomes: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) scores and Mathematics Test scores. I use data from the Young Lives study on children followed at ages 8-10 and 12-14. Using both panel data and cross-sectional estimation techniques, I test for differences in drought impact by cognitive skill and by age. I also explore the channels of drought impact by estimating separate equations for the effect of drought on child anthropometry, enrolment and child’s time allocated to different activities. Finally, I test for heterogeneity in drought impacts by investigating variations in shock-coping mechanisms among different demographic groups.

The evidence suggests that drought affects cognitive skills differently – quantitative skills appear to be affected more adversely. However, these differences become less pronounced as children grow older. Broadly, cognitive skills are more likely to be affected adversely at adolescence than at the younger age of 8-10. Adjustments in time spent at school are a major channel affecting cognitive scores; however, evidence on the role of anthropometry and enrolment is much weaker. In terms of heterogeneity, for households specializing predominantly in agriculture, cognitive scores are less adversely affected during drought episodes. Cognitive outcomes are also disproportionately affected for male children, especially first-borns, who fare the worst. On the policy front, failing to take the vulnerability of specific demographic groups into account may translate to deepening poverty traps. Results also suggest that children’s aspirations have the potential to play a major role in buffering the impact of drought, however this needs further exploration.

International Conference: Putting children first: Identifying solutions & taking action to tackle poverty & inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa

Addis Ababa

This three-day international conference hosted by the Ethiopian Centre for Child Research, Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP), The Impact Initiative at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty, including African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), Save the Children, UNICEF and Young Lives.

The conference aims to engage policy makers, practitioners and researchers in identifying solutions for fighting child poverty and inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa, and inspiring action towards change. The conference offers a platform for bridging divides across sectors, disciplines and policy, practice and research.

 
credit:DFID

Dynamics of multi-dimensional poverty among children in Ethiopia

Tassew Woldehanna
Poverty and inequality
Working paper

This paper from the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) uses evidence from Young Lives to look at multidimensional poverty in Ethiopia, available here.

The authors explore the study's evidence that higher human capital endowment reduces the probability of transient poverty or chronic poverty. Moreover, children coming from a household that has experienced illness of a member were also found to have greater probability of being in the two poverty transition categories. The results of the study indicate there should be a focus on the household human capital endowment, particularly education, which is found to reduce children’s experience of overlapping deprivations and the persistence of poverty.

They call for a long-term plan to increase the education endowment of households to help improve children’s wellbeing as well as increased access to insurance schemes to curb the impact of socioeconomic shocks on children living in poverty.

Human capital growth and poverty: Evidence from Ethiopia and Peru

Poverty and inequality
Human capital
Journal Article

In this article the authors use data from Young Lives in Ethiopia and Peru to estimate the production functions of human capital from age 1 to age 15. They characterize the nature of persistence and dynamic complementarities between two components of human capital: health and cognition. They also explore the implications of different functional form assumptions for the production functions. They find that more able and higher income parents invest more, particularly at younger ages when investments have the greatest impacts. These differences in investments by parental income lead to large gaps in inequality by age 8 that persist through age 15.

Household food group expenditure patterns are associated with child anthropometry at ages 5, 8 & 12 years in Ethiopia, India, Peru & Vietnam

Mary Penny
Poverty and inequality
Nutrition
Journal Article

Population-level analysis of dietary influences on nutritional status is challenging in part due to limitations in dietary intake data. Household expenditure surveys, covering recent household expenditures and including key food groups, are routinely conducted in low- and middle-income countries. These data may help identify patterns of food expenditure that relate to child growth.

Objectives

We investigated the relationship between household food expenditures and child growth using factor analysis.

Methods

We used data on 6993 children from Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam at ages 5, 8 and 12y from the Young Lives cohort. We compared associations between household food expenditures and child growth (height-for-age z scores, HAZ; body mass index-for-age z scores, BMI-Z) using total household food expenditures and the “household food group expenditure index” (HFGEI) extracted from household expenditures with factor analysis on the seven food groups in the child dietary diversity scale, controlling for total food expenditures, child dietary diversity, data collection round, rural/urban residence and child sex. We used the HFGEI to capture households’ allocations of their finances across food groups in the context of local food pricing, availability and preferences

Results

The HFGEI was associated with significant increases in child HAZ in Ethiopia (0.07), India (0.14), and Vietnam (0.07) after adjusting for all control variables. Total food expenditures remained significantly associated with increases in BMI-Z for India (0.15), Peru (0.11) and Vietnam (0.06) after adjusting for study round, HFGEI, dietary diversity, rural residence, and whether the child was female. Dietary diversity was inversely associated with BMI-Z in India and Peru. Mean dietary diversity increased from age 5y to 8y and decreased from age 8y to 12y in all countries.

Conclusion

Household food expenditure data provide insights into household food purchasing patterns that significantly predict HAZ and BMI-Z. Including food expenditure patterns data in analyses may yield important information about child nutritional status and linear growth.

Keywords

 Household food expenditures; Child growth; Weight gain; Longitudinal cohort study; Household food purchasing patterns

 

Download Household food group expenditure patterns are associated with child anthropometry at ages 5, 8 and 12 years in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam Debbie L. Humphries, Kirk A. Dearden, Benjamin T. Crookston, Tassew Woldehanna, Mary E. Penny, Jere R. Behrman.

Call for Papers:Putting children first: Identifying solutions & taking action to tackle poverty & inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa

Addis Ababa

This three-day international conference hosted by the Ethiopian Centre for Child Research, Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP), The Impact Initiative at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty, including African Child Policy Forum (ACPF), Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP), Save the Children, UNICEF and Young Lives.

The conference aims to engage policy makers, practitioners and researchers in identifying solutions for fighting child poverty and inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa, and inspiring action towards change. The conference offers a platform for bridging divides across sectors, disciplines and policy, practice and research.

We would like to invite proposals on the following themes:

1) “Setting the scene: Who and where are the poor children?” This theme aims to provide insight into the plight of overlooked children, to strengthen data collection and measurement efforts to ensure that no child is overlooked in the future.
2) “Child-sensitive social protection: Making social protection work for children”. This theme aims to promote a better understanding of how social protection can be improved to help children, including links to services and the adoption of more child-oriented approaches.
3) “Ensuring access to basic services for all: Reaching the poorest and most marginalised children”. This theme aims to gain insight into how access to services can be secured for the most excluded and marginalised, including views on how to remove specific barriers and involve a social workforce and community-based mechanisms.
4) “Supporting secure transitions to adulthood”. This theme aims to explore how the ‘youth bulge’ can be considered a ‘demographic dividend’ and how young people can be supported in the transition to adulthood with regard to education, work, family and aspirations.

Proposals can consist of traditional paper presentations, but we also encourage innovative and interactive modes of engagement with research and policy in the respective themes.

Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses and insurance. A limited number of travel grants are available.

Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: 16 April 2017

The abstract must not exceed 500 words (one page) and must include: the title of the proposed submission, a presentation of the subject and mode of engagement, the central argument, and key references. A CV no longer than one page must also be submitted, including a list of recent publications. The abstract and CV must be submitted electronically at the University of Bergen, follow this link to it: http://bit.ly/2m2xjTW. 

Committee will notify accepted participants of their selection by 15 May 2017 with guidelines for the format of the final submission (research paper or other format depending on proposed engagement) to be submitted by 25 September 2017.

 

Photo: DFID/Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0