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A Multidimensional Approach to Measuring Child Poverty


  • Sharmila Kurukulasuriya
  • Solrun Engilbertsdottir

    (Division of Policy and Practice,UNICEF)


There is a growing consensus that children experience poverty in ways that are different from adults; and looking at child poverty through an income-consumption lens only is inadequate. The 2005 State of the World’s Children presented the following definition of child poverty: “Children living in poverty experience deprivation of the material, spiritual and emotional resources needed to survive, develop and thrive, leaving them unable to enjoy their rights, achieve their full potential or participate as full and equal members of society”. Using evidence from UNICEF’s ongoing Global Study on Child Poverty in Disparities, this Brief illustrates the importance of looking beyond traditional methods of measuring poverty based on income or consumption levels, and emphasizes the importance of seeking out the multidimensional face of child poverty. This approach further recognizes that the method used in depicting child poverty is crucial to the policy design and implementation of interventions that address children’s needs, especially among the most deprived.

Suggested Citation

  • Sharmila Kurukulasuriya & Solrun Engilbertsdottir, 2011. "A Multidimensional Approach to Measuring Child Poverty," Working briefs 1101, UNICEF, Division of Policy and Strategy.
  • Handle: RePEc:uce:wbrief:1101

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Franziska Gassmann, 2011. "Protecting Vulnerable Families in Central Asia: Poverty, vulnerability and the impact of the economic crisis," Papers inwopa639, Innocenti Working Papers.
    2. Gemechu Ayana Aga & Christian Eigen-Zucchi & Sonia Plaza & Ani Rudra Silwal, 2013. "Migration and Development Brief, No. 20," World Bank Other Operational Studies 17020, The World Bank.
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    More about this item


    child poverty; child disparities; policy design; measuring poverty; State of the World’s Children; Global Study on Child Poverty;

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