The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. It provides a forum in which governments can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems, and drawing on the evidence-base the OECD recommends policies designed to improve the quality of people's lives – Better Policies for Better Lives.

Family and child policies are central to the OECD’s work on social policies. In 2005, Social Policy Ministers called on the OECD to identify which interventions alleviate and will contribute to the eventual eradication of child poverty, break the cycle of inter-generational deprivation, and develop the capacity of children to make successful transitions through the life course.

The OECD has a proven track record in measurement and analysis of child well-being and child development across a range of policy dimensions. For example, data on early childhood education and care have been collected since 1997, supported by a variety of important analytical publications such as the Starting Strong series (since 2001), the Babies and Bosses series (since 2002), Doing Better for Children (2009) and the 2011 volume Doing Better for Families. The OECD Better Life Initiative, launched in 2011, has more recently led to the inclusion of a dedicated chapter on child well-being (How is Life for Children?) in the publication How's Life? 2015

In the coming years (2017/18) the OECD will focus even more on child well-being and strengthening the evidence base by developing an online Child Well-Being Portal. It will also carry out a cross-national analysis of determining factors of child poverty and their linkages with other aspects of material deprivation and child outcomes, and consider pertinent policy responses. Lastly, the PISA 2018 Global Competence assessment and a new project on Education for Social Progress are also helping to better understand the skills that children should acquire to contribute to the development of an open-minded society.


OECD Work on Families & Children  / OECD Family Database / OECD Publications, working papers, background briefs on Families and Children