Overview: a world free from child poverty

While there is great diversity in the almost 200 countries in which children live, there is much about children and their childhoods that are universal: in almost every country in the world – richer countries and poorer – children are more likely to be living in poverty than adults, and everywhere their particular life stage makes them more vulnerable to its devastating effects.

This chapter includes:

- Foreword
- Preface
- Table of Contents
- Overview

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Milestone 1: Building a national pathway to end child poverty

A number of countries are not currently prioritizing child poverty and not producing national child poverty measures. Convening stakeholders to share information about child poverty and its responses can be an important step in understanding how, and indeed if, to move forward, and what a national pathway to achieving the SDGs on child poverty might look like.

Milestone 1 includes:

  • Building a team: who could join and how they can be involved
  • Taking stock: does an increased national focus on child poverty make sense?
  • Developing a national pathway to address child poverty

Download Milestone 1: Building a national pathway to end child poverty here.

Milestone 2: Measuring child poverty

Measurement is central. Without knowing how many children are living in poverty, we cannot know how we are progressing to the goal, or the impacts of particularly policies and programmes on child poverty. Technically measuring child poverty is not difficult, yet there can be a number of options that can confuse and it does require some particular statistical expertise.

Milestone 2 includes:

  • Understanding what is available (and not) to measure child poverty
  • Selecting the most appropriate child poverty measures (for now and for the future) 
  • Producing child poverty rates
  • Country examples

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Milestone 3: Putting child poverty on the map: child poverty advocacy

Child poverty has been shown in many contexts to resonate with both public and decision makers as a priority issue. Broad advocacy and communication on results of child poverty measurement can raise the issue up national political agendas and raise awareness in specific and influential audience groups. Crucially it can begin the conversation on policy and programmatic solutions.

Milestone 3 includes:

  • Identifying advocacy objectives and indicators
  • Developing clear messages for child poverty using key data and information
  • Country approaches to putting child poverty on the map

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Milestone 4: Reducing child poverty through policy and programme change

Child poverty analysis can directly influence policies and programmes. For example, social protection programmes can be targeted for the poorest children; budgetary process can respond to child poverty levels; and child poverty can be explicitly included in legislation or national plans. The guide will highlight approaches that have led to policies and programmes to reduce child poverty.

Milestone 4 includes:  

  • An overview of the package of policies and programmes that can reduce child poverty
  • What to focus on: picking the right policies and programmes to advocate for
  • Making policy change happen: key policy questions and analytical approaches to answering them

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Milestone 5: Achieving the SDGs: ending extreme child poverty and halving it by national definitions.

For some countries, the final step may be integrating child poverty into a national action plan (or a poverty reduction plan that fully considers children). This can bring together the situation of child poverty with integrated policy and programmatic solutions. Crucially, the implementation of these plans should be monitored and evaluated.

Milestone 5 includes:

  • Enshrining a national commitment to end extreme child poverty and halve it by national definitions
  • Implementing a comprehensive package of interventions
  • Consistent monitoring and evaluation of progress against the goals, and advocacy to make necessary adjustments

Download Milestone 5: Achieving the SDGs: ending extreme child poverty and halving it by national definitions here