Our analysis and policy engagement work is clustered around 3 themes that are central to the lives of poor children and young people.
The dynamics of childhood poverty: This area of work explores how the different dimensions of poverty overlap to influence different children’s life-chances. Here we investigate the long-term trajectories that children, young people and their families follow, in order to understand what factors help some to move out of poverty while others remain trapped. We also explore the continuing inequalities that mean that some children do better than others, and the impact of shocks and adverse events on household livelihoods and individual children. The importance of government policy in breaking the cycle of poverty is central to this theme, especially the role of social protection schemes and programmes to help households manage risk and chronic poverty.
Children’s experience of poverty: The entry point here is children’s well-being and how they experience childhood in poor communities. Again we analyse the multiple dimensions of poverty – looking at ‘subjective’ indicators (children’s own perspectives on poverty, their aspirations, choices and priorities) as well as the ‘objective’ indicators of child well-being such as health, nutrition, and school outcomes and how these intersect with their learning and the processes of growing up. The importance of policy initiatives on how children experience ‘risk’, especially child protection policies, intersects this area of our work.
: Here we focus on children’s daily lives in the context of poverty, and the structures, institutions and processes that accompany children through their childhood as they grow up and become young adults. We look at the importance of education, what children learn through formal schooling and informally in the family and community, and how this prepares them for later life – how and where they acquire the skills they need to enter the labour market, marriage, and full participation in their communities. Important elements of this are how children do in school, children’s work, their relationships in their families and with their peers, and the importance of community norms and the impact of modernisation. s