What we do
Young Lives is a unique international study of childhood poverty following the changing lives of 12,000 children in 4 countries – Ethiopia, India (in the state of Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam - over 15 years.
Globally children are the largest age group affected by poverty and deprivation which have both severe and lifelong consequences for children, households, communities and countries. To break national and global patterns of the transmission of inequality and poverty, childhood is the place to start.
Children are not only most at risk but early intervention is the most effective mechanism to bring long-term change. That rates of malnutrition have not fallen within the Young Lives sample in line with GDP growth, and that inequalities have hardened, powerfully demonstrates that economic growth will not solve childhood poverty.
We are following two groups of children in each country:
- 2,000 children who were born in 2001-02; and
- 1,000 children who were born in 1994-95.
Through a large-scale household survey of all the children and their primary caregiver, interspersed with more in-depth interviews, group work and case studies with a sub-sample of the children, their parents, teachers and community representatives, we are collecting a wealth of information not only about their material and social circumstances, but also their perspectives and aspirations, set against the environmental and social realities of their communities.
The fact that our work spans 15 years in the lives of these children – covering all ages from early infancy into young adulthood – means that we are also able to examine how children change over time, whether growing up in rural or urban contexts, poor or not-so-poor areas, in large families or as migrants, and a variety of other factors.
We are currently piloting the questionnaire for the 2013 fourth round of household data collection. Initial findings will be available in early 2014. The first survey round took place in 2002, the second in 2006 and the third in 2009. These will be followed by a further round of the survey in 2016, making Young Lives a unique cross-country longitudinal dataset exploring the causes and consequences of childhood poverty.
|Year||Younger Cohort||Older cohort|
|Round 1 survey||2002||6 to 18 months||7 to 8 years|
|Round 2 survey||2006-7||4 to 5 years||11 to 12 years|
|Qualitative Round 1||2007||5 to 6 years||12 to 13 years
|Qualitative Round 2
||2008||6 to 7 years||13 to 14 years|
|Round 3 survey||2009||7 to 8 years||14 to 15 years|
|Qualitative Round 3
||2011||9 to 10 years||16 to 17 years|
|Round 4 survey||2013||11 to 12 years||18 to 19 years|
|Qualitative Round 4
||2014||12 to 13 years||19 to 20 years|
|Round 5 survey||2016||14 to 15 years||21 to 22 years|