Our policy work

One of the core objectives of Young Lives is to use our evidence on the causes and consequences of childhood poverty in order to inform the development of better social policy for poor children. We work with partners to engage with, and influence, policy and practice through a mix of broad communication and active engagement.

The timeframe of the Young Lives research mirrors that of the Millennium Development Goals and the global targets of the Education For All commitment. By demonstrating the multidimensional nature of childhood poverty, Young Lives is able to highlight the vital interconnections which are often missed and to challenge policy assumptions about children’s lives.

From addressing malnutrition and its impact on children’s development, to improving education quality, a consistent message arising from the Young Lives research is that there are wide differences in the circumstances and opportunities experienced by different children and deprivations in one area of children’s lives may influence outcomes in another. A focus on equity and creating an enabling environment for children can help to improve their broader outcomes and their life-chances.

What’s new

Growing Up with the Promise of the MDGs_Asia coverGrowing up with the promise of the MDGs: Save the Children published a new paper by Young Lives to coincide with the UN High-Level Panel meeting in Bali earlier this year. Understanding children’s perspectives is essential in shaping polices, particularly for those seeking to deliver on the post-2015 agenda.


Paul DornanComment (25 March 2013): Different opportunities: how inequalities affect how children grow up: As the UN's High Level Panel, whose job is to draw up plans for what kind of global development framework should follow the MDGs, met in Bali, it was worth assessing the progress made for children around the world since the MDGs were introduced.

What Inequality Means for Children: Evidence from Young LivesWhat Inequality Means for Children: Understanding how poverty and inequalities affect children is central to understanding the impact of the MDGs and development of the post-2015 agenda. Read the paper we contributed to the UN Women/UNICEF global thematic consultation on Addressing inequalities within the post-2015 development agenda.

Policy Brief 19Why Strengthening the Linkages between Research and Practice is Important: In consultation with stakeholders in Ethiopia and India, we set out to identify challenges and opportunities for translating research into policy and practice in the area of child poverty and child protection.


Paul DornanPaul Dornan, Senior Policy Officer


Kirrily Pells Kirrily Pells, Policy Officer

Child-focused organisations

Our Links page gives a useful list of other child-focused research and policy organisations

We need to end child poverty in order to break the cycle of poverty.