Improving children's life chances is central to what the MDGs were seeking to achieve. There is some consensus that the MDGs have achieved progress but with the target date of 2015 fast approaching there are questions about how equitably gains in education, health and living conditions have been distributed. A focus on children is essential, not only because their age and stage of development make them more susceptible to the impacts of poverty, but because interventions during childhood can bring important long-term benefits to society and are key to sustainable economic growth.
This report examines children’s experiences of growing up during the period of the MDGs. The findings tell a positive story of improving material circumstances and the expansion of primary schooling and basic services. However, the poorest households are not benefiting from poverty reduction and the expansion of services, and this has severe implications for children’s development and well-being.
The experiences of children documented in this report reinforce the importance of retaining a focus on human development and addressing inequality in international development post-2015.