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The Impact Initiative has closed. This website has now been archived and will no longer be updated.

Blog: New frontiers in the fight against child poverty in Africa

Photo (cropped): Ethiopian class. Photo credit: Christiaan Triebert / Flickr licensed under CC-BY-NC 2.0

Jun 2019

Sustainable Development Goal 1 calls for the eradication of poverty in all its forms for all men, women and children around the world by 2030. The explicit mention of children serves as strong acknowledgement of the fact that the fight against child poverty deserves special attention, and has provided impetus in efforts to tackle child poverty. Despite strides in recent decades, children remain at a higher risk of poverty than adults. Child poverty is particularly widespread in Africa with high rates of children living in families without adequate income and experiencing deprivations in education, health, water and sanitation.

In 2017, a group of 150 researchers, practitioners and policy makers from across the globe gathered in Addis Ababa for the conference ‘Putting Children First: identifying solutions and taking action to tackle poverty and inequality in Africa’ to discuss existing evidence and innovative policy ideas for the fight against child poverty. Key messages included the need for greater focus on intra-household dynamics and children within family structures, for improving nutritional outcomes as urgent priority, for inclusive advances in expanding access to education, and for paying greater attention to the psychosocial side of child poverty.

A review of countries’ National Voluntary Reviews – reports that are published by national governments to track their progress towards the SDGs – highlights the need to keep the momentum going and to maintain pressure on governments, civil society and other partners to address child poverty. The issue of child poverty is only mentioned in a minority of such reviews, with even fewer reports mentioning explicit efforts to tackle child poverty.

Now, almost two years later, we are organising a dynamic workshop. ‘Putting Children First: New Frontiers in the Fight Against Child Poverty in Africa’ will take place in October 2019 to build on conversations, ideas and initiatives that emerged during the conference and beyond. We hope to develop a book based on contributions made during the conference and include applied research from across the continent. We are also inviting presentations on new knowledge and policy efforts. The book and workshop are framed around three themes, namely i) manifestations of child poverty, (ii) child-sensitive social protection, and (iii) transitions from childhood into adulthood.

The Call for Proposals for presentations at the workshop is now open and we welcome contributions from across academia, policy and practice, particularly from those working in Africa. The event is co-hosted by IDS, the DSA/EADI Working Group on Multidimensional Poverty and Poverty Dynamics, Global Coalition to End Child Poverty, the Impact Initiative, with support from the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP/University of Bergen/International Science Council).

The workshop is planned for 18 October 2019 at IDS in the UK and the deadline for proposals is 15 July 2019.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Further information is available to read and download below:



The Impact Initiative blog posts are either from individual researchers or from major research programmes. Some of the blog posts are original source and are written by researchers and experts connected to the two research programmes jointly funded by ESRC and FCDO: the Joint Fund for Poverty Alleviation Research and the Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme. Other blog posts are imported from related websites and programmes. 

The views expressed in these blogs reflect the opinions of each individual and may not represent the Institute of Development Studies, the University of Cambridge, ESRC or FCDO.


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