UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

Beyond Headcount: The Alkire-Foster Approach to Multidimensional Child Poverty Measurement

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AUTHOR Sabina Alkire and José Manuel Roche, University of Oxford and UNICEF
ORGANIZATION
TYPE Other
DATE 2009
TOPIC Child poverty and disparities
LANGUAGE English
ABSTRACT

Is there scope for improving child poverty measurements?

The Bristol multidimensional approach (Gordon et al. 2003) has contributed substantially to child poverty measurement, in expanding the income based approach. This model was the first measurement of the headcount of child poverty and is also aligned with the rights based approach and broad international consensus on what dimensions are essential for human development. While the measure improves upon income poverty, it does not account for the breadth, depth, or severity of dimensions of child poverty. The traditional income – FGT – measures in income poverty do account for these (see: Foster, Greer and Thorbecke, 1984). Also, the headcount cannot be broken down by dimension to uncover the components of child poverty in different regions or age groups or by gender.
A new methodology for multidimensional poverty measurement proposed by
Alkire and Foster (2007) deals systematically with these issues and can be easily applied to child poverty measurement to enhance existing methodologies.


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