Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) report (2018)

SDGs and Children - Measuring Progress on Child Wellbeing in Lao PDR


This report, “SDGs and Children: Measuring Progress on Child Wellbeing in Lao PDR”, uses the Lao Social Indicator Survey (LSIS) II dataset released in June 2018, to analyse the unmet needs and rights of children under age 18 years in Lao PDR. Lao PDR continues to be an international pioneer in prioritizing an understanding of the situation of its children through evidence-based, child-sensitive analysis.

Lao PDR has ratified both the Convention of the Rights of the Child and committed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. There are 17 SDGs developed into 169 targets and 230 indicators. One of the objectives of this study is to support the government to have the baseline information for child poverty to track progress in Target 1.2 of the SDG 1 over the next 15 years, with the aim of reducing it by at least half. This report also provides comprehensive analysis of linkages and status of implementation of other child related SDGs in the country (see the Table on SDG 1.2.2 and the linkages with other SDGs). These actions reflect Lao PDR’s commitment to the international Sustainable Development agenda as well as the national poverty reduction agenda, both components of national ambitions for LDC (Least Developed Countries) graduation.

The methodology
Two main concepts can be used to measure child poverty: monetary poverty and multidimensional poverty. A child is monetarily poor when the child lives in a household where total household consumption per adult equivalent is below the national monetary poverty line. On the other hand, a child is defined as multidimensionally poor if he/she is deprived in several dimensions of his/her well-being according to a defined threshold of poverty severity. The current analysis uses the UNICEF Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) methodology to describe and unpack the situation of multidimensional child poverty in Lao PDR, with focus to children’s lifecycle-specific and contextualized needs and rights. An understanding of children’s multidimensional poverty and deprivation complements existing knowledge on monetary poverty based on household income in Lao PDR based on international poverty lines. It concentrates on the measurement of child deprivation and is comprised of the following key elements:

  1. It takes the child rather than the household as unit of analysis;
  2. It emphasizes the use of individual-level data when possible so that any differences across gender, ages or within households may be observed;
  3. It makes use of the life-cycle approach, changing indicators according to the changing needs of children at different life stages;
  4. It broadens the scope of sector-based approaches through overlapping deprivation analysis;
  5. It includes the prevalence and depth of deprivation for each child, revealing the most vulnerable children with a higher number of deprivations at the same time; and
  6. It generates profiles in terms of the geographical and socio-economic characteristics ofthe (multiply) deprived, allowing for better-targeted, more effective policy responses and interventions.

Given that children’s needs vary different stages of life, different dimensions are used for different age groups of children. The final age groups analysed were: 0-4 years; 5-10 years; and 11-17 years. For children aged 0-4 years, the dimensions are nutrition, health, early childhood development (ECD), child protection, water, sanitation and housing. For children aged 5-17 years, the dimensions analysed were nutrition, education, child protection, water, sanitation, housing and information. Although dimensions are sometimes common between age groups, the way they are constructed at the indicator level differs between age groups to reflect a more accurate picture of child well-being.

Purpose of the study
Measuring and analysing helps policymakers and decision makers to better understand the situation of children, and develop policies and programmes for the well-being of children, by highlighting where past policies have succeeded and where progress remains to be made. Investing in understanding who the poor children are, and what the nature of their poverty is, will inform policies and programming to sustainably alleviate poverty on the path towards generating human capital development and economic growth in Lao PDR. It is necessary to make the correct investments in children today, the drivers of economic and social development, to maximise the cognitive and human capital of Lao PDR’s “generation 2030”. Urgently providing children with their basic needs, fulfilling their rights, and prioritizing national budgets to reflect these child-sensitive interventions, is both a humanitarian and socioeconomic priority. This will be critical for Lao PDR to not only achieve middle-income status and sustain this achievement, but for it to be able to flexibly and judiciously adapt to the changing face of global social, economic and environmental conditions.

Achieving SDG 1.2.2 would mean that effort is being made to progressively reduce this proportion of multidimensionally poor children by at least half to 25.2 per cent by the end of the year. Progress in the multidimensional poverty rate should be monitored regularly to ensure that gains are being made in the right direction.

Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) report (2018)
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