Multidimensional child poverty in North Macedonia
Reimagining how to measure and tackle child poverty
The success of governments’ policy actions to end child poverty largely depends on governments’ understanding of complexity of child poverty. There are two basic reasons. Firstly, the current one-dimensional (income) approach fails to capture this complexity due to its simplistic assumptions: it assumes a strong link between income and child well-being and rights and an equal sharing of resources within a household, and it represents “a means to an end” approach. Secondly, child poverty differs from adult poverty. Namely, children are more exposed to poverty and if trapped in poverty since birth are more likely to remain poor. Moreover, children have different basic human needs dependent on accessibility to basic infrastructure and public services, have no control over the household’s resources and do not share equally the household’s fortunes and misfortunes.
Therefore, the traditional indirect (income) approach for measuring poverty has been recently complemented with direct multidimensional measures which take into account the diverse basic needs people have and the rights they should enjoy. Although not perfect, the multidimensional approach sheds light on other aspects of poverty and enables policymakers to adopt appropriate policies and investments to tackle the measured aspects.
This policy study aims to describe the multidimensionality of child poverty visa-vis sets of demographic and locational indicators; and to produce the first multidimensional child poverty index in North Macedonia and exemplify its analytic and policy value.