UNICEF and Statistics South Africa: Supporting tools to measure child poverty

UNICEF partnered with Statistics South Africa to host the first round of discussions on the development of a child-friendly poverty tool, which would measure the progress the country has made in providing critical services to children of all ages.

UNICEF South Africa
Child-Hanover-Park
UNICEF South Africa/2025/Schermbrucker
23 August 2018

Pretoria - Since their launch in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been a critical guideline that supports the full development of humanity.

The SDGs require that the extent of poverty be measured in all its dimensions so that it can be eventually eradicated. This ties in with the mandate of UNICEF which, along with the Government of South Africa, is committed to the measurement of children’s progress during the first and second decades of their precious lives. While there is a solid understanding among key policymakers of how the lack of monetary income deprives children of essential goods and services, the need remains to measure poverty in all its dimensions.

With this mind, UNICEF partnered with Statistics South Africa to host the first round of discussions on the development of a child-friendly poverty tool, which would measure the progress the country has made in providing critical services to children of all ages. The gathering aimed to build the indicators and dimensions to be used to measure non-income poverty among children in South Africa and was attended by representatives of the Departments of Basic Education, Social Development, National Treasury, Human Settlements, and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

The Statistician-General, Mr Risenga Maluleke urged those who were present to tackle this challenge with the necessary rigor and sensitivity and thanked UNICEF for driving an advocacy agenda around resource mobilization in areas where children are severely deprived.

Encapsulating the need for such monitoring, UNICEF South Africa Chief of Child Protection and Social Policy, Mayke Huijbregts noted that “it used to be a luxury to measure and to measure well, but today, with poverty and inequality continuing to be a scourge, measurement has become a necessity.”