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Extent and Depth of Child Poverty and Deprivation in Zimbabwe: a Multidimensional Deprivation Approach
Authors: Anthony Shuko Musiwa
Source: Child Indicators Research, Online first; DOI: 10.1007/s12187-019-09656-0
Topic(s): Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: JUN 2019
Abstract: With recognition that poverty affects children in many ways that income-centric measures cannot demonstrate, there is increasing emphasis in multidimensional measurement of child poverty. Unfortunately, Zimbabwe has not kept pace with such important developments. This article applies a multidimensional deprivation approach to examine the extent and depth of child poverty and deprivation among children ages 5 years and below in Zimbabwe using 2015 Demographic and Health Survey data (N?=?6418). Fourteen items are selected and tested for validity, reliability and additivity using robust statistical methods. Deprivation estimates are then produced at item level. Thereafter, the items are combined into a deprivation index and relevant deprivation estimates are produced. All deprivation estimates are distributed by gender and location. Results show that the commonest deprivation forms are early childhood development (78%), water (46%), healthcare (44%), sanitation (40%), shelter (30%) and nutrition (13%), respectively. The majority of deprived children in the study are deprived in two items and the least in ten or more items. However, 77% of all the children in the study are ‘absolutely poor’, that is, severely deprived of at least two items. While there are no significant share differences between male and female deprived children, all deprivations are highest in rural areas. Various policy strategies to help address these deprivations are suggested. Overall, the study contributes to the growing emphasis that child poverty is not all about income. It also highlights the importance of routine collection of better statistics to better inform anti-child poverty responses. Keywords Child poverty Deprivation Measurement Policy Zimbabwe