Social Indicators Research

, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 391–416

The Multidimensionality of Child Poverty: Evidence from Afghanistan

  • Jean-Francois Trani
  • Mario Biggeri
  • Vincenzo Mauro

DOI: 10.1007/s11205-013-0253-7

Cite this article as:
Trani, J., Biggeri, M. & Mauro, V. Soc Indic Res (2013) 112: 391. doi:10.1007/s11205-013-0253-7


This paper examines multidimensional poverty among children in Afghanistan using the Alkire-Foster method. Several previous studies have underlined the need to separate children from their adult nexus when studying poverty and treat them according to their own specificities. From the capability approach, child poverty is understood to be the lack of freedom to do and to be what children themselves value and have reason to value. The case of Afghanistan is particularly relevant as years of conflict aggravated by several severe droughts, political insecurity, bad governance and ongoing violence have significantly increased poverty in the country. The paper discusses the relevant dimensions when analysing child poverty and uses data from a survey carried out by Handicap International which contains information on dimensions of children’s wellbeing that is typically missing in standard surveys. Ten dimension are considered in this paper: health, care and love, material deprivation, food security, social inclusion, education, freedom from economic and non-economic exploitation, shelter and environment, autonomy, and mobility. Our results show that younger children, those living in rural areas, girls and disabled children are the most deprived.


Multidimensional poverty measurementCapability approachChildren

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Francois Trani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mario Biggeri
    • 3
  • Vincenzo Mauro
    • 3
  1. 1.Brown School of Social WorkWashington University in St LouisSt LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Leonard Cheshire Center for Inclusive Development and DisabilityUniversity College of LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly