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Children on the Edge: Estimating Children’s Vulnerability to Multidimensional Poverty in Post-Apartheid South Africa

  • Kehinde O. OmotosoEmail author
  • Jimi O. Adesina
  • Taiwo F. Gbadegesin
Article
  • 4 Downloads

Abstract

Measurement of child poverty continues to dominate public and academic discourse. However, a key issue in the literature is that focus is often on the poor or poorest children. There are hardly any studies that compare the distributions and experiences of poor children with vulnerable “non-poor” children, who might have narrowly missed predetermined poverty threshold(s), and are usually at a risk of “falling” into poverty at any slightest negative economic shock(s), especially at the household level. This paper thus develops child-specific vulnerability measures using data from the South African nationally representative surveys and adapted Alkire-Foster methodology. The measures were used to explore change in children’s vulnerability to multidimensional poverty over time. The results indicate that there has been some reduction in the overall children’s vulnerability to poverty. However, the proportion of vulnerable “non-poor” children remains relatively higher than the proportion of children living in chronic poverty. Further findings suggest that household economic (in) activity and education dimensions, relating to household employment opportunities and access to early childhood education and basic schooling, pose a great threat to reducing children’s vulnerability to poverty in South Africa. It is thus recommended that there should be a social policy rethink that strongly admits “vulnerability” ideology into the conventional “pro-poor” social policy discourse.

Keywords

Child Education Health Multidimensional Vulnerability 

Notes

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DST/NRF SARChI Chair in Social Policy, College of Graduate StudiesUniversity of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationEkiti State UniversityAdo EkitiNigeria

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