Social Indicators Research

, Volume 112, Issue 2, pp 363–390 | Cite as

Monitoring Progress in Child Poverty Reduction: Methodological Insights and Illustration to the Case Study of Bangladesh

  • José Manuel RocheEmail author


Important steps have been taken at international summits to set up goals and targets to improve the wellbeing of children worldwide. Now the world also has more and better data to monitor progress. This paper presents a new approach to monitoring progress in child poverty reduction based on the Alkire and Foster adjusted headcount ratio and an array of complementary techniques. A theoretical discussion is accompanied by an assessment of child poverty reduction in Bangladesh based on four rounds of the demographic household survey (1997–2007). Emphasis is given to dimensional monotonicity and decomposability as desirable properties of multidimensional poverty measures. Complementary techniques for analysing changes over time are also illustrated, including the Shapley decomposition of changes in overall poverty, as well as a range of robustness tests and statistical significance tests. The results from Bangladesh illustrate the value added of these new tools and the information they provide for policy. The analysis reveals two paths to multidimensional poverty reduction by either decreasing the incidence of poverty or its intensity, and exposes an uneven distribution of national gains across geographical divisions. The methodology allows an integrated analysis of overall changes yet simultaneously examines progress in each region and in each dimension, retaining the positive features of dashboard approaches. The empirical evidence highlights the need to move beyond the headcount ratio towards new measures of child poverty that reflect the intensity of poverty and multiple deprivations that affect poor children at the same time.


Child poverty Multidimensional poverty Poverty measurement FGT measures Capability approach Bangladesh 



The author is grateful without implication for comments on an earlier version of this paper to: Sabina Alkire, Laura Camfield, Jingqing Chai, Enrique Delamonica, Stephan Dercon, Paul Dorman, Dave Gordon, Stephan Klasen, Luzma Montano, Alberto Minujin, Shailen Nandy, Keetie Roelen, Maria Emma Santos, Gaston Yalonetzky, Zaki Wahhaj, and Wei Ha. I am also grateful for helpful discussion on decomposition techniques to Abdelkrim Araar, Suman Seth and Gaston Yalonetzky, and for research assistance with literature review to Christian Oldiges and Ana Mujica. This paper uses data from the Demographic and Health Survey from Bangladesh.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queen Elizabeth House (QEH)University of OxfordOxfordUK

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