|Results from analyzing the multidimensional determinants of maternal and child poverty provide important policy insights for improving human capital investments in Kenya|
From a multidimensional approach to poverty, i.e. measured beyond income to include several non-monetary indicators, a team of PEP researchers from the University of Nairobi have recently produced important evidence on the wellbeing of women and children in Kenya, based on the analysis of Demographic and Health Survey data.
The use of this complementary approach reveals important complexities in what characterizes maternal and child deprivation. For example, from the multiple dimensions of welfare, the main contributive factors include household and environmental conditions - such as sources of drinking water, sanitation and floor material – as well as several individual characteristics – such as mother’s education and height, and child’s age, gender and birth order. The study also finds marked variations in maternal and child well-being across space (or regions) and time in the country.
Based on their findings, the team recommends that the Kenyan government promotes a series of specific programs and policies that are likely to have long term human capital returns and intergenerational effects on child welfare. Such programs could, for example, address particular nutritional deficiencies or lack of critical social infrastructure that were identified in the study. Their implementation however, should take into account the distribution of multidimensional poverty among children and women across districts in Kenya and thus target the most vulnerable of these groups, usually clustered in rural areas and urban slums.
Find out more about the study findings through the project’s recent publications:
Working paper 2011-12 Policy Brief 80
Based on the PEP project: PMMA-11330
Research team: Jane Kabubo-Mariara | Anthony Wambugu | Susan Musau
See other recent findings from PEP-supported research projects, here.