CHIP - Knowledge for Tackling Childhood Poverty
The crisis of childhood poverty
Over 600 million children world-wide live in absolute poverty - an estimated 1 in 4. In many countries, rates are much higher with over 60 percent of children living in households with incomes below international poverty lines. Over 10 million children under five still die every year from preventable diseases - the vast majority of them in developing countries. As one of the most powerless groups in society, children often bear the physical and emotional costs of poverty.
Poverty denies opportunities to people of all ages. Lost opportunities in childhood cannot always be regained later - childhood is a one-off window of opportunity and development. Poverty experienced by children, even over short periods, can affect the rest of their lives. Malnutrition in early childhood, for example, can lead to life-long learning difficulties and poor health.
Today's poor children are all too often tomorrow's poor parents. Poverty can be passed on from generation to generation affecting the long-term health, wellbeing and productivity of families and of society as a whole. Tackling childhood poverty is therefore critical for eradicating poverty and injustice world-wide.
The international community has committed itself to meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. This includes halving poverty rates, cutting by two-thirds the deaths of children under five and ensuring that all children in the world complete at least primary education.. Already progress is slower than is needed - only substantial investment in children now will enable this vital reduction in different forms of childhood poverty to be achieved.
Research and policy to make a difference
The Childhood Poverty Research and Policy Centre is a collaborative research and policy programme which involves Save the Children, the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) and partners in China, India, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia. Running from 2001 to 2005, it aims to contribute to global poverty reduction efforts by:
• Deepening understanding of the main causes of childhood poverty and poverty cycles, and increasing knowledge of effective strategies to tackle them in different contexts
• Examining economic and social factors at different levels - international, national and local - which contribute to poverty in childhood
• Informing effective policy to end childhood poverty, communicating research findings to policy makers, practitioners and advocates
• Raising the profile of childhood poverty issues and increasing commitment to tackling them through anti-poverty policy and action.
To prioritise, not to ghettoise children
Children in poverty are often seen as one of many disadvantaged groups, all competing for resources, or they are characterised as children with special needs such as streetchildren orphans, or child workers. In partner countries and through its global programme of work, CHIP focuses on and draws attention to the ways in which poverty affects large numbers of urban and rural children, not only particularly disadvantaged groups such as street children or child-headed households. The CHIP programme emphasises the importance of preventing poverty in the particularly vulnerable first years of life thereby reducing the chance of poverty persisting over an individuals lifecourse or through the generations. The materials on this website all take this broad, intergenerational view of childhood poverty.
About this website
While the funded phase of the CHIP programme is now over, this website is intended to be a resource for policy makers, practitioners and activists concerned about childhood poverty. It contains policy briefings, research reports, photos, case studies and links on a wide range of issues related to childhood poverty, all of which can be accessed via the menus at the left and bottom of each page. This website will continue to exist until at least 2007.
CHIP was funded by the UK Department for International Development, Save the Children and the Chronic Poverty Research Centre.
CHIP Director: Caroline Harper
Photo: Jenni Marshall/CHIP