Poverty and Inequalities in Child Welfare Outcomes in South Africa: An analysis of panel data

Lead Research Organisation: London Sch of Hygiene and Trop Medicine
Department Name: Epidemiology and Population Health

Abstract

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Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The project investigated factors associated with child welfare using data from South Africa's National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS). This longitudinal study collects unusually rich economic, social and demographic data on households. The welfare outcomes that were studied were child mortality; children's nutritional status; and attainment at school. These outcomes have important implications for children's cognitive development and the future skills of the labour force. The project was also intended to foster collaboration between demographers, economists and social policy researchers based in the UK and South Africa.

Infant and child mortality, child malnutrition and failure to progress satisfactorily at school all remain unacceptably common in South Africa. Girls do better at school than boys but teenage girls who fall behind at school often become pregnant and leave school without matriculating. According to NIDS, socio-economic and geographical inequalities
in these child welfare outcomes are smaller than one might anticipate given the persistence of extreme inequalities in income and wealth in the country and, in some instances, can be shown to have shrunk since the collapse of Apartheid. In part, this pattern is probably the product of shared misery - the HIV epidemic has affected middle class as well as poor South Africans and only the wealthy few can purchase the guarantee of a good education for their children. Equally, it suggests that the substantial investments in basic services and social grants made by the government beginning in the mid-1990s have provided at least a partial safety net for children growing up in poverty.
Exploitation Route Our findings contribute to ongoing scientific and policy debates in South Africa about the failings of its schooling system and ways to address them and about achievements and limitations of its cash grant-based social welfare system and whether it should be extended further.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education

 
Description Our key findings concerning child welfare, the impact of cash transfers and transitions to adulthood in South Africa have supported more informed public and policy debate about these matters both within the country and internationally.
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Adult deaths, poverty dynamics, and child welfare: Evidence from a household panel survey 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Seminar presentation

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Children in Poverty Traps: Evidence from the KwaZulu-Natal Income Dynamics Study 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to a workshop on Children and Inequality organized by the Children's Institute for Unicef South Africa

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Headwinds: South Africa's progress towards MDG Goal 1 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop presentation

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Poverty and Education in South Africa: Why do schools in poor communities underperform? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture, followed by a roundtable discussion led by SAFM presenter Mrs Masechaba Moshoeshoe, broadcast live on SAFM Radio from 19.00 - 21.00.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Teenage motherhood & schooling in South Africa 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact A large audience of students, faculty, external professionals and several journalists attended a presentation which sparked questions and discussion afterwards.

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Why the High Level Panel of Experts should promote cash transfers and fatherhood 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation to the High Level Panel of Experts on food security and nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The CFS is an intergovernmental body that serves as the forum in the United Nations System for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014