Community versus Institutional Meanings of Child Poverty: Implications for Policy for Reducing Child Poverty

Grace Alenoma


Knowledge on different meanings of child poverty is important for reducing child poverty because it is critical for designing effective policies and programs aimed at addressing issues surrounding children’s well-being. Reducing child poverty is important for overall poverty reduction and inequality because increase and perpetuation of child poverty can result in intergenerational transmission of poverty. However, the relatively young status of the concept of child poverty, make its meaning(s) unclear. Although some efforts have been made by researchers and development agencies towards an understanding of the concept of child poverty, its meaning and indicators are scattered in the literature and remain unclear. Due to children’s dependence on adults for their wellbeing, policy frameworks aimed at reducing child poverty need to take into account both community and institutional meanings of child poverty because adults’ understanding of child poverty at the community level have consequences for how they treat and deal with issues relating to children well-being/ill-being. This paper re/presents some meanings of child poverty at the institutional and community levels using secondary materials drawn from both developing and developed country context and primary materials from four rural communities in Northern Ghana. The policy implications and policy options for reducing child poverty base on meanings of child poverty are indicated.

Keywords: Child poverty, meanings of child poverty, reducing child poverty

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-2-16

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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