How Can We Create Lasting Change for the Poorest Children in Africa?

A recent paper by the Global Coalition to End Child Poverty, reveals how the very worst-off families can lead the way to create lasting change for children in poverty in Africa. The paper was written by Martin Kalisa and Diana Skelton from ATD Fourth World, a member of the coalition.

The paper asserts that; in order to make a difference for the poorest children, policy-makers must first understand what differentiates their lives from those of children who are less poor and why they are particularly hard to reach. To support the assertion, the paper explores some of the characteristics of extreme poverty, such as shame and stigmatisation, separation of children from their families, lack of civil registration for several reasons, and lack of access to education and health care.

Because of stigmatisation, reaching the poorest people requires more than just making services available; only specific outreach can ensure the inclusion of all. The most effective policies are those elaborated in direct consultation with the poorest children and their families. Only this direct consultation makes it possible for actions to reach and benefit the very poorest among the poor, and to push back against their stigmatisation, thus strengthening their connections to the rest of society.

The paper presents examples of programme design concerning family reunification in Burkina Faso, international human rights policies in Senegal, and national education policies in Tanzania.

Click here to read this paper.